Tags: Health

Health is more than just the absence of illness, but how fully you are able to participate in your life”— Rebecca Windsor, CEO of Health Insurance at Australian Unity.


Key points

  • From innovative mental health support and preventative care to in-home management of chronic conditions, customers can access a wide range of groundbreaking, evidence-backed programs to improve their Real Wellbeing.

  • Over our 180-year history, Australian Unity’s approach to healthcare has continually evolved to meet the changing needs and expectations of the community.

  • Partnering with organisations such as Remedy Healthcare and other leading organisations allows Australian Unity to offer expert support to members, helping them “get healthy and stay healthy”.

An aging population. GP shortages. Declining satisfaction with our health. The ongoing impact of COVID-19.

Even a cursory glance at the news headlines over the last few years has made for gloomy reading when it comes to Australians’ health. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find initiatives that point to a new and innovative approach to health—one that empowers Australians to take control of their health in the way that best suits them.

Addressing changing community needs

As a 180-year-old organisation, Australian Unity has seen our community’s needs shift and evolve throughout that period.

“We’re a social enterprise,” says Rebecca Windsor, CEO of Health Insurance at Australian Unity. “Driving community value and societal impact is at the core of what we do, and so we deliver solutions that respond to social and economic conditions, or the needs of the community, at that point in time.”

Today, these include the growing prevalence of chronic illness and “ensuring people have adequate access to healthcare that meets them at their time and their place,” emphasises Rebecca. “We’re responding to that need by prioritising innovative services that allow us to deliver healthcare in different ways and using different models of care.”

A case in point? Our partnerships with leading organisations in the healthcare sector, which give health insurance customers access to expertise across mental health support, in-home care and preventative healthcare. It’s a positive and proactive approach that has the potential to be a game-changer when it comes to Australians’ health and Real Wellbeing.

Supporting Australians’ mental health

There’s little doubt that the last few years have been immensely challenging for our mental health, with the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index recording a worrying spike in mental distress.

However, a partnership between Australian Unity, Remedy Healthcare and Flinders University offers a new approach to tackle mental health challenges through an evidence-based coaching program called Mindstep.

Mindstep is designed to help people with low to moderate anxiety or depression develop new tools and coping strategies for managing their distress, and is open to all Australian Unity customers who have held hospital cover for at least 12 months.

Driving community value and societal impact is at the core of what we do, and so we deliver solutions that respond to social and economic conditions, or the needs of the community.

Rebecca Windsor, CEO of
Health Insurance at Australian Unity.

The program, which is based on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), was inspired by a successful UK model and then “adapted to meet the unique needs of Australians”, explains Rebecca, “so it’s quite innovative”.

Mindstep has had consistently excellent feedback and is achieving outstanding results, she adds, with around 75 percent of people who complete the program showing a measurable improvement in their mental health or recovering completely.

The partnership with Remedy Healthcare has also led to the development of Healing Minds, a mental health coaching program that’s delivered by Indigenous people to Indigenous people. The first program of its kind, it focuses on providing a community-led and culturally appropriate approach to mental health.

Managing chronic conditions at home

Traditionally, if you were receiving treatment for an injury or illness, that treatment would mostly take place in a medical environment—whether at a hospital, your GP’s clinic, or another healthcare provider.

But our partnerships are helping to transform that experience, allowing eligible health insurance customers to manage chronic conditions and rehabilitation from the comfort of their own homes. “It’s enabling people to choose to receive care in the way that they want to receive it and where they want to receive it,” says Rebecca, highlighting the agency this provides.

In the past 12 years, Australian Unity and Remedy Healthcare have provided in-home healthcare and telehealth for almost 100,000 Australians through services including Hospital Care at Home and Rehabilitation at Home.

"People like the comfort of their own home, being with their partner—that family connection," says Rebecca, who adds that the programs have no out-of-pocket costs. "It can be a bit quieter, they have the privacy they would like, and it means they don't have to travel for medical appointments."

She also points to a broader community benefit: “It’s reducing pressure on the hospital system. So if there’s someone who’s occupying a bed but they can be safely treated at home, then someone else can get the treatment they need.”

Partnering with experts in preventative care

One key shift in healthcare in recent times? The growing importance of preventative care when it comes to managing our health.

“According to the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index, health is more than just the absence of illness, but how fully you can participate in your life,” explains Rebecca. It’s an important distinction that has shaped Australian Unity’s approach to healthcare.

As Rebecca notes, “improving your health means something different for everyone,” so customers can access a wide range of personalised and practical support from leading organisations.

“There are a number of services that help with adopting a healthy lifestyle, which is really important,” says Rebecca. “We have weight loss benefits through approved and well-known programs such as Weight Watchers, we have our Quit Smoking program, and we have Diabetes Australia memberships.” In addition, a partnership with Lift for Life allows eligible customers to access subsidised strength-training programs.

“It’s designed to help you get healthy—and stay healthy.”

Rebecca Windsor, CEO of
Health Insurance at Australian Unity.

Our partnership with Remedy Healthcare also provides access to personalised and evidence-based health coaching through the
HealthierMe program, which is designed to help customers to prevent or manage long-term health conditions. Meanwhile, new and expectant parents can receive support from a dedicated team of midwives and maternal child health nurses through Bump to Baby.

It’s all part of a partnership approach that focuses on “innovation in care, driving evidence-based outcomes, and providing choices that meet consumer needs,” says Rebecca. “It’s designed to help you get healthy—and stay healthy.”


Information provided in this article is of a general nature. Australian Unity accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the opinions, advice, representations or information contained in this publication. Readers should rely on their own advice and enquiries in making decisions affecting their own health, wellbeing or interest. Interviewee titles and employer are cited as at the time of interview and may have changed since publication.

Remedy Healthcare Group Pty Limited and Australian Unity Health Limited are wholly owned subsidiaries of Australian Unity Limited.

An Australian Unity health partner, Remedy Healthcare provides targeted, solution-oriented healthcare that is based on clinically proven techniques. For more than 10 years, Remedy Healthcare has worked with more than 100,000 Australians – helping them to manage their health through caring, coaching, empowerment and support.