More than great health insurance.
Building healthier and happier communities.
More support for you during COVID-19
COVID-19 continued to challenge Australians throughout FY21. That’s why it was important for us as a member-owned fund to continue to support our members and enhance the value in your membership. With your health and happiness front of mind, we built upon the CBHS Health and Financial Assistance package delivered in the early stages of COVID-19 by:
- Extending the deferral on 1 April 2020 premium increases for all members to 1 October 2020 and for members located in Victoria, who experienced extended lockdowns, to 1 December 2020.
- Deferring the 1 April 2021 annual premium increase for three months to 1 July 2021.
- Making our Clinical Concierge Wellbeing Line available to all CBHS members to offer support and assist with navigating the complexities of the healthcare system.
- Extending eligibility to our Best Doctors program, including Mental Health Navigator, to all members between July 2020 and September 2020.
- Holding our first virtual Annual General Meeting, providing enhanced member engagement, and keeping our Board and members safe.
- Hosting a free ‘Get the Vax Straight’ webinar presented by leading vaccine researchers from Westmead Institute for Medical Research, with the goal of educating and empowering our member community to make informed decisions about COVID-19 vaccinations.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to play out, globally and closer to home, we will continue to make decisions necessary to support our valued members including supporting the Government’s advice to encourage Australians to get vaccinated as soon as possible. In addition, during the pandemic we also supported our members impacted by natural disasters including the NSW and QLD floods, fires in NSW and WA and Cyclone Seroja in WA.
A dynamic and thriving culture: happy staff make for happy members
Amidst the backdrop of COVID-19, we have found success in new ways of working. After 12 months of employees working from home to protect our teams and the wider community, our Parramatta head office officially reopened in March 2021 and closed in June 2021 in line with NSW Government restrictions. Prior to June 2021, our teams had embraced a hybrid working environment – which meant a mixture of working onsite and from home. We are seeing a highly engaged and motivated team as a result, who have the flexibility to pursue a better work-life balance, whilst continuing to deliver on our member service.
We track the wellbeing of our workforce through an annual employee engagement survey which reveals how engaged our people are from year to year.
It is clear that happy teams make for happy members. Our overall member satisfaction score improved by 6.8% in FY21. Meanwhile, our Net Promotor Score – which is based on how many members would recommend us to family or friends − improved by 11.7% in FY21.
More value for our member community
To coincide with reaching our 70th milestone this year, we introduced the statement: Belong to More. That means More Support. More Care. More Flexibility. More Value. Belong to More sums up the CBHS ethos perfectly. It is a statement that keeps us accountable to what matters most – you. And it reminds us every day that we need to be good enough to keep you for life.
We have expanded our CBHS Group Choice Network to assist with managing out-of-pocket dental and optical expenses to over 7,500 providers nationally. Looking forward we will be extending our Choice Network to include physiotherapy, so members can save even more on this popular Extras service.
More members made use of our innovative health service offerings including:
- Our Better Living programs which include virtual health coaching for a range of chronic and mental health conditions;
- Our Digital Wellness Total Wellbeing Lifestyle Plan which focuses on healthy weight management;
- Hospital Substitute Treatment which provides clinical quality care in the comfort of your own home; and
- A free 6-month membership with SkinVision to provide lifesaving digital skin checks using the SkinVision app.
In the coming year, we’ll continue to add value through increasing our suite of health services available through Hospital cover including a potential new partnership with a leading hospital provider. This partnership will include pilot programs for integrated cancer care, mental health and known-gap maternity programs.
Our annual member satisfaction survey showed that members scored us almost double on affordable cover than in FY20. Despite widespread financial pressures, this shows that members are finding their cover to be value for money.
A strong connection to the CommBank community
We proudly signed another three-year partnership with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CommBank or CBA) in December 2020 to continue providing our award-winning interactive Health Hubs, while also adding a new Health Hub in CommBank’s recently opened Foundry building.
Our seven physical Health Hubs around the country have delivered in line with our vision for healthier and happier communities. Since launching this concept in September 2016, CommBank staff have had the opportunity to access leading technology and qualified allied health professionals in both a physical and virtual way. We have had over 275,000 interactions with CommBank staff across Australia, referred over 6,000 staff to their GP for blood pressure and body mass index concerns as well as performing skin checks and bone density scans.
The introduction of virtual webinars covering healthy mind, healthy body and healthy lifestyle has been particularly well received during these difficult times of lockdowns, social distancing and working from home with record participation levels of over 65,000 attendances at approximately 600 virtual sessions.
While we regularly receive an overwhelming amount of positive feedback for our Health Hub activities, here are a couple of our favourites:
“It has improved my mental health and physical health. Since the pandemic happened, exercising has been difficult for me, but this is a great way for me to ease back into exercise!”
“After doing the strength squad challenge, I feel like I have more energy. I can keep up with my kids more and no longer feel tired while playing with them.”
We continued our support for CommBank and Tour de Cure’s Can4Cancer. CBHS was appointed the lead partner for the Can4Cancer digital challenge in October 2020 and the exclusive wellbeing partner for Can4Cancer in 2021, including sponsorship of the inaugural 50km run. Team CBHS raised over $21,000 across these events to support vital cancer research, support, and prevention initiatives.
Together with other shareholders, we announced the sale of health technology provider Whitecoat in May 2021 to CommBank. Whitecoat operates the country’s largest digital healthcare services directory allowing Australians to locate and book appointments with over 300,000 health service providers. It also offers an end-to-end digital health payment and claims solution with both terminal and in-app mobile claims processing capability.
Acquiring Whitecoat will help CommBank to support its focus on the healthcare sector, and for our members, it will provide a simpler experience to pay and claim using CBHS mobile app. We look forward to continuing to work closely with CommBank to provide seamless digital solutions for our members.
Sustainable growth: we’re here for the long haul
On a regulatory front, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority continues to look closely at the affordability and sustainability of the private health insurance industry. We’re in a pleasing position as a not-for-profit, member-owned fund − younger members are increasingly looking to align themselves with organisations like CBHS which have a member-focused purpose and share their values. Growth in the younger demographic is important for the long-term sustainability of the fund and the future of the private health insurance industry. CBHS encourages growth in this sector by providing discounts of up to 10% for 18-29-year-olds on their own cover.
Industry engagement is another important factor in our purpose. CBHS is well represented within industry representative groups, including Private Healthcare Australia (PHA) and Members Health Fund Alliance (MHFA), with committee members across the areas of risk and governance, marketing, and operations. These groups bring together representatives across various funds to collaborate efforts and lobby the Government for changes that will benefit our members. CBHS is supportive of PHA’s More Affordable Health campaign which calls for urgent changes to the way medical devices used in surgeries are priced in Australia to keep health insurance more affordable.
The Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) requires entities based, or operating, in Australia, which have an annual consolidated revenue of more than $100 million, to report annually on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains, and actions to address those risks. CBHS is supportive and committed to identifying, assessing and mitigating modern slavery risks within our operations and supply chains.
Our first Modern Slavery Statement explains our:
- adoption of an anti-modern slavery policy;
- actions we took to manage the risks of modern slavery practices in our own operations; and
- actions we took towards managing the risks of modern slavery practices in our supply chains.
Making it easier to interact: building our digital capabilities
A big part of keeping members for life is about doing the basics well. Making it simpler to interact with us in the way you choose to. That means we’re continually investing in ways to improve the member experience in the digital platforms space.
Our new website, which launched in August 2020, has key architectural elements in place for future growth. We’re leveraging this and taking the first step on our Artificial Intelligence (AI) journey following the launch of a ChatBot function in July 2021. This enables us to better serve you and provide another pathway to interact with us. We know our members have a growing appetite for digital channels, with our mobile app with self-service features reaching more than 75,000 downloads this year.
In our 70th milestone year, I am pleased on behalf of the Board, to present the 2021 Annual Report.
We, as Australians, have made it through a year marked by the global pandemic and are now a nation hopeful of recovery. I am especially proud of the way the CBHS team has supported our members throughout the most uncertain and trying of times. The team, as always, puts our member health and happiness at the forefront of every business decision. We provided rare certainty in uncertain times.
Despite COVID-19 restrictions, it is pleasing to see that a significant number of our members utilised their policies. We supported members by paying over $438.7m in benefits, including for telehealth and virtual services, which allowed our members to stay safe and be able to proactively manage their health throughout the pandemic.
