Australian Unity and COVID-19
As a member-owned wellbeing company formed 180 years ago, Australian Unity has a proud history of providing support through times of war, financial upheaval and natural disaster–as well as in the recovery and rebuilding efforts that followed those shattering events.
With our operations spanning a range of health, wealth and living services, we have a comprehensive COVID-19 response package to support our members, customers, employees, supply chains, public and private healthcare capacity and the broader community.
We're returning ~$6 million to our private health insurance members following reduced claims due to COVID-19 restrictions. That’s on top of the $18 million of COVID-19 support measures already delivered.
This latest measure comes on top of our lowest average premium increase in 20 years. Other COVID-19 support measures have included a six-month deferral of the 2020 premium increase, extending policy suspensions, premium relief for those on Job Keeper and Job Seeker, covering COVID-19 admissions regardless of hospital or combination product type, and payment of telehealth claims to assist during lockdowns.
We’re committed to ensuring that health insurance remains affordable for Australians. We know that at times like this a little bit of good can go a long way.
Our 7000-plus employees are at the heart of everything we do, and we will do whatever it takes to protect their health, safety and wellbeing as they go about their vital work.
As well as specific health and safety measures to protect our home and residential care workers, we have made arrangements for most of our office-based workforce to work from home.
In recognition that COVID-19 is affecting the way we work and creating new and sometimes challenging issues for our people, we’ve also adjusted our leave management guidelines and strengthened measures to support employee mental health and wellbeing.
Aged care, disability, and healthcare services
Our focus in these vital and valued human services is the health and wellbeing of the 50,000-plus Australians and 6000 workers across our home care and disability business, aged care residential communities, and Aboriginal home care business.
We have the right systems in place and our employees are trained on how best to protect from and respond to outbreaks–and we’re working with health authorities to constantly review and update infection control procedures.
Our subsidiary, Remedy Healthcare, has introduced telehealth services for rehabilitation, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, exercise physiology and nursing support to enable eligible patients to continue receiving vital health treatment, despite the restrictions created by the COVID-19.
We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic is causing financial strain on many thousands of individuals, families and businesses, so we have developed a range of assistance options for our banking customers.
These include the ability to temporarily pause repayments on loans, including credit cards; temporary interest rate relief on lending; and early access to term deposits without incurring any fees.
Investment and Advice
With COVID-19 causing financial market volatility, our financial advisors and investment service team is providing advice and guidance to our customers about their financial wellbeing–now and into the future.
And with private hospitals helping to meet the expected increases in patient demand caused by COVID-19, many of the healthcare assets in our Healthcare Property Trust have a vital role in the ongoing management of the pandemic and we are on-hand to support our hospital operators and tenants in these efforts.
Similarly, our Diversified Property Fund’s shopping centres are providing essential services for communities, with major supermarkets working to meet the needs of the elderly, disadvantaged and the broader community. Our site management teams are working hard to make shoppers feel safe and comfortable by providing adequate social distancing measures and additional security and cleaning.
The Australian Government has released the COVIDSafe app to speed up the process of contacting people exposed to COVID-19.
Australian Unity is encouraging its employees, customers and the community to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by downloading the app. To find out more about the COVIDSafe app and how to download it, visit the Department of Health website.
For more information on what Australian Unity’s businesses are doing in response to COVID-19, click on the links above.
For up-to-date health information, visit these websites: