Private health companies whose profits have been boosted by the Covid-19-caused downturn in health claims have committed to returning that money to customers, as consumer groups argue that premiums should be reduced during the pandemic.

The chief executive of peak body Private Healthcare Australia, Dr Rachel David, has said health funds were going to extraordinary lengths to offer financial relief to their members.

Health funds have given a commitment that any funds resulting from the cancellation of elective surgery and some allied health services will be returned to members.”