Christmas to me is a very special time of the year where I am able to spend time with family and catching up with friends. This year has been very busy for me with travel and training so it’s been a little while since I’ve been home and I’m really looking forward to some much needed down time. In particular the last few months have been crazy with travelling to Paris, London and Berlin where I have been competing in World Cups and the London 6 Day. I had a fantastic time and some success along the way so it’s rewarding to know that all the training over the winter months have been worth it and I’m on track towards the World Championships and Tokyo 2020.
So what’s next for me? Apart from training over the Christmas and New Year period I will be competing in the Westbury Criterium on Boxing Day and also the Launceston Christmas Carnival on the 27th December. I’m really excited to be able to race back in Tassie this year and there’s a really strong line up of women so everyone should be in for some great racing from top class cyclists.
Other than racing my family and I plan to spend some lazy days at the beach, hopefully soak up some good Tassie weather and try really hard to not over eat my quota of Christmas cake!
Northern Tasmanian mothers have been well supported and “amazed” by the range of services offered by St.LukesHealth’s Post Natal Service.
The Post Natal Service will celebrate its first birthday today at the Mantra Charles Hotel with a high tea for families who have used the service.
St.LukesHealth entered the private post-natal market last year after Calvary Healthcare closed its St Vincent’s post-natal unit in December 2016. As a result of the closure, expectant mothers in Northern Tasmania were left with no other option than to be a private patient in the Launceston General Hospital.
In the first 12 months of the St.LukesHealth service, 102 mums and 104 babies have used the luxury hotel-based and home-based program.
Midwives and lactation consultants made 306 visits to families, with many mothers also receiving follow-up phone calls in the weeks after they went home.
St.LukesHealth chairman Chris Dockray said he was pleased to offer members a personalised service where families can receive support to help them bond with their newborn and address any health or feeding concerns.
“This service helps alleviate some of the stress that families may have when they have a child,” he said.
“We are pleased to work in partnership with the Mantra Charles Hotel, as well as with many other providers to offer this service.”
First-time mum Jessica Panoff was left highly impressed with the St.LukesHealth Post Natal Service.
“For a first-time mum, it was a really great experience. You have the opportunity to have quality time to bond with your baby and the peace of mind that the Launceston General Hospital is only across the road,” Ms Panoff said.
“The transition to the Mantra was great and the staff were lovely.”
St.LukesHealth is a Tasmanian not-for-profit health fund that has been delivering private health insurance since 1952.
St.LukesHealth has six customer care centres around the state and employs 136 Tasmanians.
In the last financial year, St.LukesHealth returned 92 per cent of all premiums paid in benefits back to members compared to just 84 per cent from the big for-profit funds.
What is Lifetime Health Cover?
Lifetime Health Cover is designed to encourage people to take out hospital cover earlier in life and to maintain
How do I avoid paying a Lifetime Health Cover loading?
The lower premium you can pay is the base rate. To qualify for this base rate premium, a person needs to take out hospital cover before July 1 immediately following their 31st birthday. People who join after this date will pay an extra 2 per cent loading (in addition to the base rate) for each year they are over the age of 30, up to a maximum of 70 per cent.
Are there exemptions?
People born on or before July 1, 1934 can join a registered health insurer at any time and always qualify for the base rate premium. Other provisions apply to people who were overseas when Lifetime Health Cover was introduced, those overseas when they turned 31, migrants, those covered by a Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card and members of the Australian Defence Force. New migrants to Australia who are aged 31 or over will not have to pay a loading if they purchase hospital cover within 12 months of being registered for full Medicare benefits.
Can the Lifetime Health Cover loading be removed?
The Australian Government allows health funds to remove any Lifetime Health Cover loading that applies to a person after that person has held hospital cover for a continuous 10-year period. The government recognises that people may need to stop their hospital cover for various reasons, such as during times of financial difficulty. Therefore, people can cease their hospital cover for a cumulative period of up to two years and 364 days over their lifetime, without incurring any premium loadings when they rejoin. If a member ceases their membership for three years or more, calculated over a lifetime, they will pay an additional 2 per cent loading for each full year of absence over and about the first two years when they returned to private hospital cover.
What happens when I move funds?
When you move funds, your Lifetime Health Cover loading moves with you. All registered health funds are obliged to recognise the certified age of any contributor wanting to transfer from another fund. The period of absence rule will apply to any gap in hospital cover if a member is not paid up to date with their previous fund.
For more information about Lifetime Health Cover, visit www.health.gov.au
St.LukesHealth has begun the search for young health and wellbeing advocates who are making a difference in your community, to nominate into the St.LukesHealth Healthier Communities Award, part of the Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards.
