About CBHS

More than great health insurance.
Building healthier and happier communities.

More Care

The health and happiness of our members is at the heart of everything we do. That’s why every major business decision we make has our CARE Values – Customer First, Active, Respect and Excellence – at its cornerstone. In the unprecedented times of 2020, it was important that we brought more care to our members who needed it most. During COVID-19, we launched an outbound wellbeing call service. These calls, made by clinicians, aim to support members through the challenges of the pandemic. The wellbeing call includes a basic health assessment, and members who need further support are referred to a CarePoint program.

For members with Extras cover, more care is now even easier to find. In the past financial year, more than 580 dental and 2,600 optical providers joined the CBHS Choice Network. This means that our valued members can now access a wider range of providers who not only deliver exceptional service, but also offer no gap or known gaps on selected services. Notable national optical partners that joined our CBHS Choice Network this year were OPSM and Laubman & Pank. These organisations are all committed to customer satisfaction, experience and high-quality products with exceptional after sales service.

More Value

CBHS was proudly amongst one of the first funds to announce a deferral of the premium increase scheduled for 1 April 2020 for six months until 1 October 2020 to help relieve financial pressure on members during COVID-19. We were also one of the only funds to provide up to six months premium relief for members with Hospital or combined Hospital and Extras cover who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 as well as provided further relief through a refund of 30% on Extras premiums paid for the month of May. The Extras refund was our way of recognising members were unable to utilise some face-to-face services during the COVID-19 restrictions.

To protect the value in our members’ cover and ensure care could
continue, we worked hard to make a large range of treatments
and services available from the safety of home. This included
chemotherapy, dialysis, and post-surgery rehabilitation
which allowed members to recover at home.

We made it possible for members to access services
from allied health professionals in a telehealth or
digital setting, including psychology, dietetics,
physiotherapy, exercise physiology, speech
pathology and antenatal/postnatal education and
care. Industry research tells us that telehealth
and virtual services are particularly popular
amongst younger demographics. These groups
see the value in accessing services this way and
it’s a key factor in why they’re choosing to hold
onto their health cover despite the economic
challenges faced in a global pandemic.

As the lasting impacts on the public health system’s
surgical waiting lists continue to be realised, we know that
avoiding these long wait times is a key driver of the value in
private hospital cover, now more than ever. CBHS holds
agreements with more than 500 private hospitals across Australia, as
well as provides members access to a database of specialists where a
transparent schedule of fees makes it easy to see what, if any, out-of-pocket costs there will be.

More Support

More support means being available more often and in more ways. We made this happen in 2020 by opening an exciting new Health Hub in the Commonwealth Bank’s Axle building. Prior to COVID-19 this Health Hub saw almost 9,000 interactions with Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA) staff.

COVID-19 provided opportunities for us to reach more of our CBA community, through taking Health Hub services virtual, including offering webinars, challenges and one-to-one consultations with experts. For the first time, we were also able to reach our wider membership with a program of health and wellbeing webinars – Healthy Bytes X – presented by allied health professionals. We’re extending this webinar pilot in FY21.

Many members made use of health services, including Better Living and hospital substitution programs. We paid 1,177 claims for members who were able to avoid or shorten a hospital stay in favour of treatment outside of the hospital setting. Almost 550 members took part in our Better Living programs, which included virtual health coaching for a range of chronic and mental health conditions as well as our Digital Wellness program.

We launched the SkinVision digital app to members with an initial six-months free. Within just one month, the app had performed more than 1,700 skin checks, flagged 244 spots as high risk and issued 56 recommendations to visit a GP.

Members now have more choice on how they want to be supported – through our online Member Centre, Facebook, chat, email, by phone with our Member Care team or via our mobile app. As of the end of the financial year, more than 63,000 members had downloaded the app, which helps members self-service outside of business hours.

More Stability

CBHS is a fund with a long and proud history. We’re now in our seventieth year of serving the CBA Group community, which includes the families of those who are, or have been, connected to the CBA Group.

Despite another challenging year for the private health insurance industry which experienced negative growth, CBHS grew memberships. Much of that growth was in segments which have proven challenging at an industry level – those aged under 35 years. We value all new members but increasing membership levels within this age group is particularly important for the sustainability of the fund. As a member-owned, not-for-profit, this in turn, benefits us all.

