Message for our Victorian members
New restrictions on non-urgent elective surgery
In the last week, the Victorian Premier has announced that all non-urgent Category 2 elective surgery across public and private hospitals in Victoria would be paused, to ensure the availability of hospital beds, equipment and staff, and for the evolving situation with aged care home residents. This expands on the announcement made on 16 July suspending all Category 3 elective surgery.
Where possible, pre-booked surgeries will proceed, but for the time being only new Category 1 and urgent Category 2 surgeries will be booked.
If you need to find out about the status of a pre-booked or planned admission, it is important that you speak with your doctor and hospital first to confirm whether you have been impacted.
Support measures are still available to all members
We take this opportunity to remind members, especially those in Victoria, of the support measures available at this time -
- Options for financial relief are still available if you are experiencing hardship due to COVID-19. We encourage you to contact our Member Services team to discuss your situation and the options available. Each submission will be reviewed confidentially and, on a case-by-case basis.
- All members with a hospital policy will continue to be fully covered if admitted to hospital as a private patient due to COVID-19. This includes members with Smart Starter Bronze Plus, regardless of the exclusions and restrictions that apply on this policy. Normal waiting periods apply for new members.
- Tele and video consultations for psychology, physiotherapy, dietetics, speech pathology, occupational therapy and podiatry can still be claimed under all Extras covers.
- Information on hospital in the home services can be found here.
Our thoughts are with members as the uncertainty continues
We extend our thoughts to all members in Victoria, as the uncertainty and events of heightened stress continue. We especially thank those responding to the crisis on the front-line, and the sacrifices they are making to keep our community safe.
We are closely monitoring the evolving situation and will continue to provide updates as they arise. At this stage, it is too early to determine the impact of this announcement, and time will ultimately tell if we need to provide more options and support to members. Pleasingly, we have seen a return to normal for hospital admissions since the previous nation-wide elective surgery suspensions, implemented in March and lifted soon after in May. Many services returned to 100% (or more) of the numbers we were seeing ‘pre-COVID’, reinforcing the sentiment that this surgery is largely deferred and not cancelled permanently.
As part of a member-owned, not-for-profit organisation, Avant Mutual, it is not our intention to profit from these events, and will ensure we return any extraordinary profits back to members.
Our continued service levels during COVID-19
We have been proactively implementing measures to allow us to continue serving our members as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate. Please rest assured that we anticipate no significant changes or disruptions to the normal level of service provided.
Together with servicing our members, the health and wellbeing of our staff is of paramount importance. Although we have not experienced a case of COVID-19, we must put in to practice measures to reduce any potential risk to our team and the community, which include remote working arrangements. We thank you for your patience for any short delays you may experience during this time.
So please don’t hesitate to still contact us with any enquiries about your health cover, particularly if you have an upcoming admission. Now is also a good time to ensure you have set your login details for our new Online Member Services. Submit your claims, update your payment and other details, check your limits and other policy information, and request a time for us to call you - all online on any device.
Information on Avant’s preparations can be found here.
Avant Mutual website has a comprehensive set of FAQs about the disease, testing, isolation, and medico-legal ramifications.