The Reserve Bank Health Society (RBHS) is a straightforward not-for-profit health insurer that only offers top-level health cover. Because it doesn't keep profits for itself, it focuses on giving back to its members with high extras limits, loyalty rewards and other benefits.
Benefits that go further than other providers: cover for the kids until they turn 25, 90% back on extras and no excess.
They have a great customer service reputation. Between April and June, they were one of the few insurers to have no complaints.*
If you're looking for a basic policy, you won't get it. RBHS only offers comprehensive hospital and extras insurance.
*Private Health Insurance – Quarterly Bulletin 99: 1 April to 30 June 2021 Review by our insurance and innovations editor Gary Ross Hunter
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Reserve Bank Health Society Health Insurance overview
Who can join? Membership of Reserve Bank Health Society is restricted to current and former employees of the Reserve Bank of Australia or Note Printing Australia. The spouse/partner and dependent children of members are also eligible for cover, as are their former spouses and adult children.
What are the benefits of not-for-profit funds? As a not-for-profit fund, RBHS aims to give its members access to several benefits but by paying the lowest possible premiums. Eligible employees can receive generous contributions from their salary towards their premium payments, while national coverage is provided through an Australia-wide network of 460 hospitals and 21,000 doctors. Dependent children can even be covered at no extra cost.
Can I get combined hospital and extra? Reserve Bank Health Society offers Gold Hospital Cover for comprehensive protection and a high level of extras cover, each of which can be taken out on its own or combined to form a package policy.
How do I join? If you’re eligible and you’d like to join RBHS, all you have to do is download an application form from the Reserve Bank Health Society website, fill it out and then email it back to the fund. If you need any help filling out the form you can phone Reserve Bank Health Society to be talked through every step of the application process.
What are the different levels of cover available with RBHS?
With no excess required any co-payments only required for nursing home type patients, this policy covers public and private hospital accommodation in a shared or single room.
It allows you to choose your doctor, covers your doctors' bills in hospital and includes Medical Gap Cover.
The policy will pay for procedures and treatments including intensive care, theatre fees, drugs and dressings, obstetrics, recovery room, special nursing in hospital, surgically implanted prostheses and more.
Major dental, endodontic, orthodontic, optical, laser eye surgery, orthoptic treatment, non-PBS pharmaceuticals, physio, chiro, osteopathy, podiatry, psychology, acupuncture, remedial massage, and hearing aids are all covered.
Gold Hospital and Premium Extras Cover
If you want comprehensive health insurance protection, this Reserve Bank Health Society is designed with you in mind. It simply combines the hospital and extras cover provided under the above two policies into one package.
Are there any additional benefits?
Optical and dental benefits. Unless otherwise indicated in your policy, Reserve Bank Health Society covers up to 90% of the service charge for optical and dental treatments.
Don't get hit with the LHC. Avoid Lifetime Health Cover premium loadings by signing up for cover before your 31st birthday.
Tax advantages. Take advantage of the Australian Government’s Private Health Insurance Rebate to save money on your premiums.
My Health Online. This online wellness portal provides a range of tools and resources to help you manage your wellbeing.
My Hospital @ Home. This program allows you to get out of hospital earlier and receive the care you need in the comfort and privacy of your home.
Strive for Health. This program helps members with chronic conditions manage their health.
Rehab in the Home. This program offers short-term therapy in your own home following procedures such as joint replacements.
Health Risk Assessment. A Health Risk Assessment with RBHS helps you find out more about your unique health needs and requirements. You'll need to fill in an online questionnaire which gives you a health report showing where you are doing well and where we RBHS may be able to help you.
The Healthy Weight for Life program. This program is tailored to help those with heart disease, diabetes and osteoarthritis management get the most out of life. It can help with weight loss, strength exercises and education to improve your health.
Are there any general exclusions and waiting periods?
Reserve Bank Health Society will not pay your private health cover claim if:
It is for services received outside Australia
It is for a service for which Medicare does not offer a benefit, for example cosmetic surgery that is not medically necessary
It is for treatment received while you are serving a waiting period
It is for a service or treatment received more than two years prior to the date you lodge your claim
It is for a treatment or service that is specifically included from your health cover policy
In addition, it’s also important that you are aware of the waiting periods that apply to private health insurance before you become a member.
Hospitalisation following an accident is covered immediately, but the vast majority of hospital and extras benefits will require you to serve a two-month waiting period before they can be accessed.
Some other benefits, such as major dental, obstetrics and treatment for pre-existing conditions, are not available until you have been a fund member for at least 12 months.
Finally, keep in mind that annual or five-yearly per person limits apply to many benefits under Reserve Bank Health Society Extras Cover. For example, a maximum of $6,500 cover is available for major dental surgery every five years, while $920 cover for glasses and contact lenses is provided in any rolling two years.
Reserve Bank Health Society Health Insurance Excess
Under some health funds, when you’re admitted to hospital you need to pay an excess to help cover the cost of your hospital stay. However, as RBHS has agreements in place with most hospitals around Australia, in most cases you will not need to pay an excess or contribute a co-payment when you are admitted to hospital.
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Frequently asked questions about RBHS
No, the three cover options offered by Reserve Bank Health Society all offer quite a high level of cover. There are no policies available for those looking for cheap, basic cover.
There are several options to choose from when you need to make a claim on your RBHS policy.
How do I make an extras claim? If you need to make an extras claim, many health care funds will allow you to swipe your membership card and claim your benefits electronically whenever you receive treatment. However, many extras benefits can also be claimed online through the Reserve Bank Health Society website, or by completing a claim form and then emailing, faxing or posting it back to the fund along with any receipts. There's even a mobile claiming app for smartphones and tablets that's designed to make it even easier to lodge a health insurance claim.
What do I need for making a hospital claim? When it comes to medical and hospital claims, in most cases your doctor or hospital should send the bill straight to Reserve Bank Health Society. However, where required you can submit a claim form to RBHS via mail, email or fax.
Get the Reserve Bank Health Society claims app
Reserve Bank Health Society
In the vast majority of cases you will not have to pay an excess if you are admitted to hospital under your Reserve Bank Health Society cover.
There are multiple options for paying your RBHS health cover premiums, including payroll deduction, direct debit, credit card and cheque.
Yes, a new Reserve Bank Health Society member can cancel their policy within 30 days of joining and as long as they have not made a claim, they will receive a full refund of any premiums they have paid.
Reserve Bank Health Society will recognise any waiting periods you have already served as long as you held an equivalent or higher level of cover.
If you hold Extras Cover with Reserve Bank Health Society and you need major dental treatment, you will first need to serve a 12-month waiting period.
Under this Australian Government scheme, you will be hit with a 2% premium loading for every year following your 31st birthday until you take out private health cover. In a nutshell, this means that you can save money if you take out cover earlier rather than later.
Gary Ross Hunter is an editor at Finder, specialising in insurance. He’s been writing about life, travel, home, car, pet and health insurance for over 6 years and regularly appears as an insurance expert in publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian and news.com.au. Gary holds a Kaplan Tier 2 General Advice General Insurance certification which meets the requirements of ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146).
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