At this time of year, all health funds review their policies and announce any changes to their premiums.
As our country’s largest not-for-profit health fund, we’d prefer to have no premium increase at all. But we need to balance the growing costs of healthcare to ensure we’re well-placed to cover our members’ needs, while still providing access to quality and timely healthcare.
Frequently asked questions
- When are premiums changing?
- Didn’t premiums change last October?
- Why are premiums going up now?
- When will I hear about my new premium?
- My premium increased more than the national average percentage. Why did this happen?
- Why has my premium gone up when my benefits haven't increased, and I've made few or no claims?
- Why has HCF sent me a Private Health Insurance Statement with my premium review?
Making premium payments
- Can I lock in my current health insurance premium, and how do I do this?
- How can I change my payment frequency?
Support HCF is giving members
- What have we been doing to support members during COVID-19?
- What is HCF doing to lower the cost of health insurance?
Australian Government Rebate
- Why does the government give back less in the Australian Government Rebate on private health insurance each year?
Getting in touch
There are 4 main reasons premiums go up:
- More people are going to hospital and the demand for health services continues to rise at a fast rate.
- More people are living with chronic health problems, which are costly to manage.
- Advances in health technologies and treatments offer better outcomes but often cost more.
- The incidence and cost of treating mental health concerns are increasing.
Members can be assured we’re doing everything possible to keep premium increases to a minimum. We deliver great value cover and access to timely, high-quality health services. We tailor our offerings to meet member needs and advocate for things our members benefit from most, like greater transparency around out-of-pocket costs.
We’ll contact you by your preferred way of hearing from us by mid-March 2021.
You can also find information about your premium change by:
- using the My Membership app and tapping on Cover Details
- logging in to online member services and going to My Cover then Cover Details.
Your first premium payment after 1 April 2021 will reflect your new premium. You won’t be charged if you’ve already locked in and pre-paid your health insurance premium. Find out more about how to lock in your premium including deadlines here.
The Australian Government calculates the national average based on the premium increases it approves for all Australian health funds.
Because your premium increase relates to your chosen level of HCF cover, it may be different to the national average (or the HCF average). Your premium increase reflects the balance between managing member payments against the claims we pay out for all members on your level of cover in your state or territory.
Private health insurance in Australia is community-rated rather than risk-rated. This means you pay the same premium for the same level of cover as everyone else in your state or territory, regardless of your age, health status or the number of claims you make. This helps make private health insurance more accessible for everyone.
As Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund, we’d prefer to have no increase at all. But we need to balance the growing costs of healthcare to ensure we’re well-placed to cover our members’ needs, while still providing access to quality and timely healthcare.
Yes, you can pre-pay and lock in your current premium for up to 18 months. We’ll need to receive your payment via one of the payment methods below before the given deadline.
BPAY: pay before 28 March 2021 (AEST/AEDT)
- See how to get started with BPAY
Direct debit (credit card or bank account): pay before 27 March 2021 (AEST/AEDT)
- Manage a direct debit with the My Membership app or in online member services (just go to Payments then Update Payment Details), call 1800 845 077 or download and submit a payment authority form.
My Membership app or online member services: pay before 31 March 2021 (AEST/AEDT)
24/7 self-service hotline: pay before 31 March 2021 (AEST/AEDT)
- Call 13 14 39
Speak to a consultant over the phone: pay before COB, 31 March 2021 (AEST/AEDT)
- Call 1800 845 077
Visit a branch: pay before COB, 31 March 2021 (AEST/AEDT)
- Find your nearest branch
- Please note we’ll only accept a credit card in branch.
Depending on your policy, you can save time and hassle by automating your premium payments at a frequency that suits you. This could be weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or even yearly, depending on what cover you hold. You can do this by:
The far-reaching impacts of COVID-19 saw us put people before profit like never before. Despite restrictions on our health system we couldn’t previously imagine, we paid out $2.5 billion in hospital and extras benefits in 2019–20.
We’ve provided members with over $100 million in ongoing member benefits and support, deferred last year’s premium increase for 6 months and extended financial help to more than 56,500* members experiencing severe hardship.
We continued to show our members a level of care that’s uncommon, giving members greater flexibility in how and where their care was delivered, many from the convenience and safety of their homes. This included mental health support, telehealth services and out of hospital care.
Affordability continues to be an issue across the health system and members can be assured we’re doing everything possible to keep premium increases to a minimum. We deliver great value cover and access to timely, high-quality health services. We tailor our offerings to meet member needs and advocate for things our members benefit from most, like greater transparency around out-of-pocket costs.
At HCF, we work closely with industry groups and government to ensure we have a sustainable health system and keep the costs of health cover as low as possible by:
- reducing out-of-pocket costs with our handy Participating Provider and Dr Gap tools to help members make informed choices about their healthcare and what they can expect to pay
- working closely with healthcare providers to make it easier for eligible members to access the services they need and get the best value from their cover including in-home care and hospital substitution programs
- offering our More for You extras providers, so eligible members can get 100% back on selected extras services and general treatment like dental, optical, podiatry and physiotherapy^
- driving reform through partnerships with industry groups and government to influence policy reform to lower healthcare costs and average premium increases
- investing in the future of healthcare through our HCF Research Foundation and HCF Catalyst program to drive research and innovation in the delivery of affordable and accessible health services for our members and all Australians.
The Australian Government Rebate on private health insurance was introduced in 1999 to help make health insurance more affordable.
Each year on 1 April, the government compares the national average of health fund premium increases to the standard cost of living in Australia, known as the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Usually, the government gives back less in rebates each year. Unfortunately, because the rebate is a government initiative, we don’t have control over how much they reduce it by. For more information on changes to the rebate visit privatehealth.gov.au or ato.gov.au
Please keep in mind the government rebate will also change if your income has changed.
Secondly, your premium might be different if you’ve made changes to your cover, or if you’ve added or removed people from your policy.
If you have a question about your premium change, we're here to help. Our friendly team of health cover experts are always happy to talk through your needs, so give us a call on 13 13 34:
- Mon-Fri: 8am–8pm (AEST/AEDT)
- Sat: 9am–5pm (AEST/AEDT)
- Sun: 9am–1pm (AEST/AEDT).
PEACE OF MIND IN UNCERTAIN TIMES*
- $2.5b paid for members’ hospital and extras services
- 1.9m dental treatments covered with no-gap through our More for Teeth program
- 250,850 members used a no or known-gap provider through our network of 50,700 medical specialists
- $2.1m in member savings through HCF Thank You rewards
Find out more
AVOIDING UNEXPECTED DOCTOR’S COSTS
Understanding doctors' fees and charges is key to avoiding bill shock.
UNDERSTANDING THE COSTS
How to get the most out of your private health insurance and understand the details.
PRIVATE HEALTH CARE EXPLAINED
What you need to know about the private health system.
HCF THANK YOU LOYALTY PROGRAM
Our exclusive range of loyalty offers and rewards delivers even more value#.
*Uncommon Care in Uncertain Times Financial Year 2019–20.
^Depends on your level of cover and annual limits.
#Eligibility criteria applies. You can access HCF Thank You offers after you've been a member for a month and if your premiums are up to date. Excludes Ambulance Only and Overseas Visitors Health Cover.