At Health & Finance Integrated we encourage our clients to put their health and wellbeing first. If you choose us, we will ensure that we understand not only your financial needs and concerns but also your goals and desires. Our focus is on structuring your finances in a way that encourages you to exercise your rights and options without fear and to reach your financial goals.

But, you don’t need to take our word for it. Scroll down to read our case studies, and see how we have helped our clients take control of their finances and reach their goals. You can also click here to read testimonials written about us by our clients.

Jemma’s Story (real example)

Jemma (name changed for privacy purposes) is a young woman, unemployed and on Centrelink unemployment benefits when she fell from a 6 story building and became a paraplegic with serious spinal and organ injuries. While in hospital, she met another client of HFI who recommended our services.

After getting to know us, Jemma felt sufficiently comfortable with us to divulge that she lives with a severe diagnosed mental illness, depression and anxiety. Jemma also admitted that it was hard for her to maintain a job because of the mental illness, though she tried.

Due to Jemma’s prior medical history and our experience with people living with mental illness, we contacted her past employers and located to still current superannuation accounts with very small balances. However, two accounts also contained Total and Permanent Disability Insurances worth $270,000 combined. We analysed the insurance policy fine print, and found in the wording that her history of mental illness may be used by the insurance company to avoid paying her. We were very careful not to excite Jemma’s emotions, and carefully devised a strategy to maintain her emotional wellbeing should a potential claim be rejected. To maximise her chances of a successful claim, we explained the situation and referred her to a competent law firm within our network of highly trained lawyers. We also negotiated preferential discounted rates for her representation. After 8 months of supporting Jemma and the solicitor, the first payout of around $170,000 was approved by the insurer. Prior to her receiving the payout, we asked a trained psychologist from Allevia to accompany us to Jemma’s home to assess her home situation for potential abuse of her and her insurance payout. We found she was in a loving relationship, and no signs of abuse. We then devised a detailed strategy that makes it possible for Jemma to achieve her objectives of receiving a regular income to subsidise her DSP, continue to receive Housing NSW support and subsidy, and purchase an electric wheelchair. We wrote this in simple and plain English so she feels in control with pictures and colour coded diagrams to help her long term memory. We also engaged her family members in the process so she felt more comfortable and supported. We also recommended the first thing she should do is obtain Private Health Insurance with a high level of hospital cover.

While it is hard to estimate, research has shown it costs $260,000 to support a paraplegic in the first year, and $2.85 million during their lifetime (Walsh J. Cost of Spinal Cord Injury in Australia. Paraplegia). This figure is largely based on Centrelink benefits and hospital stay. With hospital cover, the system will save on average $500/night (up to $50,000 for 100 day stay, which is common due to co-morbidity conditions such as kidney failure) and up to $45,000 in spinal fusion surgery. With Private Hospital Cover, Jemma will have access to priority treatment and her own room when available. Not only did this help Jemma feel valued and boost her self-esteem, it also meant her wait for surgery was significantly reduced. Jemma can now afford a spinal surgery that may see her walk again, and eventually lead a normal life. She has already purchased an electric wheelchair, at a cost of $15,000 so she can do her own shopping and participate in the community, rather than going on a waiting list that is up to 2 years for a government funded wheelchair. Finally, she is looking forward to going overseas and visiting her grand-parents, which was a distant dream for her.

Helen’s Story (real example)

Helen (name changed for privacy reasons) is a woman living with MS. She approached our organisation seeking our advice. She was dissatisfied with her current Bank based financial planner who has no expertise in working with PwD nor an understanding of her condition, life, needs and goals.

William Johns, the principle financial planner has extensive knowledge of MS, and understands the likely needs, progression and challenges associated with this specific illness. We worked with her to simplify her finances so she is in control. Her goal was to generate her sustainable income from her superannuation, reduce tax liability, increase potential Social Security benefits and ensure the monies last her lifetime. This was also our goal. Independence is a major issue for someone with MS, and we encouraged her to buy a mobility car after re-assuring her that she can do so and still achieve her financial goals. We are also working with her partner and carer, whose goals are closely aligned.

The Social and Economic Benefit for Jemma and Helen

We achieved our goals, and saved them approximately $9,000 in fees and commission a year that can be used to purchase therapies, wellbeing activities and mobility aids.

This means $9000 will be reinvested into the NGO system and directed to Community Organisations such as MS Australia as a self-funded individual, which is an obvious economic benefit.
We also organised personal insurance for the partner/ carer so that should she become ill, disabled or dies, there is an adequate safety net to fall into.

More importantly, with appropriate financial planning, her funds should sustain her lifetime expenditure and become less reliant on Centrelink now and in the distant future.

The Wellbeing benefit for Jemma and Helen

There is a huge personal wellbeing benefit gained from engaging HFI. All our clients report an improved sense of wellbeing, relief of anxiety and stress, and certainty.

In Jemma’s example, she moved from  being an impoverished paraplegic living on government hand-outs, to a person who can has choices and options  in life, such as undertaking a life-transforming self-funded surgery, purchasing  a mobility wheelchair, and going overseas to visit her family.

As for Helen, her anxiety of running out of money is relieved. She has already made headway and decided to purchase a specialised mobility vehicle, looking to do some part time work and feels more certain about her future.

HFI encourages clients to put their health and wellbeing first, and we spend a significant time having honest discussions with them, and structuring their finances in a way that encourages them exercise their rights and options without fear. As such, we achieve our goal of promoting inclusion, alleviating fear, improving their self-esteem and self-worth and making life a little easier.