Private Health Insurance Reforms

What it means for you

The Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, announced a series of reforms on 13 October 2017 to make private health insurance simpler and more affordable for Australians. At CBHS Corporate Health we fully support the objectives of the reforms and we are here to help you understand what these reforms mean for you and your health cover.

Below are some key questions you may have about the reforms and the impact that they may have on your private health cover policy.

When will you let me know about changes to my cover?

CBHS Corporate Health will notify our members of these changes early in 2019. You will receive a letter or email, depending on your contact preferences, outlining any changes to your Hospital or Extras policy.

What can I do if I am unhappy about the changes?

We have made every effort to limit the number of changes being made to your cover.  However, if we are required by legislation to do so (for example, the removal of natural therapies) we have no choice but to comply with the requirement.  When you receive the detailed outline of the changes to your cover, please contact our Member Care team on 1300 586 462 or by emailing if you would like to discuss your concerns.      

What changes are happening to the private health website?

The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman website  will be redeveloped to better assist consumers to compare and choose products that best meet their needs.

The redeveloped website will better help consumers to choose the best private health insurance product for their health needs by making it easier to compare multiple products.

We've broken down what these changes are and how they'll affect your cover

  • Simplified product categories
  • Introducing standard clinical definitions
  • Discounts for 18-29 year olds
  • Increase to maximum excess levels
  • Removal of some natural therapies
  • Mental health support

Simplified product categories

All Hospital cover will be categorised into four unique tiers.   

How will this affect my cover?

To make private health insurance clearer, cover will now be categorised as;

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Bronze
  • Basic.

This will make it easier to understand as each tier will have minimum standards which are set by the Government. This means that the tiers and the cover included in each tier will be the same from any provider in the private health insurance industry, ensuring that products are more transparent and comparisons are easier.

All of our existing products will move into the new product tiers. These product tiers will be reviewed after two years.

Many of our products already provide cover above the minimum requirements so you may find that your policy now covers you for more than before, however some services may be removed from some policies.

Introducing standard clinical definitions

Making private health insurance easier to understand.

How will this affect my cover?

To help make private health insurance more transparent and to make it easier to compare products, the Government is introducing standard clinical definitions. This means that all providers will describe the clinical services covered using the same words and language and each definition will mean the same thing regardless of provider or product. Therefore, some definitions in your Hospital cover may change.  We will advise you early 2019 of any changes.

When does this take affect?

1 April 2019

Discounts for 18-29 year olds

The Government is allowing private health insurers to offer discounts to younger Australians.

How will this affect my cover?

Offering affordable cover options is important to us at CBHS Corporate Health. The reforms will allow us to discount hospital insurance premiums for 18 to 29 year olds by up to 10 per cent, depending on your age when you first take out health insurance for new members or the current age you are for existing members.

This new reform allows us to now offer discounts based on age where this was previously not permitted by the Government and will continue to apply until you turn 41. It will then be gradually phased out. The discount will automatically be included on your membership and if you are eligible, we will communicate the detail to you before 1 April 2019.

When will this take place?

1 April 2019

Increase to maximum excess levels

CBHS Corporate Health members will be able to choose higher levels of excess payments.

What does this mean for my cover?

The Government will increase maximum excess from $500 to $750 for singles and from $1,000 to $1,500 for couples and families.

You will be able to choose a higher excess amount on certain products in return for a lower premium. These changes are optional, and your cover remains the same. We encourage you to contact us to help you find cover options that are best suited to your needs.

When does this take place?

1 April 2019

Removal of some natural therapies

To ensure CBHS Corporate Health remains compliant with legislation we will be removing some natural therapies from Extras cover. These include:

  • Alexander Technique
  • Aromatherapy
  • Bowen therapy
  • Buteyko
  • Feldenkrais
  • Herbalism
  • Homeopathy
  • Iridology
  • Kinesiology
  • Naturopathy
  • Pilates
  • Reflexology
  • Rolfing
  • Shiatsu
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga.

How will this affect my cover?

The Government has reviewed these therapies and has found no clear evidence in their clinical efficacy. You will no longer be able to claim benefits on the above therapies, but we encourage you to contact us to review our cover options.  

When will this take affect?

1 April 2019.

Mental health support

It's now easier for CBHS Corporate Health members to access mental health services.

How has this changed my cover?

The mental health reform will mean easier access to mental health, drug and alcohol treatments.

If you have Hospital cover that does not cover you for inpatient psychological treatment, you can now upgrade for higher benefits for in-hospital treatment without serving waiting periods, once in your lifetime.

To qualify, you must have held some level of Hospital cover for at least 2 months. Please contact CBHS Corporate Health to arrange the upgrade to your current policy.

When did this take effect?

Available since 1 April 2018.

Want to find out more about the mental health reforms?

Check out our mental health reforms FAQ.