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living healthy September 11

Queensland Country Health Fund Member Newsletter ed.7

winter tip

warming up without spreading out!

Q Is your hand

not working the way it should?


in focus

exercise the wonder drug Safeguarding your Contributions!

From the General Manager Health Fund I am pleased to report to Members that Queensland Country

There has been significant political focus on health insurance over

Health Fund has had a successful financial year both in terms

the past few months as the Labor Government progresses with the

of financial performance and membership growth. The Health

introduction of a bill into parliament to means test the Medicare

Fund is a not-for-profit business but some profits are still

Rebate. In brief, the bill if passed will mean that individuals earning

derived from our health benefits fund business to ensure we

more than $80,000 and couples and families above $160,000 would

continue to meet the capital requirements of the regulator, the

receive a reduced or nil Medicare rebate which will obviously add to

Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC). We

the cost of health insurance considerably. I am very concerned that

experienced strong demand for our health insurance products

the proposed changes will have a significant negative impact on the

during the year with membership growth of 7%, which is more

private health insurance industry and, in particular, on Queensland

than twice the industry average growth for last financial year.

Country Members. This change will mean that many Members who are

Our significant increase in benefits in April combined with a lower than industry average premium increase continues to ensure our products offer excellent value for money and more and more

already struggling with the cost of living may find it even more difficult to remain privately insured and will add to the extreme pressures in the public hospital system.

consumers are recognising this which has contributed to the strong

Thanks for your support of our great Fund and I welcome any

demand for our products. Growing the Fund is an important focus

feedback from Members and suggestions to improve our products

but meeting the expectations of our existing Members is our main

and services.

goal and we continue to look for ways to further improve the service and the products we offer. We have included in the Living Healthy magazine an outline of the increased and additional benefits that were introduced earlier this year and I would encourage everyone to take a few minutes to understand how these benefits may be applicable. Aaron Newman


Growth in the number of people we cover is an important part of

General Manager

managing the business to keep premium increases as low as possible.

Queensland Country Health Fund

With this in mind and to provide better access to services for our

Ph. 4750 3300

Members we are planning to open a branch in Gladstone. This branch


will offer both health insurance and banking services (offered by Queensland Country Credit Union) and we expect the branch to be open by early November. This will add to our service centre network and now provide 5 retail centres that offer the full range of Health Fund services. Health Fund





Queensland Country Health Fund












BUPA Australia


Industry Average


2 Queensland Country Health Fund | September 11






















Did you know? Excess

CPAP Machines

If you have an excess on your policy you only need to pay that excess

Sleep Apnoea is found to be more prevalent in our society today

if you are admitted to hospital. The excess is payable once per person

than ever before. Queensland Country Health Fund can help ease

and twice in the family membership year. As of April 1st this year,

the financial burden of purchasing a costly CPAP machine by paying

if you have children aged 5 and under, the excess does not apply to

a very generous benefit. It is a requirement that a sleep study is

their admissions. This is another way that Queensland Country Health

performed in a registered hospital or day surgery facility, an approved

Fund is looking after its Members.

clinic or an approved home sleep study. If you have Private Hospital cover with us, we can pay towards firstly the hire then the purchase

Pharmacy Claims

of these machines. We will pay 85% of cost to hire and/or purchase

Each year the Government sets the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for pharmacy items. This year the amount is $34.20. This means

the machine, up to $2000* every three years. We will only pay on the initial mask and tubing purchased with the machine, and a humidifier in relation to a CPAP machine. Please see our staff for more details.

that if you are purchasing scripted pharmaceuticals* that exceed this amount, we may be able to pay a benefit towards it. Pharmacy

*this limit covers all mechanical aides and appliances including CPAPÂ machines

items must be scripted, dispensed from a pharmacy or Doctor’s room, accompanied by an official pharmacy receipt and over the PBS amount. We pay benefits from $34.20. This means that you will always pay the first $34.20. For example if you have a script for Aqueous Nasal Spray priced at $44.20 we will pay $10. If you have Premium Extras you can claim up to $50 above the


$34.20, and on Essential Extras you can claim up to $30 above the $34.20. Sub-limits do apply. For further info, please contact us at *Contraceptives are not claimable unless they meet specific requirements; please contact us for further details

