Health insurance changes: What to expect from April 2019

At CUA, we offer a range of competitive banking and health insurance products. With changes to health insurance coming soon, the CUA Health team explain how new government reforms will impact everyone with health insurance in Australia from 1 April 2019.

These private health insurance reforms will make it easier for members to compare and evaluate different policies. By making it easier to understand what is and isn’t covered, it will be easier for you to decide which policy is right for you.

At CUA Health, we’ve used these reforms as an opportunity to review our policies to continue to find ways to deliver additional value and benefit to our members.

Delivering more value to you

Health insurance companies have some discretion as to how they update their policies to align with the new framework.

At CUA Health, we’ve chosen to make a number of optional benefits available to all members and to offer greater flexibility and savings where we can.

These are some ways that you could benefit from the new reforms at CUA Health:

  • New excess options on hospital policies

We’ve added higher excess arrangements to some of our hospital policies to provide members with the opportunity to make an upfront payment at the time of hospital admission and reduce the overall cost of their health insurance premium. This is an optional reform which CUA Health has adopted to offer more flexible cost and payment arrangements to make private hospital cover more affordable.

  • New Extras covers

From 1 April 2019, additional Extras options will be available – offering more choice. They’ll also provide younger Australians with lower price points when choosing to buy Extras cover for the first time.

  • Hospital health cover discounts for younger members

Health premium discounts for people under 30 are also an option for health funds under the reforms. We understand affordability is a major factor in many young Australians being able to take out private health insurance – so we are adopting hospital health cover discounts of up to 2% for every year you’re under 30 years of age, and up to 10% for 18-25 year olds.

  • Updated natural therapies benefits

You may be aware that health funds will no longer be able to pay benefits to members for a range of natural therapy services. However, CUA Health will continue to pay for those services that are still approved by the government (because there is good evidence of their benefit) and that are popular. These include acupuncture, remedial massage and Chinese herbal medicine.

  • Policies that are easy to understand and compare

From 1 April 2019, all health insurance products must fit into a hospital tier – Gold, Silver, Bronze or Basic, with standardised definitions for procedures within each tier. If you’ve been a member of ours for more than two years, you’ll know that we’re constantly updating and adding value to our policies. Our last product update was in 2016. These policies have been fine-tuned further and aligned to fit the government’s new policy framework. You’ll find these updated policies fully transparent and easy to compare with other policies.

These are just some of the benefits in the pipeline at CUA Health as we move closer to the start date of these new reforms. We’ll continue to bring you news of policy developments and updates as they come to hand.

What you can expect from us

There is an industry transition period for these new reforms from 1 April 2019 to 1 April 2020. CUA Health will introduce most of the changes ahead of the government’s indicative timeline. This will provide as much time as possible to review your policy and consider any potential changes.

We’ve also developed a smooth and easy process to transition across to the new arrangements.

How will I know if my cover has changed?

We’ll notify all our CUA members of their individual health policy and premium changes in mid-February 2019.

This is an important opportunity for you to review your health cover, making sure you consider your personal health situation or any changing personal circumstances. This will provide a period of time to consider your current health insurance cover and to make any changes ahead of the 1 April 2019 effective date, if needed.

What are the next steps?

If you have a CUA Health policy, when you receive your notification make sure you take the time to understand the changes and how your policy might have changed. If you’re happy with your current health insurance arrangements, then there will be no need for you to take any action.

However, if you’d like to review or discuss your options, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you. You can contact us Mon – Fri: 7.30am – 5:00pm (AEST) on 1300 499 260.

If you have any questions or need some guidance in deciding what policy is best for your needs, we’re always happy to help.


Discover our wide range of value-for-money Hospital and Extras cover and choose the one that fits your needs and life changes. With 42 years’ experience, you are in good hands with CUA Health Insurance.

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