Health funds should reimburse COVID-19 windfalls to members, says CHF

Font Size:

Health funds must level with their members and eventually return the funds they save as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown of elective surgery, urges the Consumers Health Forum.

“We welcome the commitment by health funds to reimburse windfall gains to members. Independent estimates put at billions of dollars the surpluses the funds are expected to generate in coming months,” said the forum’s chief, Leanne Wells.

“The bottom line is that, particularly, at this time of financial hardship for many consumers, it is members who should be the beneficiaries. It is, after all, their money, paid in ever-escalating premiums.

Ms Wells says the fund would already know roughly how much they will be in the black as a result of the shutdown.

“They have sophisticated business modelling and would already know the pattern of claiming in a normal year, so they should be able to come up now with a reasonable estimate of their expected profits.

She says funds need to do more than give unspecified promises of returning surplus funds sometime in the future, and that there needs to be some definitive undertaking to do so now.

“The industry would retrieve some credibility if it adopted a consistent and transparent approach. The ad hoc responses taken by the industry in response to the realities of COVID-19 show yet again a failure of funds to give priority to the best interests of their members,” said Ms Wells.

“If private health insurance in Australia was not previously under existential threat, it certainly is now.”

Would you expect your health fund to reimburse you for any savings it makes?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy


‘Solution’ to health fund woes labelled discriminatory

A report that recommends charging younger people less than older Australians for privat

Welfare checks to ensure the wellbeing of senior Australians

Government determined to stop older Australians ‘falling through the cracks'

Why you should review your health cover every year

With health funds set to lift the price of cover within days, we asked an expert in the

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 9
  1. 0

    Dont hold your breath! I am with Medibank Private and they only deferred their premium price hike when I put it on Facebook, wrote to Sco Mo, the Health Minister and finally sent MBP an email from HBF saying no price hike until end of 2020. Keep on them and they finally do what their members want.

    • 0

      Just so refreshing to hear from someone who actually DOES
      something instead of whining away.
      Thank you Missskinnylegs.

    • 0

      Yeah it was all you! Haha

      It was announced by Private Healthcare Australia Limited that ALL health funds would be deferring their increases for 6 months.

      This had nothing to do with your email, what rubbish.

  2. 0

    I expect my health fund to refund the portion of my premium associated with services they are unable to cover now such as hospital care for elective surgery, extras for ancillary services etc. By my reckoning they should refund 100% ……………………I won’t hold my breath though.

    • 0

      So don’t you think that when services return to normal there will be MORE surgeries to catch-up, costs overall won’t be much different.

  3. 0

    Will our PM. make this come about time will tell.

  4. 0

    I have been in private health over 40 years and they well and truly have benefitted from our lack of use. We accepted that we were insuring for a just in case scenario.
    now that we can’t have the assurance of that coverage I’d appreciate a refund especially as they will not have to be paying anyone for ‘private’ services used.

  5. 0

    Will not happen unless mandated…these leeches will cite “C19 pressures” on staffing, off site set up costs etc and pocket the “windfall”. I am with a Not For Profit fund ( 50 yrs ) and they have 100’s of millions in the Bank…every Annual Report shows a profit…go figure

  6. 0

    Medibank Private. We pay for extras. I cannot use jthe extras services due to covid 19. But they take our payments. We want to see a full refund of the costs of all non available services during the government stated closedown period. I also contacted the Prime Minister re the price increase as I believe did a multitude of members. They were shamed/forced into suspending the increases. It was a government directive. So in reality they gave us nothing. Now those of us with top cover are paying the costs of thoes with lower levels of cover. Stinks. The government needs to make it mandatory to refund unused fees taken from members.



continue reading


The dos and don'ts of lifting weights if you're older

If you're to believe what you see on social media, only the young and super fit lift weights. This, unfortunately,...


Pfizer vaccine safe despite Norwegian deaths, say health authorities

Is the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine safe? Health minister Greg Hunt is assuring Australians it is after it was reported that...


Great things about ageing - as Dawn French says 'it's not for wusses'

A lot of people fear growing older but, if you ask us, the ageing process brings some great benefits, too...

Finance News

The top five things this leading economist thinks will happen in 2021

Saying the year 2020 wasn't a great one for the economy is a bit of an understatement. Shops shuttered, businesses...

Health news

Scientists closer to developing 'smart' stem cells made from human fat

Much controversy has surrounded stem cell research, and yet therapies and treatments involving stem cells have the capacity to treat...


Top 2021 new year's resolutions revealed

We may be halfway through January, but it's not too late to make a new year's resolution. "It’s human nature...


Spinach and Parmesan Crustless Quiche

In The Midlife Method, food and lifestyle writer Sam Rice explores why it is so much harder to lose weight...

Age Pension

Important details on how your income stream information is updated

Updating Income Stream InformationHi everyone, I wanted to chat about income stream reviews and how they may affect your Age...