I was hoping that this edition I would be able to write to you heralding the end of Covid-19 and its effects on the community and economy, unfortunately this is not the situation that we find ourselves in currently.
Few would have predicted that deep into 2021 we would still be having lockdowns and daily health alerts, yet here we are. The Federal Government has stated that the only way we are going to be able to go back to a more normal way of life is to have as many people vaccinated as possible. So, with this in mind I encourage Members to speak with their medical professionals with a view to get vaccinated as soon as possible to help speed up this process.
We are currently finalising annual performance statistics for the 2020/21 financial year. Some highlights include:
• For the first time since we began collecting this information we finished the year with a retention rate above 95%.This means that more Members continued their membership with Queensland Country this year than any other year, and is a testament to the service and value for money cover we offer.
• Growth of the Fund with our membership base growing by 6.8%. This growth rate will be roughly three times the average growth rate for the Private Health industry and is set to place us as one of the fastest growing funds in the country.
These results are extremely exciting to see and I’d like to say thank you to our Members for their loyalty to the Fund and welcome to all the new Members who have joined this past year.
At Queensland Country we continue to expand our service offering for our Members and in our last Living Healthy we shared the opening of our new Rockhampton branch with a dedicated Health Fund Member Service Officer. This branch has proven very popular since opening in November 2020, our team have enjoyed assisting new and existing Members. In addition to the Rockhampton branch, earlier this year the Queensland Country Group opened a new branch in Maleny. If you are local to either location, I encourage you to visit our friendly team.
Opening up new branches like the two locations mentioned above is not new for Queensland Country, however even with these additions we remain fiercely proud of our heritage and where we have come from. I am proud to announce that in July the Fund will surpass a significant milestone of 30,000 active health insurance policies (covering over 65,000 individuals).
This exciting milestone has given me the opportunity to reflect on our humble beginnings in Mount Isa, where the Fund was established as MIM Employees Health Society in 1977. In 1999 Queensland Country Credit Union merged with MIM Employees' Health Society and formed Queensland Country Health Fund Ltd and began operating as an open health fund.
Our connection to Mount Isa stands strong today and we remain a significant presence in the Mount Isa community with a Queensland Country branch, dedicated Health Fund staff and dental practice.
As we continue to grow, it is amazing to think that 361 Members who joined the Fund on that first day 45 years ago still have active memberships today! To those Members I say thank you for placing your trust in Queensland Country and we hope you remain with the Fund for many more years to come.
Lastly, I wanted share with our new Members who may not be aware, as well as remind existing Members about our accommodation units in Brisbane and Townsville. Our selfcontained accommodation units are a great service we offer Members who live more than 100kms from Brisbane or Townsville and need to travel for medical treatment. Our units are located near the Mater Hospital in Townsville and the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane. They are offered to Members at a discounted rate, enabling Members and their families to stay together during times of need. As mentioned, all the units are self-contained and equipped with everything to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Simply visit our Accommodation page on the website and follow the instructions to book your stay.
Once again thank you to all of our Members for your ongoing support and please stay safe.