September 11 | Queensland Country Health Fund 3


0 0 5 $ N I W

ARE YOUR KIDS 21 AND NOT READY FOR THEIR OWN POLICY? Many of our Members have adult children aged between 21 and 25 years that in the past have needed to take out their own health insurance policy on their 21st birthday. Prior to April 1st 2011, a dependant turning 21 and not involved in full time study or an apprenticeship was not eligible to remain on their parent’s policy. At Queensland Country Health Fund, we understand that not every 21 to 25 year old chooses to study full time or embark on

HICAPS is an electronic health claiming and payments system that lets you process your claims immediately after receiving treatment, while you're still at the surgery or practice. With HICAPS you no longer have to make a separate trip to

an apprenticeship. They may be in their first full time job, doing a traineeship, or working and studying part-time. Whatever the reason, health insurance is not a priority for them and more often than not, they don’t have the extra funds needed to cover the cost themselves.

your Queensland Country branch to lodge your claim or send it

Queensland Country Health Fund has the solution. We

in via the post. It’s convenient and easy. There’s no more claim

now offer a policy called Family Plus. This means even

forms to fill in and all you need is your Queensland Country Health Fund Member card.

though your adult child between 21 and 25 may not be studying full time, they can remain on your policy for a little extra cost**.

When using HICAPS, you don't need to pay the full

If you are in this category, or would like to take advantage

consultation fee and wait for the reimbursement of your

of this policy option, please email us at

benefit - you simply swipe your Queensland Country Health

au to arrange a conversion. We can also assist with the

Fund Member card and the claim is finalised on the spot. You

transfer of dependants back onto your policy.

just pay any difference between the full consultation fee and

**Dependants that are married or in a defacto relationship

the benefit amount.

are not eligible to be covered on this policy

Next time you visit your health service provider, ask if you can

1 2

use your Queensland Country Health Fund Member card to claim on the spot with HICAPS.

Between the 1st and 31st of October, everyone who

uses HICAPS will automatically go in the draw to win 1 of 3 $500 gift cards.

Terms and conditions apply and are available by calling

1800 813 415.

HICAPS FAST claims...on the spot For more information on HICAPS visit

4 Queensland Country Health Fund | September 11

Our Sponsorships


Queensland Country Health Fund is committed to healthy living, inside and out. We love to get behind our community and support a number of different sporting teams and community events. Included in our sponsorships are North Queensland Athletics, Townsville Fire, Bowen Triathlon and the Charters Towers Gold Fever Le Tour. We also sponsor the Townsville Running Festival, of which a large number of our staff participate in. Our sponsorship of these community events and organisations reflect our strong commitment to promoting healthy lifestyle and wellbeing in our communities.


Anniversary Year We like to think that we give all our Member’s the opportunity to claim all the benefits available to them. That’s why Queensland Country Health Fund operates on a Membership year, rather than a financial or calendar year. Your Membership year is unique to you, it’s the date you joined our fund! This date is now listed on your Membership card to make it even easier for you. For more information on your Membership year, please email us at September 11 | Queensland Country Health Fund 5

HEALTHY LIVING BENEFITS ø PSA Test – Some Members who have

If you have Extras cover with us, you are able

Furthermore we will also pay towards

to claim for selected items that help manage

the following items that assist in health

your health and promote a healthy lifestyle.


per year. Medicare pays a benefit for one

We can pay benefits towards some of the

ø M  etabolic dieticians and nutritionists

test a year, and we will now pay a benefit

costs involved with joining a weight loss

when providing consultations to assist

program or quitting smoking. In the past we have only paid towards selected programs,


membership fee to any program (gym

ø B owel screening Tests and Bone Density

programs are not included).

towards the un-rebated test.

with weight loss

we will now pay towards registration or memberships or any physical activity

had prostate surgery require 2 PSA tests

Consultation fees for Diabetes Educator

Tests provided through Chemists/ physiotherapists etc

Gladstone Branch As our name implies we have a particular interest in providing health insurance services to Regional Queensland. We have service centres established in Mount Isa, Mackay, Townsville and Ayr. We are now planning to expand our service centre network and have commenced the establishment of a branch in Gladstone. Gladstone is one of the fastest growing centres in Queensland and a location where we already have a significant number of Members residing. The service centre will allow existing Members to receive refunds of claims paid, provide assistance with changes to their policy and provide policies to new Members. The branch will adopt the latest technology and allow Members to receive information using large touch screens, access their personal information online and staff can provide assistance using their iPads. The branch will be located at Shop 39 Gladstone Shopping Centre, 44-55 Dawson Road, Gladstone 4680 and will open on the 7th November.

6 Queensland Country Health Fund | September 11

SAFEGUARDING YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS! Queensland Country Health Fund is committed to supporting the good health of all our Members in lots of different ways; this includes the payment of benefits. As part of our commitment to you, we are working to ensure that we achieve the greatest possible value from your contribution dollars which are used to pay these benefits. Our claims management program is one aspect of our work in this area. Claims are audited to ensure that the treatments or services invoiced are actually the benefits our Members have received. This is delivering good results already and with your help we could do even better!

Why should Members care about inappropriate claims?

with courteous respect. You can choose to remain anonymous if you

Since the funds available for the payment of benefits are finite,

of all parties.

every dollar lost to inappropriate claiming means one dollar less available for payment of your legitimate claim. Ultimately the results of inappropriate claims mean reduced benefits for Members and higher contributions, which nobody wants.

wish. We abide by the highest standards of investigative practice and natural justice, and we will always protect the rightful interests

If you don’t feel comfortable contacting us, please call the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman on 1800 640 695, an independent body formed to help resolve complaints. We greatly appreciate the help we have already received from our

What is inappropriate claiming? It’s important to note that an overwhelming majority of healthcare

Members and look forward to future assistance as we work together to safeguard your contributions.

providers, are doing the right thing. We are talking about a relatively small number of claims where our claims analysis, investigations and audits reveal the unintentional billing for services which are not provided to Members. This is where our focus lies.

What does Queensland Country Health Fund do about this? We take our responsibility to provide our Member’s with a great value product seriously. We have dedicated staff that audit claims and, identify any areas of concern. We investigate claims, detect where inappropriate claiming has occurred and stop this from happening again. These staff liase with providers and claims assessors, aiming to reduce inappropriate claiming and recovering funds.

How can you help? The easiest way to help protect your contributions is to simply be aware of what you are being billed for. For example, are the dates of service on your receipt correct? Did you actually receive the treatment recorded? Like any other invoice or receipt you receive, it’s worth double checking. It’s also important to treat your Membership card like your credit card. Don’t leave your card with the provider, and if you misplace your card, please notify us immediately. If you have any reason to suspect inappropriate claiming please call us on 1800 813 415 or email us at to let us know. We guarantee confidentiality and will treat your concerns

September 11 | Queensland Country Health Fund 7


THE WONDER DRUG As the Western World’s health and

earn those sought-after results at a much

If exercise was a pill, it would be one of the

wellbeing continues to diminish and

more rapid pace. As time in the day appears

most effective medications available today,

the desire for a healthy body image and

to be disappearing, added with the stress

only without the negative side effects.

better quality of life continues to rise,

of work and family commitments, thankfully

“medicinal exercise” is being prescribed

research shows that favourable results can

more than ever.

be obtained in minimal time provided the

As most of us are aware, regular exercise

prescription is accurate.

Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are widely recognised as the highest qualified health professionals in the design and delivery of exercise whether it be for

plays an integral role in reducing the strain

More specifically, exercise is the key to;

treatment of serious illness and disease

of our overstretched health system but the

ø Increasing circulation

or for general health and wellbeing. An

is becoming more and more evident. Not

ø Promoting lean muscle growth

describes a university-trained and ESSA

only is exercise a well rounded and effective

ø Reducing body fat

extent of which and its ongoing importance

source of rehabilitation and treatment for


Strengthening cardiac muscle

and injuries, but its role in prevention is


Inhibiting the production of Cortisol

becoming much more recognised. Regular


Boosting immune function

our most debilitating chronic diseases

cardiovascular and resistance training has been shown to both prevent and treat life

ø Encouraging joint mobility

threatening conditions such as Hypertension,

ø Enhancing insulin sensitivity

Obesity, Depression, Type II diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease — the leading cause


Developing bone density

of death worldwide.