Message from the Chairman

Peter MacCuspie


In my third year as Chairman, I am pleased on behalf of the Board, to present the 2020 Annual Report.

One of the most tangible benefits of being part of a member-owned, not-for-profit organisation is that we group together and provide support for one another. I’m a big believer in staying informed and keeping in touch with members – it was one of the first things I discussed in the Annual Report and my Annual General Meeting address last year. And, in these difficult times, supporting others is now more important than ever.

In 2020, we’re enduring the worst public health crisis in over a hundred years. At the same time, we are also facing the worst economic growth outlook in more than ninety years. There is not one person walking the planet with experience managing one of these significant events, yet we are called upon to deal with two of them – concurrently.

Many millions of lives have been directly affected by our changed circumstances and we are all living with considerable uncertainty. I know these are testing times. Our greatest concern is to do what we can to provide practical and immediate assistance to our members. Rest assured that we’ll continue to do that.

I am so proud of our continuous efforts to give our members certainty during these uncertain times. As custodians of this member-owned fund we believed it was appropriate to spend some of our capital reserves in these exceptional times, to give our members the certainty they deserve by offering a range of health and financial initiatives. The positive member feedback we have received tells us that our members agree these were the right decisions.

Thank you to our members who took the time to extend their thanks for our support. I have personally read all the feedback and it is a great feeling to know our efforts are appreciated and making a real and positive impact on our members’ lives.

Closing the loop on progress

Last year, I outlined several initiatives we have been focusing on, as part of our commitment to the health and happiness of our members:

  • Enhance member community experience and value – We’re always working on ways to improve access to the tailored support, guidance and services our members need. This year we enhanced our digital platforms so members can better manage their health and healthcare decisions, and continued to grow our CBHS Choice Network, especially in the optical space.
  • Accelerate core delivery – While expanding our virtual and digital service offerings, we also adjusted many existing services so members can safely access programs like Chemo@home, dialysis, rehab and birthing classes from home.
  • Dynamic & thriving culture – In March, we rapidly moved to a 100% work-from-home model in response to COVID-19 and have since seen improvements on all employee engagement metrics. Our employees are thriving due to the increased health and wellbeing that comes from a better work-life balance. Happy people equal happy members.
  • Diverse distribution – Commonwealth Bank Australia (CBA) has seen considerable change within its walls. We continue to be engaged at the highest levels, supporting CBA’s many programs and initiatives for staff, customers and the broader community. Earlier this year we launched a state-of-the-art interactive Health Hub in CBA’s Axle building in Sydney, became the exclusive health and wellbeing sponsor of CBA’s Can4Cancer initiative and continued our association with CBA Retired Officer Associations.

Financial results

This year’s financial results were dominated by unprecedented events. Despite the grim news surrounding us, total memberships increased by 9.5% from 105,000 in June 2019 to 115,000 in June 2020, resulting in an increase in premium revenue of 4.8% to $462m. We now have more than 245,000 people insured.

Net claims incurred increased to $431m resulting in a claims payout ratio of 93.4%.

We recorded a loss of $19.3m in FY20. This loss was underpinned by financial assistance provided to members during COVID-19. Financial assistance provided included deferring the 1 April 2020 premium rate increase to 1 October 2020, providing up to six months of premium relief for members experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 and a refund of 30% on Extras premiums paid for the month of May.

The FY20 results also include an allowance for Deferred Claims which reflects unutilised Hospital and Extras services as a result of restrictions imposed by both Federal and State Governments during COVID-19.

These tough and unprecedented economic times saw the need to utilise some of our surplus capital to support our members. This surplus capital has been designed to be utilised for exactly such an event like COVID-19, which has been considered a one in 100-year event. Despite this, the fund remains in a strong financial capital position supported by a diverse investment strategy.

We expect that next year, as COVID-19 restrictions hopefully ease, members will recommence utilising Hospital and Extras services. We’ve worked closely with our industry regulators and Appointed Actuary to make sure we’ve provided appropriately for the cost of delivering benefits to all our valued members.

One of the reasons we’ve been so successful over time, is the conservative stance we have taken toward investing in our reserves. This turbulent year has truly reinforced and validated our approach.

