Private Health Funds: HCF
HCF stands for Hospitals Contribution Fund of Australia, a not-for-profit that has been in operation since 1932. It is one of the largest not-for-profit health funds with 1.5 million members across Australia. Its customer-focused approach helped the fund received the Not-for-Profit Service Excellence award from Customer Service Institute of Australia five years in a row.
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 a not-for-profit fund with a customer-first approach. It has been recognised in the industry for its high level of service.
- HCF offers four levels of hospital cover with no excess for accidents and no excess for children. It also offers five levels of extras cover and a range of combined policies.
- HCF’s My Membership app makes it easy to make extras claims, estimate your benefit amounts, update your details, and check your remaining limits.
HCF offers hospital cover, extras cover, pre-packaged cover, and the ability to customise your cover. On all packages there is no excess for kids, regardless of how many times they go to hospital. Family cover also remains the same no matter how many children you have.
HCF offers four levels of hospital cover. All levels include no excess for accident-related treatment and no excess for children. Each level offers the choice of a $250 or $500 excess. Premium cover also offers the option of no excess.
Here are the different tiers of HCF hospital cover:
- Basic: Designed for healthy, budget conscious members
- Mid: Covers some common procedures at an affordable price
- Mid Plus: Comprehensive hospital cover that excludes pregnancy
- Premium: Top level of hospital cover, including pregnancy and no excess for same-day admissions.
Five levels of extras cover give you greater flexibility to choose what suits you best. Annual dental benefit limits range from $350 per person for Bronze cover up to $650 per person for Silver Plus. Gold and Platinum extras cover have no annual limit for preventative dental.
The five tiers are:
- Bronze: Entry-level extras that includes general dental and some therapies
- Bronze Plus: Higher limits for general dental and therapies, with optical cover
- Silver Plus: Mid-level cover including major dental and a larger range of services and therapies
- Gold: Wide range of cover including orthodontics and artificial aids
- Platinum: Top level cover with higher limits and benefits plus a loyalty limit
HCF has created a selection of packages based on your current life stage. Each life stage has three levels of suggested packages, so there is still room to match your budget with your coverage needs. Certain higher-level packages also include free overseas travel insurance cover for members aged 74 and under.
Here are the life stages HCF uses to put together packages:
- Young Singles and Couples (includes special Young Starters package designed for people getting health cover for the first time)
- Planning a Family
- Family With Kids
- No Pregnancy
- Top Cover
- Just Hospital or Extras Cover
Cash Assistance Products
HCF offers additional low-cost products from the fund’s life insurance suite to supplement your cover as needed.
- Kids Accident Cover: Pays a lump sum if your insured child is accidentally injured
- Bounceback Cover: Designed for under-30s, this covers people aged 16-30 if they suffer from a common accident or illness
- Cashback Cover: Pays a lump sum if the insured experiences any of 6 specified illnesses or an accident requiring surgery in an operating theatre
- Critical Illness Cover: Pays a lump sum if an insured person is diagnosed with certain illnesses like heart attack or stroke
Over the last 5 years, HCF has paid out more benefits than the industry average for each dollar members pay in premiums. According to the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PIHO), here’s how HCF stacks up against other funds in the industry.
Hospital Related Charges Covered
HCF is slightly above industry average
Medical Services with No Gaps
HCF is above industry average
Medical Services with No or Known Gaps
HCF is above industry average
General Treatment (Extras) Covered
HCF is below industry average
*As of March 2018
HCF members have several options when claiming. Claim forms are available for download through the HCF website.
Making an Extras Claim:
- On the spot: using an electronic claims and payment system right after your appointment
- Photo claiming: Use the HCF app to submit a claim using a photo of your receipt
- Claim by post: Download a claim form or pick it up from any branch, then post in your claim (note that for orthodontic treatments, claims must be submitted by post or in person at a branch)
- Claim in person: Bring your receipts and membership card into a branch
- Claim online: Log in to the HCF Member Section to make an online claim, then post in the original receipts
Making a Hospital Claim:
- Log into the HCF Member Section to verify what you’re entitled to under your policy
- Complete and sign the claim form before being discharged from hospital
- The hospital will send a bill to HCF on your behalf
HCF members can benefit from a range of member offers and discounts, as well as specialised online health and wellbeing programs. HCF also rewards members for their loyalty. Depending on how long you’ve been with the fund, you’ll have access to different levels of rewards.
- Opal: 0-4 years with HCF
- Emerald: 5-9 years with HCF
- Ruby: 10-24 years with HCF
- Diamond: 25+ years with HCF
Discounts may include:
- 10% off books and gifts from Booktopia
- 15% off HCF pet and travel insurance
- 10% off select products at HCF thankyou
- Discounts on skincare at Jurlique
- Discounted tickets and reserved seating through HCF Entertainment
Wellbeing Programs may include:
- Programs to help you quit smoking or learn to swim
- Weight loss program for members with special health conditions
- 24/7 phone support for members with mental health conditions
- A range of apps to help manage your health and your membership
Involuntary Unemployment Assistance
HCF also offers Involuntary Unemployment Assistance to eligible policyholders with hospital cover. If you are involuntarily unemployed, the fund will pay your premiums for up to 183. Exclusions, conditions and waiting periods apply.
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.
Address: 403 George St, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: 131 334