As a relatively small player in the market, CBHS punches above its weight, leading the private health insurance industry on offering health and financial support to members during COVID-19 and advocating for healthcare reform to improve affordability. With our CARE Values at the forefront, we made a commitment that CBHS would not materially benefit from the pandemic. We’ve been able to deliver on that promise through our extensive health and financial assistance programs and our focus will remain on keeping costs down while improving member experience through broader healthcare initiatives.
I am very pleased with the overall execution of our business strategy. The CBHS Executive Leadership Team have tightly controlled management expenses and led their respective teams to achieve outstanding service results within the work-from-home environment. As an outcome of focusing on creating certainty for our member community, member retention is at a record high. We know that your health cover is an investment in a healthier and happier outcome for you and those close to you. We’re proving that as a CBHS member, your health cover is an investment in a healthier and happier outcome for you and those close to you.
This year’s financial results were pleasing, despite very uncertain and volatile economic conditions. CBHS now insures more than 251,000 people. That is as a result of a 4.3% increase in total memberships from the previous year, delivering premium revenue of $482.3m. Our dedicated retentions team were able to keep a record number of members with CBHS.
Net claims incurred increased to $438.8m resulting in a claims payout ratio of 90.9%.
Our investment income significantly outperformed forecasts, due in part to rising equity markets and strategic actions taken by the Board and Management in response to COVID-19.
Last year, I acknowledged that we needed to use some of our surplus capital to support our members during the one-in-100-year event that was COVID-19. I can report that in FY21, through managed diversification of our investment portfolio, we have been able to rebuild the capital position of the fund.
Looking to the future
That leads me to an important update on the future of CBHS’ leadership. I recently announced the resignation of Andrew Smith, our Group CEO and Executive Director, effective 3 September 2021.
Since March 2016, Andrew has played an integral role in the strategic development, growth and continued success of CBHS. He has grown our influence and standing within the Commonwealth Bank at all levels, lifted our profile within the private health insurance industry, and increased our influence with our peers, Government and regulators. Finally, under Andrew’s leadership, we have invested in our people, our leaders, our systems and the outcome of all this leaves our business in a very strong position.
It has been my privilege to work closely with Andrew over the last few years and I express my sincere thanks for his contributions and wish him all the best with his next challenge.
I am delighted to now welcome Helen Troup to the role of Group CEO and Executive Director effective 4 September 2021. Helen is an outstanding appointment, bringing a deep and impressive history in leading a variety of insurance and financial services businesses in both Australia and New Zealand. Helen was most recently an Executive General Manager at the Commonwealth Bank, where she was Managing Director of CommInsure, the Life and General Insurance businesses.
Over her six years at CommBank she effectively led and navigated significant challenges, whilst also delivering business transformation, digital innovation, and market growth, culminating in the successful sale and transition of the Life business to the AIA Group.
Prior to this she was the Head of Life and Health (Australia and NZ) for global reinsurer Swiss Re, and the CEO of ING New Zealand.
Helen is an engaging and down-to-earth person and is passionate about delivering exceptional member service and leading people to be the best they can be. I am sure
all our members will join me in welcoming Helen to the CBHS Group.
I would like to finish by expressing my thanks to my fellow Board members, Board members of CBHS Corporate Health, our Executive Leadership Team for their leadership and our staff for their commitment to members during an unprecedented year. And of course, thank you to you, our wonderful members for your continued loyalty and support – here’s to another 70 years.
26 August 2021
Former Group CEO and
I write to you with mixed emotions, in my last Group CEO message for the Annual Report. I recently announced my resignation as Group CEO and Executive Director Group, effective 3 September 2021. During the past five years, I have been fortunate to work with many passionate and dedicated people, with my time at CBHS being some of the most rewarding of my career. What I am most proud of during my time leading CBHS is the evolution of our CARE Values, and how we live them at every level to keep members at the heart of everything we do.
It has been an honour watching the CBHS business grow and leading the organisation to a 70-year milestone in 2021. I now warmly welcome Helen Troup to the role as Group CEO and Executive Director. Our fund, our members, our staff and our key stakeholders will thrive under Helen’s leadership.
