COVID-19 Member Support Program

Updated 24 November 2021

Defence Health introduced the COVID-19 Member Support Program in March 2020 to help members during the coronavirus pandemic.

To date, we’ve delivered more than $12.8 million in support to members. We’ve had your back since the beginning. And we’ll be here to care for you and your family for the long term.


But right now, we’re giving back COVID-related claims savings to benefit our members.

        • We’re freezing our 2021 premiums until 1 October 2022. 
        • Delaying the premium increase until October will deliver a further $12 million in financial relief to our members.

Other support that is still available:

  • Cover for COVID-19 treatment in private hospital for all members with hospital cover, regardless of their level of cover. An excess will still apply on hospital admission depending on cover.
  • Telehealth consultation benefits are now permanently available for physiotherapy, occupational therapy, exercise physiology, dietetics, psychology and speech therapy on eligible extras cover. No additional waiting periods apply.
  • Waiving the excess for members who paid their hospital excess in 2020–21, and had further hospital treatment postponed between 27 May and 30 June 2021 due to COVID restrictions. When that postponed treatment occurs in 2021–22, you will not be asked to pay the excess again. Affected members should call us to ensure the hospital excess is not applied (1800 335 425). Please note, the excess will still apply to any other admissions that were not delayed as a result of COVID-19.


  • Why don’t you roll over extras benefits?

    Our premium freeze is the fairest way to return the COVID savings we made in 2020–21 as a result of unused extras benefits. And members still have until 30 June to use their 2021–22 extras benefits.  

  • I have hospital cover; will I be covered if I need to get treated for COVID-19 in a private hospital?

    Yes, we continue to extend private hospital treatment for COVID-19 treatment to all our members with hospital cover. We’re also covering hospital treatment resulting from an adverse reaction or side-effect to a COVID-19 vaccine.

    If applicable, your excess will still apply on a hospital admission.

  • Why do I need my private hospital cover?

    The waiting time for patients in public hospitals has blown out during the pandemic. Your private hospital cover gives you greater control over the timing of elective surgery and gives you the choice of doctor for your treatment.

    As the elective surgery waiting list has extended, an additional 245,000 Australians took out private hospital cover in the 12 months to June 2021. (Source: APRA quarterly statistics June 2021).  

    The Medicare Levy Surcharge and Lifetime Health Cover loading may apply to you if you choose to drop your hospital insurance. And to avoid waiting periods in the future, you need to maintain your hospital cover.