COVID-19 FAQs

 

It’s important to us that you have all the information you need in these uncertain times, including how COVID-19 relates to your AA Health policy. These FAQ’s will help you understand what’s covered within your policy. If you would like more clarification on this, please get in touch with us on 0800 758 758 or by emailing [email protected]. While we’re working a little differently these days with teams based at home; we’re still here to help you through the lock-down period.

For more information on COVID-19, we recommend you refer to the Government’s COVID-19 website.  And if you are concerned about any signs and symptoms you should follow the Ministry of Health’s guidelines.

What should I do if I become unwell?

If you have a fever, cough or difficulty breathing please telephone the COVID Healthline (for free) on 0800 358 5453. Healthline will provide you with medical advice and what to do next.

If you have travelled internationally in the last 14 days or been in contact with someone with COVID-19 and become unwell with a cough, sore throat, runny nose or fever, you should call your doctor in advance. Calling in advance will help to avoid the spread of the virus.

Does my health insurance cover COVID-19?

As Kiwis, we are very fortunate to have a public health system that provides free medical care for hospitalisation caused by COVID-19. This means that The Ministry of Health will cover the cost of hospitalisation, instead of AA Health, if you are admitted to a public hospital with COVID-19, including the below:

  • The surveillance of people who are required to be quarantined
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment of the person’s infectious or quarantinable disease
  • Follow-up services and
  • Contact tracing services.

The extent of the Ministry of Health cover will be determined based on what is appropriate in the circumstances to address the risks to other people and as determined appropriate by a clinician. For more information on that, please visit health.govt.nz

While this urgent care for COVID-19 will be provided by the government and is excluded from AA Health policies, AA Health will cover the treatment of any chronic conditions that develop as a result of having the virus, in line with your policy wording. The treatment that is available for you will depend on the cover type that you have. If you’re unsure what that looks like for you, your AA Health account will give an overview of the benefits within your policy and remaining annual balances.

Does my cover change as a result of COVID-19 being declared a pandemic?

When the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on 11 March 2020, it did not affect your cover with AA Health. Your cover will operate as per its normal policy terms and conditions.

Does my policy cover me for doctor and specialist appointments by video or telephone?

Telephone and video consultations will be treated the same as in-person consultations and will be covered in line with your policy terms and conditions. That means that if your policy covers you for GP or specialist consultations, and these need to be conducted by video or teleconsultations due to COVID-19, AA Health will cover these as an exception to the normal policy requirements for consultations to be in-person.  

This position will be reviewed regularly to ensure it reflects any changes with the COVID-19 situation in New Zealand and any change to that will be updated through the website. Standard claim criteria, such as the requirement to provide an invoice for a consultation, still apply.

How can I find a GP or specialist that offers video or teleconsultations?

We recommend that you first check if your current GP or specialist offers video or teleconsultations. If they don’t offer this service, Whitecoat provides a directory of dedicated telehealth providers across New Zealand which includes GPs and specialists.

If I've been financially affected by COVID-19, what should I do?

If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, please call us on 0800 758 758. One of our team will talk you through the options available to you and help you find a solution to suit your needs

What happens if my treatment is delayed or cancelled as a result of COVID-19?

If your treatment is delayed or cancelled as a result of COVID-19, your medical practitioner, specialist or surgeon will advise you what the next steps are. If you need to update your pre-approval to reflect the new date of your treatment, simply let us know via email [email protected] or phone 0800 758 758.

Am I covered for diagnostics tests for COVID-19?

The Ministry of Health will cover diagnostics tests for COVID-19. Please note these tests can only be ordered by your doctor if you meet the testing criteria. Should you be asked to pay for these tests, you can check your policy details on your AA Health Account to see if your policy may cover you.

Will COVID-19 be considered a pre-existing condition?

If you take out cover with AA Health with an existing medical condition caused by COVID-19, you will still have cover in line with your policy wordings. Please be aware that some conditions may have a stand-down period or be permanently excluded, regardless of whether or not they are caused by COVID-19. 

Does my policy cover me to visit my GP if I think I have COVID-19?

AA Health Everyday cover will cover you for COVID-19 related GP visits as it usually would, where 60% can be reimbursed.

If the public health system is at full capacity and turns me away, can I use my private health insurance?

At this stage, all hospital treatment related to COVID-19 would be provided by the Ministry of Health through the District Health Boards throughout New Zealand. In the event a large number of the population become infected with COVID-19, District Health Boards will work with their Primary Health Organisations and community primary care providers to create pathways of care that best suit their regions and populations.

Our Private Hospital policies all exclude cover for acute conditions, meaning emergency treatment is not covered at private hospitals. These cases are dealt with through the free public health system.  Health insurance is designed to complement this, not replace it.

Should I cancel my planned surgery as a result of COVID-19?

It is recommended that you contact your medical practitioner, specialist or surgeon for any questions related to COVID-19 and upcoming procedures. They will be able to advise you of what the next steps are.