Bupa and AIA Australia have launched their respective programs designed to provide additional support to their customers amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. First and foremost, AIA will provide cash refunds to about 40,000 clients through its latest private health insurance brand dubbed AIA Health Insurance, thanks to the crisis-instigated restricted access to additional services like dental, optical and physio.
“This is undoubtedly the right thing to do for our members given the restrictions and disruptions to services during COVID-19,” AIA Australia’s chief health insurance officer Tim Tez noted. “By taking this action, we’re putting money back in our members’ pockets to support their financial well-being during this challenging time.”
Members will receive at least 50% refund on their additional policy starting April 1st to 31st December, less any claims that may have been paid for the extras’ services received.
In the meantime, platinum members of the insurance company’s health and well-being programme known as AIA Vitality are expected to receive a 100% refund; with gold and silver members set to receive 75%.
On the other hand, Bupa is broadening its on-the-spot rebate offers previously available to only those who swipe their cards in person.
As at now, psychology, podiatry, physiotherapy, exercise physiology, speech therapy, dietetics and occupational therapy services providers that use HICAPS technology will be allowed to process claims via phone after a telehealth consultation.
Additionally, telehealth services coverage during this time of the coronavirus crisis has been extended to September 30 from an earlier timeline of June 30.
‘Australians Are Embracing’
“Processing telehealth claims right away not only reduces customer effort by eliminating the manual claims process but means they avoid being out-of-pocket for longer than they need to be,” commented Bupa customer experience director Sally Damiani. “We are also excited to make this available for our customers during COVID-19 when more and more Australians are embracing phone and video consultations.
“It’s vital that Australians are able to access health and well-being support at a time when access to ancillary services is impacted by social distancing measures due to COVID-19. Despite the gradual reopening of clinics and medical centres across the country, telehealth claims remain strong, with physiotherapy and psychology the two most popular telehealth claims, closely followed by speech therapy.”
The move by AIA Australia and Bupa comes in the wake of unpaid claims by insurance companies. Recent days have seen thousands of small business owners in Australia struggle to make ends meet and consequently having their insurance claims for Covid-19 related business interruption losses rejected by some of the leading insurance companies in Australia.
From gyms, groceries, cafes, pubs, boutiques to beauticians, the economic crunch is biting really hard and the future is becoming very uncertain for small businesses.