ø H eightening sexual drive and function

On the other hand, as allied health


professionals aim at shifting the intention of

ø Limiting pain and fatigue

exercise from treatment to prevention, sport and exercise science has come a long way in providing efficient training programs that

8 Queensland Country Health Fund | September 11

Producing power, speed and agility

ø Improving balance and flexibility

Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) (Exercise & Sports Science Australia) accredited exercise specialist who possesses the knowledge, skills and competency to design and deliver general physical activity advice and clinical exercise prescription for apparently healthy persons and for those persons with chronic and complex diseases. The aim of the intervention is to facilitate long-term behaviour change by encouraging the self-management of health through exercise and other lifestyle modifications, with a view to preventing and treating disease. Matthew Stark works at Synergy Health and Fitness Solutions, Townsville

Matthew Stark Accredited Sport and Exercise Scientist Accredited Exercise Physiologist BSpExSci GradDip ExPhys (Clin) ESSAM AEP

> If exer c

of e a n o ise was a s e b n d l u o o pill, it w ati c i d me e v i t c e f th e most ef

ay d to e l ab l i a v

September 11 | Queensland Country Health Fund 9

Is your hand not working the way it should?





and treatment of these conditions. Treatment may include one or combination of the following therapies:

ø Pain management to minimise the use of medication ø Swelling control including massage, compression bandaging and garments

ø Scar management including desensitising scars, improving appearance and ensuring scars do not restrict movement

ø Exercise programs to improve movement, dexterity and strength ø C ustom-made thermoplastic, leather or soft splinting ø Taping or bracing ø Activity modification and equipment prescription to improve independence in daily life

ø Preparation for return to work Some hand therapy services also provide electrical modalities, ultrasound and dry needling. Rehabilitation After an Operation

What is Hand Therapy? Hand therapy is a term used to describe rehabilitation of the upper limb. Despite the name, this includes the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand. Hand therapists complete a thorough assessment of the affected limb to develop an individualised treatment plan to prevent injury or impairment, restore function and enhance participation in everyday activities.

What is a Hand Therapist?

Hand therapy is beneficial following any surgery to the upper limb to ensure people recover and return to normal everyday life as soon as possible. Hand therapists work very closely with surgeons to plan a rehabilitation program that suits the individual. Hand therapy following an operation can include any of the treatments listed above, as well as wound care to promote healing and prevent infection. Work Rehabilitation Hand therapists are trained to work with employers and their employees to establish injury prevention programs and assist injured

Hand therapists are registered occupational therapists and

employees return to work. Hand therapists can visit the workplace

physiotherapists who, through further education, clinical experience

to recommend environmental modifications and/or alternative work

and independent study have specialised in the treatment of upper limb


conditions resulting from injury or disease.

Common Conditions Treated By Hand Therapists

How can a Hand Therapist Help You?

Hand therapists treat any condition involving the hand, wrist and elbow. Some of the more common conditions seen by a hand

There are three main times when a hand therapist can help you.

therapist include:

These include:


Amputations and Detipping Injuries






Dislocations and Ligament Injuries

Preventative or Conservative Treatment There are many conditions and symptoms that hand therapy can improve or resolve, often preventing people from needing an operation. Hand therapists play an important role in both diagnosis

10 Queensland Country Health Fund | September 11

Amanda Trezona Helping Hands Occupational Therapy BOccThy, MAHTA

Common Conditions Treated By Hand Therapists CONTINUED


Joint Replacements


Tendon Injuries

ø Tendonitis and Tenosynovitis such as Trigger Finger ø N erve Injuries and Compressions such as Carpal Tunnel and

Interesting product Hand therapists specialise in the fabrication of low temperature thermoplastic splints. These splints are custom made for each client. There are many advantages of thermoplastic splints, particularly in the Queensland climate. They are cooler and light-weight compared to casts and can be washed easily.


Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

How to find a Hand Therapist in Your Area?



You can find a Hand Therapist in your local area on the Australian


Wounds to the upper limb

Hand Therapy Association website


Dupuytren's Contracture



Soft Tissue Injuries

The Australian Hand Therapy Association website


Sporting Injuries


Overuse Injuries

Brachial Plexus Injuries

The American Society of Hand Therapists website

ø Autoimmune Conditions such as Scleroderma.

