The value of health insurance in 2023

Private health insurance membership has been growing since June 2020 and has hit a new record of 14.42 million Australians (55 per cent of the population), increasing by more than three quarters of a million to 1 December 2022.[1][2]

Australians continue to join health funds in response to the demands on the public hospital system. Hospital cover allows health fund members to skip public queues by using health insurance in Australia’s private hospitals and day surgeries.

With RBHS hospital cover, you will be admitted for elective surgery as soon as your doctor and private hospital are ready. Remember that you can use RBHS’ search to find our contracted hospitals.

Public elective surgery waiting lists

If you rely on the public system, you will be put onto the public hospital waiting list, which could mean waiting months (or longer) for your procedure. On the day of your planned surgery, you could be bumped if there are any emergency admissions that need your theatre room.

You could be waiting:

  • 74 days for a hysterectomy
  • 158 days for cataract extraction
  • 208 days to have varicose vein surgery
  • 153 days for a total hip replacement
  • 168 days to have tonsils removed
  • 293 days for a total knee replacement

And 50% of people will wait even longer than that. That is why private health insurance is valued as a way to access non-urgent surgeries in a timely way and therefore helping to reduce the load on our essential public hospital system.[3]

Save on tax

High income earners could save tax by taking out hospital cover. Even more public servants could incur the Medicare Levy Surcharge this year with the government’s Australian Public Service 3 per cent pay rise due.[4] See the RBHS website for more information on the MLS.


The Reserve Bank Health Society (the RBHS) is a not-for-profit health fund founded in 1959, offering top-level health cover and exceptional customer service. The RBHS is fully owned by its members and open to current and former employees of the Reserve Bank of Australia and Note Printing Australia and their families.

The not-for-profit advantage

RBHS is a not-for-profit health insurance fund committed to providing you with excellent benefits and exceptional service. The fund exists only to benefit members, and as such we aim to pay out as much of the premiums collected as possible, while remaining financially viable.

Want to learn more about health insurance?

Visit our help centre where we explain the basics of hospital and extras insurance to help you understand your cover better.

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Using your cover

Learn how to use your cover, manage your health and take advantage of our member offers.

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[2] Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Quarterly Private Health Insurance Membership Trends December 2022

[3] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Elective surgery waiting times 2021-22 data tables, Table 4.6


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