Looking to the future

We are committed to investing for our future – always with an eye towards shifting regulatory settings and our rapidly changing world. Our investment in Whitecoat continues, helping members become better informed healthcare consumers and provide access to one-step claim and pay. We’ll keep investing in mobile apps and digital platforms, making it easier for members to interact with us. And our subsidiary fund, CBHS Corporate Health, continues to contribute to the success of the CBHS Group having now grown to over 12,500 members.

Thank you

I would like to take the opportunity to thank our wonderful staff for their commitment and flexibility in continuing to service members during these unusual times. Staff have reacted with great diligence and innovation rising to many challenges. Our engagement with regulators and industry bodies has increased in recent years and I would like to thank our senior leadership team for enabling this progress.

I’d also like to thank my fellow Board members, Board members of CBHS Corporate Health and our Executive Team for their dedication and strategic direction, and our members for their continued loyalty and support.

My special thanks go to our Deputy Chairman, John Matthews, for his insight and dedication to our members. John retired from the Board in August after almost 12 years of service and his presence and guidance will be missed.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you. As always, we are committed to being beside you, all the way, in your individual journeys to health and happiness.

Peter MacCuspie
28 August 2020

Message from the Group CEO

Andrew Smith

Group CEO and
Executive Director

We’re more than great health insurance

At CBHS we take our members’ health very seriously, putting their needs at the heart of everything we do. As a not-for-profit and member-owned fund, we’re different to the large for-profit health funds. We aim to be more than great health insurance by placing our members’ interests first, and remain committed to their health and wellbeing throughout their lives’ journey, utilising our embedded CARE Values:

  • Customers: We value members over profit
  • Active: We walk the health talk
  • Respect: We respect everyone
  • Excellence: We strive for excellence

Throughout FY20 we continued to significantly improve member services by evolving programs like Active Living and Better Living and partnering with organisations such as Chemo@home, Australia’s leading provider of home-based infusion services, Dialysis Australia’s home services and online antenatal and postnatal classes with Birth Beat. This continued commitment to the health and happiness of our growing member community was also reflected by:

  • expanding our CBHS Choice Network
  • improving quality of care for members
  • reducing out-of-pocket expenses for members

Our swift and compassionate response to COVID-19

During the unprecedented and uncertain environment presented by COVID-19, we ensured any significant major decisions drew upon our embedded CARE Values and focused on building healthier, happier communities.

Our COVID-19 Health and Financial Assistance Program included:

  • paying ex-gratia benefits towards chest, heart, lung and kidney related hospital admissions regardless of a member’s level of Hospital cover
  • physical and mental health initiatives covering home-based chemotherapy, dialysis and various telehealth and virtual services
  • an Extras cover refund of 30% for the month of May
  • deferring our 1 April 2020 rate increase to 1 October 2020
  • providing members facing COVID-19 related financial difficulties up to six months’ free cover on a Hospital or a combined Hospital and Extras product.

The resulting positive feedback like this is it’s own reward:

“When I found out CBHS had approved three months of premium relief…I turned to my partner and just burst into tears. It was such a massive relief and the only thing that had gone right that week.” – Danielle

I’m also immensely proud of our team’s work and commitment which is aptly captured in this email from a proud member:

“Thank you for your prompt reply and some really good news for our family during this time. It’s great to see CBHS looking after its members and makes me proud to be part of an organisation that will help other members in a similar situation. Hoping I will have found work within the three months, so your program can help someone else.” – Vajira

Outstanding member satisfaction

Determined to keep our people safe, we moved 100% of our employees to remote working in March. Throughout this time our staff have continued to deliver exceptional member service and solutions. Our annual member satisfaction survey revealed:

  • our customer satisfaction score – 91%
  • our customer experience score – 88%
  • average speed to answer members from our Parramatta call centre of 162 seconds (many call centres nationally take up to an hour in a COVID-19 environment).

Employee engagement

The annual CBHS Employee Engagement Survey measures how staff feel about a range of issues including leadership, wellbeing, communication, health and morale. These results are important because engaged staff provide superior services to members. The survey found:

  • improvements across all staff engagement indicators and drivers
  • an overall appreciation for living our CARE Values
  • a rising citizenship metric indicating staff feel safe and that we’ve ‘done the right thing by them’
  • staff felt very well supported during COVID-19
  • the new work from home environment has improved overall productivity, with many teams thriving and enjoying better health and wellbeing outcomes.