Hand therapists complete a thorough assessment of the affected limb to develop an individualised treatment plan September 11 | Queensland Country Health Fund 11

winter tip

WARMING UP WITHOUT SPREADING OUT! Winter is certainly here with some

Need a comfort snack during the day?

Carbs at dinner are synonymous with

record low temperatures, early

Why not try:

comfort; think a hearty stew with creamy

snowfall and a frosty bite in the air



mashed potato, a rich tomato pasta or a

Most people will change their eating


Single serve pumpkin or vegetable soup

stop you spreading:

habits with the cool weather — from


Skinny coffee/chai/hot chocolate

ø Steak with grilled vegetable salad e.g.

in the early mornings and evenings.

a bowl of porridge in the morning to soup for lunch and a slow cooked casserole for dinner. Warm, hearty

ø Sachet  coffee/chai/hot chocolate made on water with a dash of milk

food has such a comforting effect and


while hiding a flabby stomach under

ø 2–3 grainy crackers with light

many layers can sound very appealing, warmer weather is only a couple of short months away when that stomach

Small handful dried fruit and nuts

peanut butter

ø 1 mountain bread wrap with a sprinkle of cheese (melted in microwave/grill/

will be bare on the beach once again.

sandwich press)

Comfort food doesn’t have to be fat and carb laden, in large serving sizes and lead to a

Salad for lunch not cutting the mustard?

spread of the waistline. Many winter foods

Try these warm lunch options to get you

can be nutritious, warming and keep that

through the day:

beach ready body over the cooler months.

ø H omemade or canned soup (go for low

Try these suggestions on for size…

salt/low fat options) such as minestrone, vegetable, chicken or beef

Cold cereal, fruit and yoghurt or a smoothie are not so appealing in winter so to warm up straight out of bed, try:

ø Porridge  with honey/cinnamon/fruit/ dried fruit


Baked beans on toast


Poached eggs on toast


Weet-bix with warm milk

ø W  arm poached fruit with yoghurt & a sprinkle of nuts

fresh risotto. These dinner options will

zucchini, eggplant, capsicum, onion etc

ø M  arinated chicken breast with roasted veggies e.g. sweet potato or pumpkin, capsicum, onion, cauliflower, beetroot, zucchini

ø B eef and veggie soup (packed with whatever veggies you can find!)

ø Slow cooker lamb (choose a lean cut) with plenty of veggies (go easy on potato)

ø G rilled fish with asparagus, broccolini and a small serve of skinny mash (potato mashed with skim milk) A warm pudding on a cold winter’s night — delicious for the taste buds, dire for the


Try toasting your sandwich!


Small serve leftover stew/casserole

such as plums, apples or pears with low fat

ø M  ake extra rissoles and make a rissole

custard, a low fat baked custard, a healthy

sandwich with extra salad

ø Toasted wrap with chicken or tuna, a sprinkle of cheese, tomato and spinach

ø Small serve pasta (best on your more active days!)

ø Low fat frozen meal such as Lean

waist-line. Try baked or poached fruits

apple crumble (go easy on the butter in the crumble!) or succumb to a smaller serve of a delicious pudding once a week as a treat. Winter is not only a time to undo your hard work in the nutrition department, but also with fitness. Getting out of a nice, warm bed on a cold, dark Winter’s morning doesn’t

Cuisine, Weight Watchers etc

(: K k L @ 12 Queensland Country Health Fund | September 11

Lauren Nugent Eat Smart Nutrition Consultant

sound so appealing. Instead of skipping your exercise session, change to a Winter friendly option:

ø Take a longer lunch and exercise in the warm part of the day — take a walk, run or ride in the sunshine!

ø Try a gym class or indoor group exercise session

ø Set up a circuit at home in the comfort of a warm room — tricep dips, sit-ups, push-ups, squats, lunges and many other exercises can easily be done at home

ø Try Bikram yoga — it’s definitely warm in a 38-degree room!


