FAQs
on yourpremium changes

Q1. Why are health insurance premiums reviewed every year?

Advances in health care, growing demand for medical treatment and changes to the Australian Government Rebate on private health insurance are just some of the reasons why premiums go up. For more information on the reasons and what we’re doing to make health care more affordable and accessible for our members, see our page on why premiums go up.

 

Q2. When will I hear about my new premium?

You’ll be notified about your new premium between late February and early March 2018. Your first payment after 1 April 2018 will reflect your new premium.

Q3. Can I delay paying my new premium?

Yes – you can lock in your premium at your existing rate by paying up to 18 months in advance, provided we received your payment before 1 April 2018. The deadlines for each payment method are below.

Payment method Pre-payment deadline
Direct debit – credit card or bank account 27 March 2018
BPAY hcf.com.au/bpay 26 March 2018
Phone 13 14 39, branch or online 31 March 2018

Q4. How does HCF compare to other funds in terms of premium increases?

This year, our average premium increase is our lowest for 16 years, the lowest of the major health funds, and below the industry average. The cost of every health insurance product is reviewed individually, so the change to your premium may differ from the average.

Being not for profit, we’re committed to giving you better value for money and delivering a higher percentage of premiums back in benefits. We’re also focused on keeping premium increases to a minimum to address affordability and deliver value.

Q5. Why did my insurance premium increase more than the national average percentage?

The Australian Government calculates the national average for premium increases based on the 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.

Q6. Why have my premiums gone up, but my benefits haven’t increased?

To help you get the most value from your premiums, we focus on delivering benefits that really matter. Each year we review the benefits we pay to health care providers such as hospitals, doctors and extras providers, like dentists. It’s our responsibility to ensure your premiums allow us to provide the level of health cover our members need and expect.

Q7. Why has my premium gone up even though I make few, or no claims?

Your premium increase reflects the balance between managing premiums we receive versus claims we pay out to members on your level of cover. Premiums increase to ensure we have enough funds to cover the benefits we expect to pay to members on your level of cover in the coming 12 months.

Private health insurance in Australia is 'community-rated'. This means you pay the same premium for the same level of cover as everyone else in your state, regardless of your age or health status, or the number of claims you make. This helps make private health insurance more accessible for everyone.

Q8. What is HCF doing to keep my health insurance as affordable as possible?

We work closely with participating hospitals and doctors to reduce your out-of-pocket expenses, provide guidance on preparing for hospital admissions, and help you find treatment that minimises your costs.

Our Preparing for Hospital tool explains how a range of common hospital procedures work. We cover what questions to ask, what to expect in hospital, and what aftercare you may need. It also features a cost indicator, which outlines the typical costs, potential out-of-pocket expenses, and the difference your choice of doctor and hospital can make.

We’ve also partnered with Healthshare, a website that helps you find a medical specialist who participates in the HCF no-gap or known-gap scheme. Your GP can also use this tool to refer you to a specialist who participates in HCF’s Medicover gap scheme to help reduce your out-of-pocket costs for hospital services.

Q9. Why is the Australian Government Rebate on private health insurance decreasing as a percentage?

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 Consumer Price Index (CPI)). If the average premium increase is greater than CPI, which it generally is, the Australian Government Rebate percentage that members are entitled to is reduced.

As the rebate is a government initiative, we unfortunately have no control over this reduction. For more information on changes to the rebate, visit privatehealth.gov.au or ato.gov.au.

Q10. Why are premium increases higher than CPI?

This is because the cost of providing quality health care is generally increasing faster than the cost of other consumer goods. More money is being spent on health across the sector with total health expenditure in Australia increasing by 59% in the last decade.

We live in a time where the population is ageing, and has access to better quality health care than ever before. We’re living longer, and seeing better health outcomes, but this comes at a cost.

Q11. Where can I learn more about how private health insurance works?

You can find more information at Private healthcare explained

Q12. Unhappy with your premium review?

We’re here to help. Call one of our health insurance experts on 13 13 34 for a free health cover check.

Q13. I have more questions – who can I speak to?

Please call our dedicated hotline 13 13 34 (Monday-Friday: 8am-8pm (AEDT) Sat-Sun: 9am-5pm (AEDT) or visit your nearest branch.

Find out more

WHY HEALTH COVER PREMIUMS GO UP

Find out why this happens and what we’re doing to make health care more affordable and accessible.

UNDERSTANDING THE COSTS

How to get the most out of your private health insurance.

PRIVATE HEALTH CARE EXPLAINED

What you need to know about the private system.

CONTACT US

We’re here to help.