“The St.LukesHealth Healthier Communities Award will recognise young Tasmanian individuals who are dedicated to those in need of health and wellbeing services within their local communities. There are many who passionately and selflessly provide support, guidance, encouragement, assistance, innovation or professional services within the health sector.
The Healthier Communities award acknowledges the services, efforts, actions and positive input provided by health and community service professionals, volunteers and carers. These individuals create a sense of community spirit, which plays a vital role in enhancing the quality of life of those who depend on them. We would be delighted to receive nominations from or on behalf of young health and wellbeing advocates that are making your local community a better place to live” Grayson Genders, Manager Brand and Marketing at St.LukesHealth.
Nominations are now open in the following categories:
Category winners will each receive $1,000 thanks to Axsys and a magnificent trophy. One of the nine category winners will be chosen as the Premier’s Young Achiever of the Year and will receive an additional $2,000 from the Tasmanian Government and a State trophy.
To submit a nomination, simply go online to www.awardsaustralia.com/tasyaa and click ‘Nominate Now.’
Nominations close Wednesday 13th December 2017. For assistance please feel free to contact the Awards Office on 6234 9677 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
At St.LukesHealth our customers are our Number #1 priority and hearing such amazing feedback is something that we love to receive! We recently received this email from one of our happy members in regards to our new Postnatal service in Northern Tasmania.
"I was raving to my wife about the innovativeness of St Lukes over breakfast this morning and she says that as a member she can totally endorse the customer experience. Our daughter has just had a child a few years ago so I was most impressed with the maternity package your team has innovated as well.
Kind regards and congratulations on your #1 winner status"
- Owen Tibury
Director, BOFA Ltd
If you have any feedback for us whether its good or bad, please let us know and email us here!
As members in Northern Tasmania do not have access to a private hospital to have their baby or for their postnatal recovery, St.LukesHealth has partnered with the Mantra Charles Hotel, to offer a personalised postnatal service. After your baby’s birth at the LGH and following clearance from your obstetrician, you can enjoy a few extra nights before you go home at the Mantra Charles Hotel to allow extra time to rest and to get to know your baby whilst being supported by experienced midwives and lactation consultants.
The following are included in the St.LukesHealth, Mantra Charles Hotel service:
Your room is specially prepared and equipped with the following:
Who is eligible to access the service? This service is available to St.LukesHealth Members in Northern Tasmania who do not have access to a private hospital with postnatal services.
Mums who deliver their baby at the LGH can access the postnatal service at the Mantra Charles Hotel. (Mums and bubs must be well enough to go home to use the service as this is a post‐discharge service).
The postnatal service is available on all hospital products with the exception of Packaged Budget 500 Level 2, Budget 500 Level 2 and Hospital Co-pay. A 12 month waiting period applies to new members and members transferring from another fund.
What about members in Southern or North West Tasmania? St.LukesHealth Members who live in Southern or North West Tasmania continue to be served by the private hospitals in those regions.
To read the Postnatal care brochure, please Click Here.
Home Based Postnatal Service
We know some mums would prefer to relax in the comfort of their own home. As an alternative to our hotel service, Northern Tasmanian members when discharged from the LGH can return home and still receive our support.
For further information Click Here.
The goal of R U OK? Day is to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support anyone struggling with life.
The Medicare Levy Surcharge is an additional surcharge imposed on people earning above defined income thresholds, who are eligible for Medicare but who do not hold an appropriate level of private hospital cover. This surcharge is in addition to the normal Medicare Levy. On 1 July 2012 the income thresholds changed in line with the introduction of income testing for the Australian Government Rebate.
The table below shows the Medicare Levy Surcharge that applies for the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 financial years - based on the corresponding income level.
Single income $0 - $90,000
Family income $0 - $180,000
Medicare Levy Surcharge = nil
Single income $90,001 - $105,000
Family income $180,001 - $210,000
Medicare Levy Surcharge = 1.00%
Single income $105,001 - $140,000
Family income $210,001 - $280,000
Medicare Levy Surcharge = 1.25%
Single income $140,001 +
Family income $280,001 +
Medicare Levy Surcharge = 1.50%
St.LukesHealth acknowledges that the opportunity to avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge, however, is limited in its scope to the proportionately few people, including individuals and families, who fall into the Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 income tiers.
For families with children, the above income thresholds are increased by $1,500 for each child after the first. The income thresholds are indexed annually to keep pace with changes to average wages.
People earning above the threshold amounts may avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge by taking out an appropriate level of private hospital cover with a registered health insurer. An appropriate level of hospital cover is one which does not have an excess greater than $500 for single members or greater than $1,000 for couples, single parent or family members.
If you take out private hospital cover with St.LukesHealth you may be exempt from paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge from the date the policy is effective on all hospital covers except for our high excess product - Hospital 1000 (JT).