Our ongoing connection to CBA

Since launching in September 2016, CBA employees have accessed our Health Hubs more than 217,000 times. There’s been over 39,000 individual assessments on our SiSU machines for lifestyle-related diseases, resulting in 5,245 GP referrals for blood pressure and/or body mass index issues.

In 2020, the need for social distancing saw us take the Health Hub concept online. We used this as an opportunity to extend our support of CBA’s remote working teams to both regional and international branches and offices with virtual services like:

  • webinars
  • fitness sessions
  • virtual cooking classes
  • fitness and health challenges
  • a virtual network for 1:1 consultations

For the CBA’s Staff Foundation charity fundraising initiative Can4Cancer events in 2019, 70 CBHS walkers, one rider and several CBHS volunteers (plus CBHS gift matching) helped raise vital funds and we contributed over $100,000 to this very worthy cause. Despite no physical event in 2020 due to COVID-19, CBHS is the lead partner for a virtual health and wellness challenge in October. We also remain the event’s exclusive health and wellbeing sponsor for the physical events scheduled for April/May 2021.

Brand refresh and digital transformation

This year we began a refresh of our visual identity with a rebrand and digital transformation to bring more consistency to communicating our brand. 2020 saw much effort go into this with the launch scheduled for September 2020.

The brand refresh is centred around our enduring values and driven by our new tag line ‘Belong to More’ which represents our commitment to more care, extras, flexibility and support. It’s also a reminder that as a not-for-profit fund, we reinvest all our profits back into guiding our members towards healthier and happier lives. The refresh will continue reflecting our pride in our 70-year history and a long tradition of providing the highest quality healthcare. As a not-for-profit, we keep a close eye on how we spend members’ premiums and we’re able to complete much of this project to a very high standard using our talented in-house teams.

Our digital transformation will also introduce new website functionality, making it easier for members to easily find what they need, when they need it.

Update on CBHS Corporate Health

Our CBHS Corporate Health subsidiary was established in July 2017 to provide the CBHS Group with more growth opportunities. Overseas Students Health Cover (OSHC) was launched in 2019 to cater for international students – a complement to our overseas visitor health insurance business. There is now a seamless health insurance transition as many students and visitors become Australian residents. Despite the uncertainty and challenges presented by the Australian Government closing international borders, we have continued to perform well and remain focused on CBHS Corporate’s long-term success.

I’d like to thank my fellow directors, our executive leaders and all staff for their contribution in what has been an exceptionally challenging year. Their collective skills and experience see CBHS in a strong position to deliver high-quality healthcare for members. We strive every day to offer more than just great health insurance and look forward to continuing to build healthier and happier communities, for you, our loyal members.

Andrew Smith
Group Chief Executive Officer
28 August 2020


I would like to thank you for your support during my last stay in hospital for a total hip replacement. Your Wellness team had been in touch to see how I was. My husband rung them back and explained what was happening and they arranged home nursing. The physio and nurse have been coming and I have recovered far better at home than in hospital. The surgeon was no gap, in fact all his team were, and I did not receive any bills at all.

Keryl and Richard D

Our family has comprehensive private health cover with CBHS – always have and definitely always will now. CBHS helped my family immensely, mainly my mother who died of brain cancer a few years ago. Without the help of CBHS we would have lost our family home to pay for all the hospital and medical bills and my dad would have been forced to work rather than care for my mother in her final days. CBHS not only gave us peace of mind with finances but peace of mind with life, freeing us up to be with Mum.


CBHS came to our aid greatly, some years ago after I had had my first cancer surgery. I needed two extremely expensive injections prior to radioactive treatment, and having dealt with so many other hospital accounts, surgeon accounts, other specialists’ accounts, we approached CBHS for help. CBHS granted our special consideration request which provided a one-off payment towards the injections which were unfortunately not claimable through Medicare. We will always be grateful and remember the awesome assistance CBHS granted us at that truly difficult time.


I was delighted when we visited CBHS preferred providers. Dental became much more affordable for us. We switched to a CBHS Choice Network preferred provider and we had no out of pocket expense for the children’s mouth guards, along with several other dental services.


This statement outlines the key aspects of the corporate governance framework of CBHS Health Fund Limited and its wholly owned subsidiary for the year ended 30 June 2020.

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.

This statement is current as at 28 August 2020 and has been approved by the Board of CBHS.

Download a PDF of
the full report