Walk to work or home from work

ø U se the weekend for a longer exercise session later in the day — take a long ride, walk or hike

ø G et an exercise DVD or use your Wii fitness programs

ø O rganise a friendly touch, tennis, soccer or netball match with friends, kids or family If you need more suggestions, recipes, tips and hints on keeping lean over Winter check out the Eat Smart blog at

September 11 | Queensland Country Health Fund 13

Queensland Country Health Fund prides itself on offering products with market leading benefits. We spend time each year reviewing these benefits to make sure we are offering competitive benefits and a value for money product. In April this year, we increased a number of our benefits.

Dental Benefit Increases A major focus this year centred on raising individual dental limits and benefits. The aim of increasing these benefits is to encourage better dental health amongst our Members. Examples of new benefits payable on some commonly used dental items can be found below: Our Benefits Dental Item Description

Premium Extras

Essential Extras

Smart Start

Comprehensive Oral Exam (011)




Periodic Oral Exam (012)




Removal of calculus (114)




Topical fluoride (121)



Surgical removal of tooth (322)



Adhesive restoration/filling (531)




$15 $131 $64

In addition to raising individual item number benefits, we have also increased the sub-limits for diagnostic, preventative and oral surgery services. This ensures that our Members can take full advantage of our increased benefits. For more information on these sub-limits, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Optical Benefits Increase Optical benefits have also been reviewed and increased. You are able to use your whole optical limit towards any current optical item; contacts, lenses, frames, prescription sunglasses, and we will cover up to your available limit per Member, per membership year. Optical Benefits – annual limit per person per membership year Premium Extras

Essential Extras



14 Queensland Country Health Fund | September 11

BENEFITS IN FOCUS Exercise Physiology


We have recently introduced a new benefit for Members who participate in Exercise Physiology. Benefits for this therapy are available for both Essential and Premium Extras. The benefits are outlined in the table below: Premium Extras

Essential Extras

Exercise Physiology

$550 sub-limit per membership year.

$350 sub-limit per membership year.

(Paid under Physiotherapy)

Limit applies per person covered

Limit applies per person covered





Initial consultation 2 months waits Monthly Program Fee

To be eligible for receive a benefit for exercise physiology, a letter from your medical practitioner is required. It must state that the referral is for an existing medical condition, including rehabilitation, pre & post operative conditions and chronic disease management.

Physiotherapy Physiotherapy is medical treatment for problems of the joints, muscles, or nerves, which involves doing exercises or having part of your body massaged or warmed. Some people require physio as a part of their rehabilitation or recovery following a procedure. Queensland Country Health Fund pays benefits towards Physiotherapy if you have Essential or Premium Extras cover, or hold a Smart Start policy. Please see below for benefits. Premium Extras

Essential Extras

Smart Start

$550 sub-limit per membership

$350 sub-limit per membership

$300 sub-limit per membership

year. Limit applies per

year. Limit applies per

year. Limit applies per

person covered

person covered

person covered







Physiotherapy Initial consultation 2 months waits Monthly Program Fee

Occupational Therapy Occupational therapy is a profession focused with promoting health and well being through occupation. The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. Occupational therapists, or OT’s, achieve this outcome by enabling people to do things that will enhance their ability to participate or by modifying the environment to better support participation. Queensland Country Health Fund covers Occupational Therapy consultations under Premium or Essential Extras. Please see below for more benefit information: Premium Extras $1400 overall limit per membership

Occupational Therapy Initial consultation

year. Limit applies per person covered

Essential Extras $900 overall limit per membership year. Limit applies per person covered





2 months waits Subsequent consultation

September 11 | Queensland Country Health Fund 15

Worried about retirement? relax.

Your super is safe with Queensland CountrY’s superannuation solution. • No share market exposure • Capital guaranteed by QCCU • No administration fees and a competitive rate

a refreshing attitude to banking Visit your local Queensland Country Credit union branch or for more information Terms, conditions and fees apply. This product is issued by Queensland Country Credit Union Limited ABN 77 087 651 027 AFSL/ACL 244533 A copy of the Product Disclosure Statement can be obtained from your local branch. Before acquiring this product you should consider whether or not its appropriate for you.

Living Healthy Magazine August 2011  
Living Healthy Magazine August 2011  

Queensland Country Health Fund Living Healthy Magazine August 2011