It should be noted, if a couples combined taxable income exceeds the couples threshold, both parties must hold appropriate hospital cover to avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge. If only one of the couple holds private hospital cover and the other does not, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will require both parties to pay the additional levy.
The additional Medicare Levy Surcharge will also apply to members earning above the income thresholds during any period of policy suspension.
For more information on the Medicare Levy Surcharge visit www.ato.gov.au.
St.LukesHealth Chairman, Mr Chris Dockray has announced Mr Paul Lupo will replace Mr Chris Williams as Chief Executive Officer after an exhaustive search for his replacement.
Mr Dockray paid tribute to Mr Williams who has worked for the organisation for 40 years, of which four were as CEO, and announced last year he would retire once a suitable replacement had been found for his position.
“The Board and I give thanks to Chris Williams for his 40 years of service,” Mr Dockray said. “During his time as CEO, Mr Williams cemented St.LukesHealth’s reputation as an award winning organisation for customer satisfaction and innovation and we wish him all the best for his retirement,” Mr Dockray said.
Mr Lupo has an extensive background in Tasmanian business, having worked with leading accounting firm KPMG for 12 years before taking roles as CEO with Petuna Seafood Group and Houston’s Farm – both significant players in their respective sectors.
Mr Dockray said Mr Lupo brings CEO experience as well as a great depth of skill in strategic and business planning to St.LukesHealth.
“The Board and I are extremely confident in his capacity to strengthen the culture of St.LukesHealth and lead the business into the future,” Mr Dockray said.
Mr Lupo said he was excited to join St.LukesHealth and looked forward to working closely with the Board and the highly dedicated staff of the organisation.
Mr Lupo will take the role from June 19, 2017.
Amy Cure, Australian processional track cyclist and St.LukesHealth Brand Ambassador.
I often get asked about my disappointment from the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. The feeling of settling into the village was great; receiving all our clothes and getting to train on the Olympic velodrome. It was something very special, training was going very well until 3 days out from competition. We were involved in a training crash at 60km/h that left three out of us four girls battling from hematomas, bruises and a lot of missing skin. We were all a bit shaken up, but at least we walked away with no broken bones.
Soon enough it was time for racing, we managed to qualify in third position. We were very happy with this, considering our crash. After qualifying, we had one day off before the first round, and finals. Every day counted for recovery after that nasty crash, we felt considerably better every day. I was so happy with how we pulled together as a team in these circumstances; we stayed positive throughout.
We raced the United States in the first round, USA qualified five seconds faster than us but we really felt we could improve a lot more. However we didn’t cute back our time - a massive blow to all of us. We had come so far and now the chances of standing on that podium were out of reach. The team were all so positive up to this moment. I could feel the pain from every member in the team. It was hard to deal with. I didn’t know what to do, but I knew our fighting spirit wasn’t gone, we had one more round to go.
After the first round we went back to the village to rest up for our final ride later that night. Everyone was so upset and I knew I had to say something. I pulled the girls together for a chat. I didn’t know what to say until it came out of my mouth. It went something like:
“I know I’ve never been good with words or speeches. But I’m so happy with the fighting spirit everyone has shown. What has happened sucks, but we can’t change it. We can only learn from it. I am so happy with every one of the girls here. We have sacrificed so much in our lives to be here, we have been here for each other when we are having a bad day. Sometimes it’s more about the journey than the end result, so let’s go out there, keep our heads high and finish of what we started!”
I didn’t anticipate how the girls would react but there were a lot of tears from us all. I think it was what we needed at the time. We were all sad about the accident and we needed to focus on what was yet to come. In the end, we came home with fifth place.
For myself, I strove to stay positive for the team during the competition. I blocked out my disappointment and used it to motivate myself more as well as my team. A few days after racing was over, I started to find things more difficult. The disappointment started to sink in and I only wanted to be around my boyfriend -now fiancé, Anthony. I was very lucky he was also in the village, but he was very busy working with the Belgian team. He is a physiotherapist and osteopath and I couldn’t see him very much. He always knows what to say to me, and when I need him the most. I wouldn’t have been in a good place without him. He has a great way of putting things into perspective.
I always planned to have a long break off the bike after the Olympics. To go back to my apartment in Belgium and spend some well-needed time with Anthony. I started training back in November and soon surprised myself by winning three Gold -Tems Pursuit, Omnium, Madison- and two silver -Scratch, Points- medals in the Oceania Championships in December as well as taking out the National Omnium Championships.
After the championships were over I returned to Belgium for Christmas and New Year’s, and Anthony and I got engaged. Since the Olympics, life is great both on and off the bike. I’m currently in Adelaide, training for the up and coming Track World Cups held in Cali, Columbia and Los Angeles, USA next month, before the Hong Kong Track World Championships in April.