Private Health Funds: HCF
HCF was created in 1932. In 2012, it is the largest and fastest growing Australian not-for-profit health fund. They currently serve 1.5 million members across Australia. Their mission is based around providing affordable and quality health insurance. Retirement and aged care is also high on the agenda. They offer travel, pet and life insurance products in addition to health insurance.
In 2012, HCF became the first Australian health fund to achieve accreditation to the International Customer Service Standard due to exceptional levels of customer service. In 2013, they won the coveted national Best of the Best award at the Customer Service Institute of Australia (CSIA) and repeated this in 2014.
- HCF is committed to giving generous benefits to its members. Current examples of this include the More For … programs, which include over 9500 Extras providers for services such as dental, optical, physio, podiatry, chiro and osteo. .
- More money goes back to their members compared to the average health fund.
- Only one hospital excess is payable per calendar year (where an excess is applicable) and there is no hospital excess for admissions for dependent children.
- HCF also works to maintain its reputation as the best no-gap medical cover in Australia.
- HCF is a leader of preventative health initiatives, with health management and support programs such as exercise programs, support for chronic conditions, quit smoking, stress management, Healthy Weight for Life, weight management, childbirth education, and bowel cancer testing.
- My Health Guardian enables members to look after their health and wellbeing, including support for chronic conditions and healthy living support. This is available to members with Hospital and/or Extras cover.
- My Global Specialist can offer a second opinion on medical diagnosis of conditions, with a leading international medical specialist conducting a full review of member diagnosis and treatment plans.
- Members with Extras cover get Victor Chang heart health checks in some HCF branches
- Members receive a 10 per cent discount of HCF travel and pet insurance.
Like most health funds, HCF offers the choice between hospital cover, extras cover or both.
There are three main options if you only want to have hospital cover.
Hospital cover is aimed at those who only want low level cover and excludes things like cardiac services, pregnancy and birth services, assisted reproductive services, joint replacements and cataract surgery.
Mid Hospital is a little broader and includes cardiac services and joint investigations and reconstructions, but still excludes pregnancy and birth services, assisted reproductive services, joint replacements and cataract surgery.
Top Hospital is designed for complete peace of mind, with the only notable exclusion being elective cosmetic surgery
There are 5 levels of Extras cover available.
Bronze Extras include General Dental and some therapies (including Physio, Remedial Massage, Chiro, Osteo, Acupuncture (consultation), Naturopathy/Nutrition (consultation) and Alexander Technique – all of which are grouped together under the same low annual limit).
Bronze Plus Extras also includes Optical and has slightly higher annual limits.
Silver Extras also includes some Major Dental services, and vaccinations and immunisations.
Gold Extras also includes Pharmacy, Hearing Aids, Artificial Aids and Health Management Programs.
Platinum Extras offers the highest level of Extras cover.
Hospital and Extras packages are also available.
Young Starter Hospital is a entry level designed for young singles and couples who are not yet ready to start a family.
Various levels of Hospital and Extras cover can be combined to produce the desired level of protection.
In participating private hospitals, the bill will be sent directly to HCF. If an excess is payable, this will often need to be paid when you leave (but may be billed to you after this, depending on the hospital).
For Extras services, claims can be made on-the-spot at your provider, online, in person at selected HCF branches, by post or by taking a photo of your receipt and submitting it via the HCF mobile app.
At HCF, you are rewarded for being a member. The rewards increase for each year that you keep your membership. For example, the amount that you can claim on extras goes up year-on-year.
HCF has branches in New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory. Here, you can become a member, get advice and make claims. There are also HCF kiosks in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia. However, you cannot make claims, or make cash payments for premiums, at these kiosks.
HCF has agreements with a number of hospitals across the country. You can search for your nearest participating hospital here.
If you take out Extras cover, you will get dental benefits. These can take place at any of the seven HCF Dental Centres in NSW. If you don’t leave near here, you can use one of the 7000 dental providers who participate in HCF’s More for Teeth program. This includes Queensland, Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and New South Wales.
With Extras cover, you also get optical benefits at HCF Eyecare Centres. The More For Eyes Program is available in these centres in NSW. It can also be found in participating optical providers across Australia.
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