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Health fund changes may impact many

15 Jan 2019

From 1 April 2019 more than six million Australians may be at risk of losing critical health fund benefit

Welcome to 2019. We hope you had some respite from busy everyday schedules and commitments over Christmas and had time to catch up with family and friends. COTA staff and volunteers return to an exciting time for the organisation as 2019 marks our 50th year of operation in the Northern Territory! We have some special events planned to celebrate, so make sure you keep in touch via this column, our online calendar, follow our Facebook page/s or sign up to our emails.

Not all news is so welcome unfortunately. A recent article regarding sweeping health reforms taking effect from 1 April 2019 noted that more than six million Australians will be at risk of losing critical health fund benefits. From this date, all health fund policies will have to be divided into Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic categories. The Federal government has set new rules outlining which medical procedures must be covered as a minimum requirement for each level of cover. Health funds have not as yet explained to their respective members how this will affect them and how much more this may cost. We urge all seniors to contact their health funds as soon as possible to find out what the changes may mean for them, and to also to shop around health fund providers to get the best deal.

The initial hearing of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will take place in Adelaide on Friday 18 January. Royal Commission hearings are open to the public and also streamed through the Royal Commission website. This can be reached via agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au. Submissions can also be made through this site. As mentioned at the end of last year, any Territorians seeking assistance with submissions can contact the Darwin-based solicitors, De Silva Hebron on 08 8924 4944.

~ Sue Shearer, CEO COTA NT

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