COVID-19: Medibank announces new hardship support

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Medibank has announced it will further extend hardship support to customers impacted financially by the pandemic lockdown in areas that have been declared a state of disaster due to COVID-19.

The company said this is currently Victoria.

It said customers receiving government support payments currently have the option of a three-month suspension of their policy or a 50 per cent waiver on their premiums for 6 months.

In addition, it said customers on eligible cover who are not receiving government support payments will soon be able to apply for a 10 per cent discount on their premiums for three months.

Medibank said this brings its total financial support package during COVID-19 to more than $185 million.

Chief customer officer David Koczkar said, “The COVID-19 health crisis particularly in Victoria is having a devastating impact on people’s livelihoods through the restrictions on businesses and subsequent job losses, putting severe financial strain on so many families.

“Customers needing financial help can apply for the new 10% discount on their premiums for 3 months, which is a saving of on average $100 over that period.

“We know during these tough times every little bit counts. We want to give our customers in Victoria the peace of mind that they can hold onto their cover, while they focus on their health and wellbeing during lockdown.”

Medibank customer Choo-Lee Khor said she applied for financial support recently and it has made a difference for her and her husband.

“We met the requirements for a 50% premium waiver as part of Medibank’s hardship policy which meant we will save around $1,000 over the next 6 months,” Choo-Lee said.

“I desperately wanted to hold onto my health cover for peace of mind, something that I need more than ever during this health crisis.

“The fact is, we believe in health insurance, even if we don’t claim any of it – the value for us is still there.”

Medibank has previously announced $180 million in already provided to assistance to its customers, including the six-month postponement of premium increases, the ability to claim for telehealth consultations on a range of extras services, COVID-19 Health Assist, benefits being paid towards heart, lung and kidney hospital admissions regardless of an existing customer’s level of cover, the introduction of Live Better at Home and a $5 million donation to Beyond Blue’s mental wellbeing and support service.