HCF defers premium increase for 7 months and delivers our lowest average premium increase in 20 years

Friday, December 24, 2021

  • 2.72% lowest rate increase in 20 Years
  • Current premiums frozen until 1 November 2022
  • Equates to an annual increase of 1.13%
  • $2.8 Billion paid for Members hospital and extras services in 2020/21 despite COVID related private hospital shutdowns
  • Total support provided to members since the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic has exceeded $150 million.
  • HCF membership increased by 5.3% in 2020/21
  • Following HCF’s merger with rt Health we now cover 1.8 million Australians

HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund has announced that from November 1, 2022, the average HCF premium increase will be 2.72%.This is the lowest increase to private health insurance premiums in the past two decades.

In addition, HCF is deferring the rate rise which normally takes place in April 1 2022 to November 1 2022. This means the increase equates to 1.13% on an annual basis. This additional support for members is possible due to the continued reduction in claims resulting from the COVID pandemic. More than $66 million in savings is being returned to members this way. This brings our total COVID support for members to more than $150m.

During 2020/21 HCF recorded annual policy growth of 5.3 per cent. This was 1.6 times higher than the industry rate and followed growth of over 6% the previous financial year. This membership growth is the fifth successive year where HCF has grown more than the industry. Our growth is a function of exceptional value in our products which is driving increased sales as well as industry leading member retention.

In fact, our member retention is the highest it has been for nine years. HCF has been awarded the Canstar National Award for Outstanding Products for the 6th year in a row and notably, HCF has won significantly more awards by state than any other fund. We also continued to deliver the best service for our members, remaining number one in Member Satisfaction of the major health funds.

During 2020/21, and despite COVID related shutdowns of elective surgery for periods of time, HCF paid $2.8 billion for members’ hospital and extras services, including 633,300 hospital admissions; 5.4 million medical services; 652,800 hospital services; and 10 million extras services. This was an increase in claims payments over the previous financial year as the majority of required health services still needed to be performed, despite lockdowns.

As the largest not for profit health insurer, our vision is to make health care understandable, affordable, high quality and member centric. We are doing this by continuing to invest in member value and experience, delivering the best product benefits as possible, keeping premiums as low as possible. “We would love to have no premium increase at all. As a not for profit organisation, we don’t have shareholders to account for or dividends to pay. That means 100% of our focus can be on our members and maximising affordability of their PHI membership” said HCF CEO, Sheena Jack.

“However, it’s also a fact that the demand for health services continues to rise at a fast rate. Increased technology, higher cost of technology, more procedures being conducted than ever before, the ageing population – all of these are factors that are driving health costsup”.

“Members can be assured we are doing everything possible to keep premium increases to a minimum while also being able to offer PHI products that meet the demands of our members. For every dollar our members pay in premiums, we’ve paid out more benefits than the industry average over the past five years; in fact we return 90 cents in every dollar in premiums directly back to members” said Ms Jack.

Ms Jack said HCF was proud to deliver value and peace of mind for more than 1.8 million Australians. “We’ve just experienced our highest retention rate in nine years. Our success is not just measured by membership growth and retention though – it’s measured by how we successfully provide industry-leading health and wellbeing programs to help members’ live healthier lives.

As a not-for-profit, our members can rest assured knowing every decision we make is for them. We are deeply committed to meeting our members’ needs and budgets better than anyone else,” Ms Jack said.

Total support provided to HCF members since the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic has now exceeded $150 million. “Stepping up to support 71,000 members by continuing their health insurance peace of mind while they were in a period of financial hardship was just one way of proving our unflinching commitment to our members, because they are who we exist for.” Ms Jack concluded.




Media enquiries to:
Rebecca Page,

HCF, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund protecting Australians since 1932, covers over 1.7 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. To learn more about HCF go to hcf.com.au/about-us 

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2579 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 29th October - 3rd November 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Australian adults (aged 18+).