Reflecting upon the past year, I want to start by acknowledging our incredible team, who have remained focused on the needs of our members. I am extremely proud of the way they have responded during these uncertain times, including transitioning to a 100% remote workforce for over 12 months. Our culture and productivity have never been stronger, and our members have enjoyed a continuation of the outstanding service CBHS is known for. We have continued to live our CARE Values and translate those into More Care for our members, stepping up to be a key health and wellbeing partner when you needed us most.
A Year of MORE
Despite Australians being physically able to do less at times, it has been a year of MORE for CBHS. We have seen the continued expansion of our preferred provider program – the CBHS Group Choice Network – while working closely with providers to ensure they could still service members during COVID-19 restrictions. We added even MORE specialists to our Access Gap Cover program, making it easier for members to reduce or avoid significant out-of-pocket costs. Our Executive Leadership Team have demonstrated engagement and collaboration across the wider private health industry, including supporting our industry representative groups Private Healthcare Australia (PHA) and Member’s Health Fund Alliance (MHFA).
On that note, our close alliance with MHFA provided access to the results of a national health survey. This revealed an alarming disconnect between Australian’s perceptions of their physical and mental health and wellbeing. That reinforced to us at CBHS, the need to take every opportunity to encourage our member community to get back in the driver’s seat when it comes to their health and wellbeing. That means going for any health checks and screenings you may have missed during the year. Or making small, but important, lifestyle changes. I personally implore you to do something proactive for your health over the coming months that you may not have ordinarily done.
Seventy years strong
It was a special milestone year for CBHS, celebrating 70 years of serving the Commonwealth Bank community. We marked the occasion with a small celebration and some special guests, including Matt Comyn, CEO and Managing Director of the Commonwealth Bank, some of our original CBHS Foundation members, long serving CBHS staff and our past CBHS Chairs and Directors.
I was personally moved by the many kind sentiments members shared with us.
“Happy 70th birthday CBHS, I started my membership 31 years ago as a single member and then two years later took out family top cover. Through good health and sickness, CBHS has been there for me and my family. Never crossed my mind to go elsewhere. Second generation of my family will soon be members.”
“My husband joined in 1959. He has been a loyal member for well over 50 years, then joined us up as a couple after we married, so we have a long history with CBHS. Only praise for CBHS from us both.”
Our 70-year milestone was also the perfect opportunity to launch our new statement − Belong to More − with a refreshed look and feel. But this was much more than just a fresh look, it is a renewed commitment that we will go beyond what is expected.
In keeping with the brand refresh, we also developed a new Employee Value Proposition (EVP). Over the coming year, we will bring this EVP to life, with the goal of becoming an Employer of Choice. This includes exploring future ways of working with the safety and wellbeing of our teams continuing to be top priority and articulating the culture and benefits that make CBHS a compelling place to work.
A milestone for CBHS Corporate Health
As a business, CBHS International – part of CBHS Corporate Health – swiftly pivoted from attracting offshore members following the closure of international borders, towards providing cover to international workers and students who are already onshore. Through this strategic shift, and despite extended border closures, CBHS Corporate Health has now surpassed 14,900 members.
For many of our International members who are onshore and separated from loved ones, the past year has been isolating. In response, we proactively increased our mental health support initiatives with the aim of helping these members though the hard times. Initiatives which we have been able to extend to all CBHS members through our Clinical Concierge Wellbeing Line.
I would like to thank my fellow Directors, our Executive Leadership Team and all staff for their efforts in what has been another unprecedented and challenging year. I leave CBHS with the right team in place to continue putting your health and happiness first. And of course, I would like to thank you – our members – for your support and loyalty during the toughest of times. We look forward to another 70 plus years of serving you and your family.
Former Group Chief Executive Officer
26 August 2021
Group CEO and
I am delighted to have joined the CBHS community in August this year. It was immediately clear to me that across all levels of the organisation, our people are truly aligned to putting you, our members, at the heart of everything we do.
My first few weeks in the organisation have impressed me with the positivity and engagement all our team have for our members and delivering on our purpose. I have experienced our CARE Values firsthand and have many references in meetings to putting our members first such as our people championing the need to prioritise and deliver on a project that has the potential to save members lives.
