Tag Archives: healthcare

Your health cover – seven reasons why it shouldn’t be set and forget …

All too often people take out health cover at one life stage and forget to update it as their needs, and the needs of their family, change over time. Peta Gane, from rt’s member services team, shares some expert tips to getting the right kind of cover for your needs – and why your health cover should have an occasional health check!

‘We’ve all heard about people caught without the right level of health cover. It’s really distressing for the person and for us when we find someone is on the wrong cover for their needs. That’s why it’s so important to give your health cover a health check from time to time,’ she says.

Peta says she and the team at rt find people who might be on the wrong type of cover by looking at their age and the level of cover they have, and by comparing it with data that tells them the types of medical treatments people in those age groups are most likely to use.

Taking a proactive approach and reviewing your health cover by talking to a representative will make sure your needs are met. Peta explains saying: ‘It’s important to encourage people to give their health cover a regular check. And, there are a number of life events and stages when checking your level of cover may be especially important.’ These include:

01 You’re turning 31, thinking of dropping your hospital cover or if you’re new to Australia

You may be at risk of getting stuck with a Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading if:

  • you don’t have private hospital insurance before 1 July following your 31st birthday
  • you’re over the age of 31 and have had hospital cover, but let it lapse
  • you’ve moved to Australia and are eligible to receive full Medicare entitlements.

‘The LHC loading is a government penalty designed to encourage people to take out
private hospital cover and to keep it. Once you have an LHC loading, you’ll have to
pay it for ten continuous years, so avoiding it or minimising it as early as possible is
important – the team at rt can show you how,’ says Peta.

02 You’re planning a trip

Australian private health insurance only covers you for treatment you receive in Australia and for products and services you buy in the country. So, if you’re heading overseas for 28 days or more, suspend your cover.

03 You get a pay rise

‘If you’re earning over a certain amount and you don’t have private hospital cover, you’ll be charged an additional tax called the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS). Single people earning over $90,000 a year and couples/families earning over $180,000 are affected. If this applies to you, you’re better off having hospital cover than paying the extra tax – you’ll avoid the surcharge and gain all the benefits of private cover. The income tiers are set by the tax office; the current tiers are in place until 30 June 2018,’ explains Peta.

04 You’re planning a family

‘Having a baby is an exciting time and one of your most important considerations will be where you plan to have your baby and who you want to see you through your pregnancy.’ Peta urges you to check that the hospital cover you have includes pregnancy in a private hospital and remember that waiting periods may apply before you’re covered if you are new to a fund or if you upgrade to a cover that includes pregnancy. ‘If you have a single membership with rt, for example, you’ll need to upgrade to a family or sole-parent family membership at least two months before the baby’s due date. If you don’t upgrade, and your baby needs hospital care following birth, your baby won’t be covered. If you already have a couple, family or sole-parent family membership your baby will be covered if hospital care is needed. Planning ahead enables you to put your mind at ease so you can enjoy a healthy pregnancy and beyond, our team can guide you,’ she explains.


05 The kids are growing

Got kids who might need orthodontic treatment soon? Get the right kind of extras cover to help during this important (and expensive) time. ‘When your kids reach about 12, think about checking or upgrading your extras to make sure they are covered if they need orthodontic treatment,’ says Dr Lincoln Law, dentist at Healthy Teeth. ‘There’s a waiting period of 12 months before you can claim orthodontics if you’re not already covered, so as with everything that’s important in life, plan ahead!’ adds Peta.

06 You’re celebrating a graduation

With rt, your children can be covered by your family or sole-parent family membership until their 21st birthday. After that, they can stay on your membership until they’re 25 if they’re studying full-time at an approved Australian school, college or university, and aren’t married or living in a de facto relationship. If they aren’t studying, you can keep the kids covered under your membership for an additional contribution that’s a fraction of what they’d pay for their own cover. ‘It’s called ‘family extension and it’s available with rt’s Premium Hospital cover,’ Peta explains.

If you join or are with rt health, your kids are eligible to join, and provided they transfer to their own membership with an equivalent level of cover within two months of leaving yours, they’ll have no waiting periods to serve.

07 There’s a significant birthday on the horizon

Celebrating important milestones in the family is one of life’s greatest joys. But with different ages and stages, come different health needs. As you get older, you’re more likely to need certain types of medical treatment for knees, hips, hearts and more.


‘No matter what your life stage, think about whether your health cover is working for you right now. And, will it meet your upcoming needs? We’re committed to providing our existing and new members with the best advice possible and matching them with the right cover for their changing needs!’ ends Peta.

Call us on 1300 56 46 46 to join rt health and get the rt health check your health deserves!

Peta Gane, member services team




Have you heard the news? We’re now a ‘Members Own Health Fund’

AGM 14-Annual Report_web
Matthew Moore, CEO at rt health fund.

Australia’s new mutual health fund alliance has today announced itself to the nation with the news that we offer a genuine alternative when it comes to health insurance.

‘We’ve been one of this country’s best kept secrets for too long,’ says rt health fund CEO Matthew Moore, ‘but now mutual health funds are able to bring their message to a wider audience than ever before’.

More than 2.5 million Australians are already covered by one of the 15 102-MembersOwn-02Feb15participating funds in the new Members Own Health Funds alliance representing Australia’s mutual health funds, and there are millions more who will be delighted to know that there are funds like ours that exist to serve them, not to profit from them, when it comes to their health cover.

With their big budgets it’s easy for some funds to monopolise the message, we’re excited that together Members Own Health Funds will be able to spread the word that Australians have a choice when it comes to investing in their most important asset – their health.

rt health fund CEO, Matthew Moore, talking to media at the Members Own Health Funds launch.

The message is clear – Members Own Health Funds:

  • Are run to benefit members, not shareholders.
  • On average, give more back to members.
  • On average, offer a better, more personalised service to members.

And we’re even more excited to tell you that we’re top of the pile when it comes to member service and satisfaction!

That’s right! The most extensive research into Australia’s health fund industry[i] found that members of rt health fund are the happiest with their fund – nationwide!

In a nutshell, the large-scale evaluation of health funds in Australia found that even the giants of the industry couldn’t compete with us. Members of rt health fund reported:

  • The highest levels of satisfaction, trust and loyalty.
  • That they are more likely to recommend friends, family and workmates to join rt health fund compared with members of other funds.
  • Our member service as being the best in the entire health fund industry.
  • That they are the least likely of any health fund members to be considering switching funds.
  • That they are more likely to accept the advice of their fund compared with members of other funds.
  • Strongly associating the fund with value for money, better claim rebates and making private health insurance easy to understand.
  • Enjoying all the benefits of excellent value private health insurance, while knowing that they are part of a community that shares ownership of the health fund they belong to.

Steam PowerFormed by rail transport workers over 125 years ago, rt health fund is today just as committed to providing value health cover and exceptional service to members of the transport and energy industries.

‘This year, many of our large-fund counterparts may be asking themselves, who is rt health fund? We’re proud to introduce ourselves as Australia’s first registered health fund – and we’re honoured to be a part of the ‘Members Own Health Funds’ alliance and to share the news that our member services are the best in the business! Call us to see why!’ ends Matthew Moore.

[i] IPSOS, ‘Healthcare and insurance in Australia’, 2013