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Pulse Newsletter

Pulse Newsletter

September 2021

Merger of rt health with HCF

You will have recently received communications from us about the merger with HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit, mutual health fund. The merger application is now with APRA for approval and we hope to finalise the merger in November, 2021. There are some excellent benefits for rt health members due to the merger, including two months of free health insurance during the first two years of the partnership.

It’s important you know that very little will change in the way you interact with rt health. Your products, benefits and services all remain the same, as do the people serving you. It’s business as usual at rt health, with a few additional benefits coming your way. 

We wanted to do more for our wonderfully loyal members, and with this merger, we will be able to. As well as the two months’ free health insurance, the benefits will include access to HCF dental and eye clinics, sustained lower premium increases and better health programs and facilities. You will also receive access to discounts on e-gift cards and vouchers through a loyalty program. We will let you know as soon as these benefits become available. You can watch a video here of our CEO, Simone Tregeagle, talking about the merger.

SBS Inside Central Station

SBS has produced an excellent, 10-episode series, documenting what goes on behind the scenes at Sydney’s Central Station, and throughout the Sydney Trains network. Airing Sunday nights at 7:30pm, if you’ve missed the first couple of episodes, they are available via SBS On Demand.

The first episode in the documentary features the story behind the upgrade of the train line across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, starting on New Year’s Eve 2020. The existing wooden sleepers had lasted 88 years and were finally starting to deteriorate. They were to be replaced with concrete sleepers. But on this fateful New Year’s Eve a lightning strike took out one of the signal boxes on the Bridge. Workers were further hampered by rain, which was forecast to last a record-breaking eight days.

Narrated by Shane Jacobson, some of the stats of replacing the train line across the Harbour Bridge are quite staggering. The repair was 10 years in the planning with just 10 days to implement. It cost $80 million to repair the track, with 9,000 bolts to be removed along with the old sleepers to repair the steel underneath. Nine-thousand new holes had to be drilled and 9,000 new bolts to be put in.

This is a fascinating, top-drawer documentary. rt health is a proud sponsor of Inside Central Station, which features some of our members.

Please let us know if you participated in the SBS show by emailing: marketing@rthealthfund.com.au

Mullets for Mental Health

September is the Month of the Mullet. Mullets for Mental Health, that is. The Black Dog Institute has organised this great initiative to raise money for mental health research.

With suicide being the leading cause of death among Australians aged 15-44, and 50 per cent of people with symptoms of mental health illness not seeking help, it’s a subject that should be on everyone’s radar.

The Black Dog Institute conducts research to better understand why some people at risk of suicide don’t seek help; and to uncover better ways of reaching and assisting them.

And now with many companies and organisations taking part in R U OK?Day activities each year, mental health issues are moving into the mainstream. Asking someone if they are okay and having a conversation with them can change a life.  

If you want to find out more about Mullets for Mental Health you can on the Black Dog website.

COVID-19 vaccine rollouts & lifting of restrictions

All people aged 12 and over in Australia are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. People aged over 60 are now eligible for the Pfizer vaccine as well as the AstraZeneca vaccine. Health authorities advise that for those who have had one AstraZeneca shot, they should also get the same vaccine for their second shot.

In NSW, the current information is that stay-at-home orders for adults who have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will be lifted from the first Monday after the state passes the 70 per cent double vaccination target.

The lifting of restrictions once the states have reached 70% or 80% fully vaccinated are still fluctuating and vary by state, so it is best to get the latest information from your state or territory’s government health site.

And don’t forget if you have any side effects to any COVID vaccines you are covered via your rt health Hospital policy.

You can use the Vaccine Eligibility Checker to find your nearest vaccination centre and book an appointment.

Please update your banking details

To get your claims paid as soon as possible please let us know your banking details. That way we can instantly credit your account when the claim has been processed, rather than sending you a cheque, which is a much slower way of getting reimbursed.

To provide or update your banking details, you can do it on our website in the Member Self Service centre. Or you can call us or fill out a "change direct debit details" form which is on the website under Managing Your Cover and email or post it to us.

rt health mobile app

Don’t forget you can claim Extras benefits more easily by downloading the rt health mobile app. The app makes it easy to submit a claim, view your account activity and your claims history. Everything else you need to know about using the app can be found on our website.

August 2021

OPSM remote optometry

Members are now able to access OPSM Tele-Optometry, an innovative solution that gives you remote access to essential optometry services, no matter where you are. You can book a remote video consultation with an OPSM optometrist from the comfort of your home, based on suitability and eye care needs. There is no cost currently associated with this service.   

Tele-Optometry is like a short consultation in store and many eye conditions can be managed by this short consultation. If OPSM can’t resolve your issue with Tele-Optometry, they’ll immediately direct you to your nearest OPSM store, a doctor for general medical care or a hospital if necessary.

To book a consultation, contact your nearest store or call 1800 626 300 and the  team will connect you with an OPSM optometrist. OPSM stores in NSW remain open providing essential care. To find out more please follow the link https://www.opsm.com.au/tele-optometry

Meet our members

Meet Nola, 92 years young. With both her grandfather and father working on the railways, plus a brother, Nola has a long and happy history of involvement with the railways. Here she talks about her family’s experience, which included fun holidays to Sawtell, near Coffs Harbour on the NSW North Coast, when the family took up a whole train carriage for the trip. Nola joined rt health in 1946, which means she has now been a member for 76 years.

Click here to watch Nola's story

Emergency dental treatment from National Dental Care

For people affected by a current lockdown, you can still visit a National Dental Care dentist for any issue that is classed as a dental emergency. These include:

  • Toothache
  • Chipped or broken tooth that is irritating the tongue or is unsightly
  • Lost filling that is irritating the tongue or is unsightly
  • Knocked-out or loose adult tooth

To find your nearest National Dental Care location where you can use your rt health cover, click here: https://rthealthfund.com.au/health-services/find-a-dental-clinic/

Telehealth and in-person treatments

Don’t forget – whether you are in lockdown or not – you can use Telehealth services for both ancillary treatments and for GP appointments. This means you can consult practitioners such as psychologists, dieticians and occupational therapists via phone or video; as well as GPs. For physical therapists such as osteopaths and physios, you are still able to consult in person as these are essential services.

Reviewing your cover

It makes sense to review your cover regularly, especially with major life changes, such as having children. We’ve created a short video of when it’s a good time to update your cover. Our team can give you a quote to ensure you are on the right cover for your life stage.

Click here to view the video

Side-effects from Covid-19 vaccines covered by health insurance

rt health will cover members who are admitted to hospital for the treatment of an adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine if they have a hospital insurance policy. This is the same principle that applies to any treatment, whether it is required because of an adverse reaction to a vaccine, medication, or is due to some other cause.

It's normal to get some side effects when you receive a vaccine, but these are usually mild-to-moderate and generally go away within one to two days.

We’re here for you – give us a call

Despite the majority of our staff being based in Sydney on stay-at home orders, our call centre is operating at full strength and we are determined to serve all our members with efficiency and dedicated care right now.

Please feel free to call us and speak to one of our member service specialists.