I have received an incredibly warm welcome and being able to work closely with the Board, Andrew Smith, and the Executive Leadership Team during my first few weeks has ensured a seamless transition.
I am focused on continuing to bring our strategy to life. This includes delivering on initiatives to enhance proactive member engagement, acquisition and retention and building on relationships with our key stakeholders as we work together with our member community.
While the challenges of COVID-19 continue to impact our lives and businesses, our focus and commitment is to continue to drive the business further and find new ways of supporting you to live healthier, happier and longer lives.
As we celebrate 70 years, I join a long line of previous custodians who have had the opportunity to lead such a passionate team dedicated to supporting you. I look forward to building on their legacy and delivering MORE to you.
Group Chief Executive Officer
Damien, my son, was so fit and healthy. We have no family history of bowel cancer and Damien was only 31 when he was diagnosed, so it was a shock to all of us. Within a week of being diagnosed, Damien was already under the care of a group of top medical specialists including liver and bowel surgeons and an oncologist, working in collaboration with a top private hospital in Brisbane. Words can’t describe how grateful we are for how well Damien has been looked after by CBHS
I asked my daughter to take a photo of a spot on my shoulder. The SkinVision app rated it as high risk. The strong recommendation was that I get it checked within the next four weeks. I could tell my GP was a little skeptical, but he examined the spot and took a biopsy… When I went back to my GP he said, “Wow, I’m really impressed by that app.” He removed the basal cell carcinoma in his surgery and I’m now under the care of a skin specialist.
Despite no previous diagnosis, I was suffering from atrial fibrillation, which is commonly associated with a stroke. I spent five days in hospital… the cause of the problem is thought to have been sudden onset of vestibular neuritis, which is when the nerves in the inner ear send confusing messages to the brain.
How was CBHS beneficial? It gave me peace of mind that my health cover would meet the costs of hospital accommodation as well as other ancillary costs. It reminded me that we never know how far we are from totally random events with large expenses, and that health cover is an essential part of our daily lives.
CBHS helped to save my life this year. If my Hospital insurance didn’t cover psychiatric care I don’t know that I would still be alive. CBHS paid every cent of the very expensive inpatient stay that I had, and as a result I’m currently sitting at home with my husband and two young kids, alive and getting better one day at a time.
Key Financial Highlights
CBHS continues to provide more members with peace of mind, now with approximately 120,000 memberships.
CBHS has recorded a profit of $33.8m in FY21. The profit is underpinned by strong investment returns of $23.1m and the reversal of provision for unexpired risk liability from prior year $13.5m.
You will note many references to the term 'profit' throughout this report. This is an accounting requirement. It reflects CBHS Health Fund Limited's investment in CBHS Corporate Health Pty Ltd, which has been established as a 'for profit' business, for the benefit of CBHS members. The use of this terminology throughout this report does not change in any way the core values of CBHS Health Fund Limited, being a member owned, not-for-profit, organisation.
Investment returns increased by $17.2m in FY21 compared to the prior financial year due mainly to strong equity and bond markets.
Net assets have increased in FY21 primarily as a result of strong investment returns.
This statement outlines the key aspects of the corporate governance framework of CBHS Health Fund Limited and its wholly owned subsidiary CBHS Corporate Health Pty Ltd for the year ended 30 June 2021.
For the purposes of the Corporate Governance Statement, a reference to a Prudential Standard is a reference to an Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) Prudential Standard.
The Governance Standard is a Prudential Standard and was developed to ensure that Private Health Insurers are managed prudently, that boards have access to appropriate independent expertise and that the Board includes Directors who have suitable competencies and experience to understand the relevant business issues and risks they are likely to encounter.
The Board endeavours to adopt the Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations (4th edition) published by the ASX Corporate Governance Council as far as they are relevant and applicable to an unlisted, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.
As a registered private health insurer and separate corporate entity, CBHS Corporate Health Pty Ltd, has its own governance framework, which, as appropriate, replicates that of CBHS.
This statement is current as at 26 August 2021 and has been approved by the Board of CBHS.
To view a copy of the Corporate Governance Statement and Directors Report download the Full Report.