Southern Cross Health Insurance (Southern Cross) is offering its members online GP consultations, and access to counselling or wellbeing coaching, completely free of charge, for the next four months.
The offer of telehealth and mental wellbeing support is a significant investment, and can be accessed by all Southern Cross members, regardless of their policy, from 1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022*.
The GP telehealth consultations will be available through CareHQ, an online GP consultation service made possible by Southern Cross and ProCare, and must be booked through the MySouthernCross app.
Members can also access up to three free counselling or wellbeing coaching sessions with Raise (formerly EAPworks), a Southern Cross Healthcare joint venture and which is a leading provider of support for New Zealanders wanting mental health and wellbeing assistance in New Zealand. These services can be provided online or in person.
Nick Astwick, CEO of Southern Cross Health Insurance, said it was important to the organisation that it could take practical steps to support members in ways they really valued.
“We’re living in very uncertain times, and we feel that removing financial barriers to accessing online GP appointments or seeking support when things get tough - is a very tangible way to help our members.
“Many New Zealanders will face mental health and wellbeing challenges at some time in their lives, and this has been brought into sharper focus during the pandemic. We want to make sure our members can access support if they need it,” said Astwick.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, New Zealanders have embraced online GP consultations as a safe and easy way to access primary healthcare, particularly during lockdown periods.
“As New Zealand opens up and adjusts to living with COVID-19 in the community, we’ll see telehealth services become even more important, particularly to those who have to self-isolate at home,” added Astwick. “Online GP consultations give members the flexibility to see a doctor if they’re away on holiday, or if their usual GP practice is closed over the summer holiday period.”
“Just like we did with the premium pledge to members last year, we wanted to support our members again in a meaningful way that reflects the current challenges, so we’re pleased to deliver this support in a way that we know our members need at this time.
“The period over Christmas is often a time of added pressure and stress, and this year it follows some tumultuous months in lockdown. It was important to us that we could launch these additional support measures ahead of what might be a challenging time for some New Zealanders,” said Astwick.
*Southern Cross members can find out more about the CareHQ and Raise offer (which is subject to availability and to change) and read the full terms and conditions here.
CareHQ is a partnership between Southern Cross Health Insurance and ProCare. CareHQ provides New Zealanders with a convenient and easy-to-use online consultation when they can’t see their regular GP or need an appointment now or after-hours. Appointments are available 7 days a week, 7am-7pm, every day of the year. CareHQ does not enrol patients, allowing continuity of care with their usual GP. There is a flat rate of $65 per appointment, and normally Southern Cross members get a 15 per cent discount when booking through the My Southern Cross app.
Raise is a leading provider of mental health and wellbeing support in New Zealand and has trained practitioners, counsellors, psychologists and other relevant providers throughout New Zealand. Their key specialist areas include grief, relationships, stress, parenting, drug and alcohol, family violence, workplace issues (including change management, harassment, bullying and conflict), and career development.
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