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Are you ready for the Private Health Insurance Reforms?

15 November, 2018
Couple checking their cover

Private health insurance is changing

The Government is making some big changes to the world of private health insurance (PHI) – how it works, what you’re covered for, and updates to your protections under new legislation.

CBHS is continuing to actively work with all relevant industry bodies and the Government to get the best outcomes for our members. CBHS fully supports the objectives of the reforms to make private health insurance simpler and more affordable for Australians.

Our goal is to keep the changes as simple and easy to understand as possible.

If we must change something about your policy, don’t worry – we’ll keep you updated every step of the way. We’ll be providing regular updates on the reforms and changes to your cover through emails and in your monthly myCBHS enews updates. Please ensure you read these important communications.

To help you get ready for the upcoming changes, here’s what you’ll need to know, how it might affect you, and next steps to take to be ready.

The changes that might affect your cover

Item
 Changes How It Might
Affect You
Timing
Introduction of new Product Categories
The Government introduction of a new Gold, Silver, Bronze, Basic classification system is intended to make it easier to compare and choose private health insurance products.
Your product name may change, and the category may appear in brackets e.g. Prestige (Gold) 1 April 2019
Standard clinical definitions Health funds will need to use standard clinical or medical terms. This means the terms used will be consistent and easy to understand across the PHI Industry. This will make the details of what you are covered for more transparent and make it easier for you to compare policies.
1 April 2019
Removal of some Natural Therapies Health funds will no longer be able to pay benefits to members for a range of natural therapies, including: Alexander technique, aromatherapy, Bowen therapy, Buteyko, Feldenkrais, herbalism, homeopathy, iridology, kinesiology, naturopathy, Pilates, reflexology, Rolfing, shiatsu, tai chi and yoga. A review by the Government did not find any clear evidence of the efficacy of these natural therapies These therapies will be removed from all private health insurance. 1 April 2019
Introduction of new excesses The Government will increase the permitted excess levels for hospital policies to $750 for singles and $1,500 for couples and families.

You will be able to choose a higher excess amount on certain products which may result in a lower premium.

We are reviewing our product range and will inform members of the new options available.

1 April 2019
Discounts for young people Insurers will be able to offer discounted private hospital cover to people aged 18 to 29.  Legislation currently prevents insurers from offering premium discounts to people on the basis of their age.

The change will benefit all members aged 18 to 29.

CBHS is committed to providing value for money products. We will let eligible members know of any discounts that may be available to them.

1 April 2019
Changes to mental health cover Members with limited mental health cover are able to upgrade their cover to access in-patient mental health services without serving waiting periods. For more information on how this may affect your cover click here. Commenced from 1 April 2018
Prosthesis pricing reform Prostheses or medical devices are items such as pacemakers or replacement hip joints.

The Government has set the prices for these items and may review them with the aim of possibly reducing them.
CBHS is committed to passing on any ongoing savings to members through lower premium increases. Commenced from 1 February 2018
Improved access to travel and accommodation benefits for regional and rural areas Currently this can only be offered under extras cover. Insurers will have the option to include these benefits in hospital products.

CBHS already offers generous travel benefits under some levels of extras cover.
Visit our website for more details.

1 April 2019

 

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