Reserve Bank Health Society COVID-19 Update

Released 19 Mar 2020, 4:05AM

Updated 23 April 2020: We have postponed our annual premium increases for 6 months and have announced a range of measures to support our members.


  • Premium increase postponed until 1 October 2020. There is no action needed by you, we will make these arrangements for all members.
    Hospital treatment for COVID-19 is included on your hospital cover. COVID-19 treatment is covered on your Gold Hospital cover, as long as you joined before 31 March 2020. Waiting periods apply to those who join after the 31st of March.
  • RBHS members in financial hardship can call us on 1800 027 299 to discuss financial support options.
  • RBHS is taking precautions and following ‘social distancing’ guidelines in response to COVID-19 and is operating at reduced service levels during this period.
  • We encourage members to use our digital services like our app and Online Member Services.
  • You can contact us on 1800 027 299 or send us an email at

New RBHS support

RBHS has arranged additional support measures for our members until 1 October 2020, during COVID-19. Our new support measures are:

  • Hospital treatment for COVID-19 included for our hospital cover. There will be no waiting periods for any COVID-19 hospital admission for members who had our hospital cover as at yesterday.
  • Freezing rate increase: The annual rate increase was scheduled for 1 April, and has now been postponed for 6 months until 1 October 2020 and will be reviewed again at that time.
  • Easier access to financial support. RBHS members in financial hardship can call us on 1800 027 299 to discuss financial support options.
  • Telehealth and video consultations for members with extras cover: If you have extras cover, you will be able to claim the usual face-to-face consultation benefits for telehealth/video consultations during this time for;
    • Psychology
    • Physiotherapy
    • Occupational therapy
    • Speech therapy
    • Dietetics
  • Telephone-based health programs: If you have a health condition you’re managing, we have a range of free health programs available on our hospital cover.
  • Hospital at Home: We continue to offer Hospital at Home services and Rehab at Home, where it’s safe to do so and your specialist agrees.

Frequently asked questions

No, they’re not. RBHS wants to do everything to help its members through this tough time. Your rates will stay the same for the next 6 months, until 1 October 2020.

You don’t have to do anything, it will all happen automatically.

There’s no need to do anything. Your rates are still locked in until 1 April 2021.

RBHS is proud to cover COVID-19 on its hospital cover for members who started their cover before 31 March 2020.

If you have recently switched to RBHS from another hospital cover within 30 days and have served your two-month waiting period there, you will be covered for COVID-19 hospital admissions.

New members and upgrades to hospital cover will need to serve a two-month waiting period before they’re covered for COVID-19 treatment in hospital. All other waiting periods apply.

Note: During the COVID-19 crisis, it’s likely that public and private hospitals will be seeing unprecedented demand and this may affect access for both public and private patients.

Our usual process applies. If you switch after 31 March 2020 and you do not already have cover with another fund, a 2-month waiting period applies for Coronavirus and there are a range of other waiting periods up to 12 months. You can find more info here.

  • During the COVID-19 crisis, it is likely that public and private hospitals will be seeing unprecedented demand and this may affect access for members.
  • Your doctor and hospital will be able to provide more information about the surgeries going ahead.
  • Starting from Monday 27 April 2020, government restrictions on elective surgeries will be relaxed, which means more elective surgeries can go ahead including:

    Category 1 Elective surgery

    Urgent: (Clinically Indicated within 30 days)

    Going ahead now.

    Category 2 Elective surgery

    Semi-urgent: (Clinically Indicated within 90 days)

    Some going ahead now, and restrictions will be lifted on the rest from 27 April 2020

    Category 3 Elective Surgery

    Non-urgent: (Clinically Indicated within 365 days)

    Some will be going ahead from 27 April 2020 including:

    • IVF,
    • screening programs,
    • post-cancer reconstruction,
    • some dental surgeries,
    • joint replacements,
    • cataracts and eyes,
    • endoscopy, colonoscopy and
    • procedures for children under 18.
  • The impact of COVID-19 will be different in different geographic areas, depending on their demand for COVID-19 hospital beds.
  • This means hospitals in your area might not be impacted in the same way or at the same time as hospitals in other regions.
  • Importantly, treatment and beds are assigned by the hospital and the doctor depending on your health needs.
  • More Category 3 elective surgeries will be scheduled again when the government gives the go ahead.
  • There will be disruption in the healthcare system for a while to come yet, and we’re working with government and health providers to do the best for our members and the community.

If you're admitted to a hospital as a private patient, that’s where private health insurance kicks in and you can claim as normal. If you go to emergency and are treated but not actually admitted into hospital, health funds are unable to cover the fee by law. If you go to emergency and need to be admitted into hospital, you can claim your hospital stay, but not the emergency visit.

Our self-service app and website are fully operational.

Yes, all our health programs are now included for all members with hospital cover.

There will be no waiting periods for members who joined hospital cover before 31 March 2020.

Waiting periods of 2 months (or 12 months for pre-existing conditions) apply for members who joined after 31 March 2020.

We are following the government’s ‘social distancing’ guidelines right now, so a large number of our staff are working from home to make sure that if you need to use your health cover, you can.

Simply use your RBHS card when paying for your service. If you need to do a photo claim, use our app.

Log in using our website to make payments on your cover.

  • The COVID-19 situation is an unprecedented crisis in Australia and the government’s doing what it can to expand the healthcare system to look after everyone.
  • Your private health cover is just as important as ever.
  • We’ll still be covering our members in both public and private hospitals for the urgent elective and emergency surgeries going ahead according to Government advice.
  • We’re continuing to offer our full range of services and benefits for members and have extended our coverage to include:
    • Telehealth and video consults for extras cover (psychology, physio, occupational therapy, speech therapy and dietetics)
    • Telephone-based health programs on our hospital cover
    • Hospital at Home and Rehab at Home on our hospital cover
    • Health information on our website
  • It’s important to maintain your cover as many elective surgeries are being rescheduled.

No, health funds aren’t allowed to cover you overseas, so this is a question for your travel Insurer. As long as you maintain your health cover, we’ll be here when you get back.

It’s important to know the situation is changing quickly and that the rules and arrangements for travel insurance might have changed recently. We strongly recommend you review government advice and talk with your travel insurer during this time.