Our history

From humble beginnings in 1932, to becoming the nation’s largest not-for-profit health fund, HCF has been a core part of the health landscape for almost a century. We’re proud of our many industry firsts, advocating for and empowering members to take charge of their health and have the care and support that's right for them.

Take a look at some of the key moments that have shaped our journey, from introducing the first multicover plan to ‘cover the gap’ in extras services, to opening one of the first dental centre networks and being at the forefront of healthcare innovation through our HCF Catalyst program.


  • 2022 – Announced a 5 year, first-of-its-kind strategic collaboration with Ramsay Health Care to make health care more affordable and accessible for our members.
  • 2022 – First investor in XT Ventures to drive health-tech innovation across health, wellness, sport and fitness.
  • 2021 – Launch of Flip, Australia’s first on-demand injury cover*.
  • 2021 – Merged with Australia’s oldest heath fund, rt Health, helping protect and future proof the value provided to members by not-for-profit mutuals.
  • 2021 – The first health fund to defer premiums for the second time and the longest during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
  • 2019 – Launched our gap minimiser tool to help members avoid unexpected costs and out-of-pocket expenses.


  • 2017  Helping our members on their health journey by launching our Preparing for Hospital tool – an online collection of easy-to-use resources to help people understand some of the most common hospital procedures.
  • 2015 – Disrupting the healthcare system with the launch of HCF Catalyst, Australia’s first corporate-backed health-tech accelerator aimed at startups and scaleups in the health tech space.
  • 2012 – Our More for Eyes, More for Teeth and More for Muscles programs launch to reduce and eliminate out-of-pocket expenses for our members.


  • 2011 – Improving preventive heart health by partnering with the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute to open Health Check Booths to eligible members at HCF branches.
  • 2009 – Providing online and telehealth tools to empower members to make informed choices about preventive health by launching My Health Guardian, a health and wellbeing program.
  • 2008 – Broadening our presence in Victoria and Queensland by merging with Manchester Unity.
  • 2000 – Improving health outcomes for all Aussies with the establishment of the HCF Research Foundation, Australia’s leading non-government funder of health-services research.


  • 1992 – The first HCF Eyecare Centre opens, delivering quality clinical services and lower out-of-pocket costs for members.
  • 1987 – Our HCF Dental Centre at HCF House in Sydney opens providing primary oral healthcare leaving members with zero out-of-pocket expenses.
  • 1986 – Serving the expanding regions west of Sydney as the first major sponsor of a new community rescue helicopter service – HCF Careflight.
  • 1982 – Putting the health of Aussies first for 50 years.
  • 1980 – First health fund to establish and continue to operate our own Life Insurance (Recover Cover) business^.


  • 1975 – The first of its kind, we introduce our Multicover Plan – the first fund to cover the medical ‘gap’ for a wide range of healthcare services like dental, eyecare and physiotherapy.
  • 1967 – HCF becomes The Hospitals Contribution Fund of Australia. Along with an official name change, we now have established branch offices in Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart.
  • 1965 – We expand into Victoria to assist fund contributors throughout Australia. Branch transactions become a larger part of HCF’s business, with 3 out of 5 claims presented over the counter.
  • 1964 – The first computer is installed, and electronic data processing becomes an integral part of HCF’s operations.


  • 1960 – We add medical benefits, entering a joint operation with MBF. This arrangement lasts for 3 years.
  • 1957 – We celebrate 25 years. Benefit payments for the year total 3.17 million pounds.
  • 1953 – We relocate to the Catton Building on Liverpool Street, Sydney.
  • 1942 – We extend to all of NSW and acquire a new name – ‘The Hospitals Contribution Fund of NSW’.


  • 1941 – We move to Hamilton Street in Sydney. During World War II, an air-raid shelter was built in the basement of HCF House and patrolled day and night by 24 staff volunteers.
  • 1937 – Our first service branch opens in Sydney.
  • 1932 – The ‘Metropolitan Hospitals  Contribution Fund of New South Wales’ is established. In our first 2 years, more than 100,000 members joined the fund.

important information

* Issued by HCF Life. Consider the PDS and TMD at getflip.com.au

^ Issued by HCF Life. Consider the PDS and TMD at hcf.com.au/lifeinfo