COVID-19: Medibank announces ahm to add unused extras to next year

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Medibank has announced its customers with an ahm policy will have any unused extras annual limits rolled over into the following year for services such as dental, psychology and physio, as a result of not being able to use some of their health services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company said the move, which is valued at around $10 million, recognises the impact of the pandemic with the 'lockdown' imposed close to the annual limit reset date of 1 July. The majority of other health funds reset their annual limits on 1 January each year.

Chief customer officer David Koczkar said any unused annual limits on an ahm customer’s extras cover this financial year, excluding optical and non-annual limits, will automatically be added to customers’ limits.

“The COVID-19 pandemic made it challenging for ahm customers to use some of their extras cover as normal by 30 June, with some face-to-face health services reduced during the peak COVID-19 lockdown,” he said.

“To help our customers maximise the value of their health cover, we are rolling over all unused annual limits for most extras services, giving customers more time to use their cover.”

ahm said the move builds on actions already taken in support of customers, including the postponement of premium increases, financial hardship measures and extending access to the 24/7 Medibank Nurse Phone Service and Medibank Mental Health Phone Support for those with eligible hospital cover.

“Eligible ahm customers will now have more time to use any unclaimed extras annual limits on services like a remedial massage, physio and psychology to take care of their health and wellbeing,” said Mr Koczkar.

“We’ve focused the extras annual limit rollover on services that were most difficult for our customers to access during the peak COVID-19 lockdown period, and where we saw some of the biggest drops in claims such as in dental and natural therapies.

“We’ve had a really positive response to physiotherapy, dietetics, occupational therapy, podiatry, exercise physiology and speech therapy being available via telehealth, with psychology the most utilised service by customers.

“With most health service providers open again, customers can now also access their usual face-to-face care, which is great news,” he added.