GMHBA has announced that it will return around $11 million in estimated claims savings from the COVID-19 pandemic to its members via a six-month freeze in its approved premium increase.
CEO David Greig said, “As a not for profit health fund, our members are at the forefront of our thinking every day. Our first focus when this pandemic started to unfold in 2020 was to support our members financially by putting premium increases on hold for six months and offering membership suspensions where needed. So far, we have invested over $15.4 million into a range of support measures for our members.
“We are now seeking to support our members further during this difficult period. In December we announced our lowest premium increase in 20 years and we are now also returning around $11 million in support to our members, taking the total value we have delivered to members through the COVID-19 pandemic to over $26 million.”
The premium freeze builds on the support already provided by the insurer during the pandemic, including extending coverage to include telehealth and COVID-related hospitalisations, as well as premium relief for members experiencing financial hardship.
Mr Greig continued, “The COVID-19 pandemic has really highlighted the importance of our own health and that of our family and friends. At GMHBA, we understand that lockdowns and restrictions may have affected our members ability to access some health services and therefore utilise their cover to its full potential. This has affected claim activity and has resulted in GMHBA generating unintended savings.
“I am pleased to announce that we will be putting premium increases on hold for 6 months. This means that any member who may have received a premium increase will have that increase frozen until October. This is a simple way for us to return these savings to our members. In addition to this, we are extending our COVID-19 support package for 6 months. Coupled with the premium freeze, we hope this will provide much-needed support to our members during these uncertain times.
“In other good news, there is a small number of members who will receive a premium reduction that will take effect in October and be backdated to 1 April.”