Member health needs live on as we work together through crisis
3 April 2020 – Sydney,
HCF, Australia’s largest not for profit health insurer, reassures members that as the nation bands together to tackle the widespread demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing health needs of members will continue to be a priority.
“As always, our members remain our focus and we continue to explore how we can best support them during this turbulent time and into the future when we emerge from this pandemic,” said HCF CEO Ms Sheena Jack.
“As a country we must all pull together and work as a united healthcare system to balance the short and long term healthcare needs across Australia. We support the Government’s move to an integrated system of private and public hospitals working together to increase capacity at this critical time.”
“We know that this health crisis has altered our way of living for the time being, however the reality is that many of our members still require their immediate healthcare needs to be met. Whether it is giving birth, receiving cancer or cardiac treatment or medical assistance as a result of an accident, we will continue to support our members for these ongoing needs. We remain agile in this critical environment to ensure we never lose sight of what matters most to our members,” said Ms Jack.
In this rapidly evolving situation, HCF recognises that many members may be feeling overwhelmed by the information out there and have provided clarity around how their private health insurance policy can provide some reassurance:
- All HCF members with a hospital policy are covered for COVID-19 related claims and can still elect to be treated as private patients.
- Many members will still require hospital treatment for health conditions unrelated to COVID-19 and will have their policy in place to cover this. Category 1 and urgent Category 2 surgeries continue to be undertaken. This refers to all ‘urgent’ surgeries that have the potential to deteriorate quickly to the point where it may become an emergency.
- HCF have a range of online products and services available to support members, including telehealth services providing online access to healthcare professionals including psychologists and GPs; programs to manage health risks such as weight loss and support for chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
- HCF Dental and Eyecare centres continue providing emergency care by appointment.
HCF also acknowledge the critical balance that the two health systems will play as and when we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With the pandemic placing non-emergency surgeries on hold, we anticipate high demands on those category 2 and 3 surgeries when this does eventually pass. This will place high pressure on hospital waitlists, and we stand ready to work with the Government and members to ensure we balance demands on the system.”
HCF have implemented a number of support measures for members including the deferral of premium increases, involuntary unemployment assistance and financial hardship assistance to help see their members through these tough times.
“We are assessing and updating our products and services on a daily basis, both at HCF and as an industry, to ensure private health insurance remains as relevant now as ever and we are investigating many other ways to provide support and value to members.”
HCF members who are suffering financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, are encouraged to reach out to the dedicated Hardship team on 13 13 34 to discuss available options.
Issued on behalf of HCF by OPR Agency. Media enquiries to:
HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund protecting Australians since 1932, covers over 1.6 million members with health and life insurance, and travel and pet insurance. On average over the last five years, HCF has paid out more cents in every dollar in premiums to members as benefits than the industry average. With over 35,000 specialists participating in its Medical Gap Cover Scheme and approximately 10,000 providers participating in its 100% back More for You programs, HCF gives members access to quality health care with no gaps or minimal costs compared to non-participating providers. To empower members to put their health first, HCF also offers a range of health and lifestyle services including its Healthy Weight for Life programs, mobile Victor Chang Heart Health Checks, Thank You rewards program and preparing for hospital online tool. HCF’s national network of retail outlets and Australian-based call centres have earned multi-award winning status. HCF members also have access to low cost, high quality services at HCF Dental Centres and HCF Eyecare Centres. Having contributed $50 million to support the health services research funded by the HCF Research Foundation, HCF is devoted to investing in the future of Australia’s health. To learn more about HCF go to hcf.com.au/about-us