YOUR MEMBERSHIP FAQs
Why get HCF hospital cover?
Choose your doctor
If you need hospital treatment, you can choose your doctor.
Avoid waiting lists
If you need an operation or medical treatment, you won't need to go on a public waiting list. Hospital cover can quickly get you into a private hospital so you can be treated sooner.
Take advantage of government incentives
You can avoid paying Lifetime Health Cover loading if you take out cover before you turn 31. Loading adds an additional 2% more for each year you don't have hospital cover (up to 70%) after you turn 31. You will be required to pay the loading for 10 years.
Plus, the Australian Government Rebate may subsidise your premium to help make your cover more affordable.
Reduce your tax
Hospital cover can help you avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge (extra tax).
How can I join HCF?
There are several ways you can join:
- Online: choose the cover that's right for you, then complete our online application form
- Mail: send a completed paper application form to HCF, GPO BOX 4242, Sydney, NSW, 2001
- Call: 1800 062 063
- Branch: visit a branch
How do I choose cover that suits my needs?
We're committed to helping you choose the right cover. Your can explore your options:
When does my cover start?
Your cover will start as soon as you've paid us the premiums due at the time that you apply, and have fully completed our application process. Waiting periods may apply so make sure you check how this affects your membership before you join.
Does HCF offer a free trial?
Yes. You'll get a 100% refund on hospital and/or extras cover if you choose to cancel your policy within 30 days, and haven't made a claim.
Will I get a membership card?
Yes. All HCF members are sent a membership card that details the membership number and the names of those covered. You'll receive your card within 10 business days of joining. You can use your membership card to make 'on the spot' claims at branches or through HICAPS.
How do I switch to HCF from another fund?
Switching to HCF is easy. Choose the cover that works for you, then complete your application and Interfund Transfer.
If you held an equivalent level of cover with your previous fund, and join HCF within 30 days of leaving, you won't have to re-serve any waiting periods.
Once we have the details of your previous fund, we'll ask them to send us an Interfund Clearance Certificate. If they send it to you, please forward it to: HCF GPO BOX 4242, Sydney, NSW, 2001.
If you're switching and upgrading your cover, you'll need to serve the necessary waiting periods for your higher entitlements.
Changing your details
How do I change my personal details?
How do I change who's covered on my membership?
My surname has changed. How do I change my name on my membership?
- change your name with Medicare
- send a copy of your name change documentation (e.g. marriage certificate) with a covering letter, to us at: GPO BOX 4242, Sydney, NSW, 2001
- we'll order you a new membership card
Your previous membership card won't be valid once your order has been processed. You'll get your new card in around 5 business days.
How do I order a replacement membership card?
Log into online member services, go to Actions, then 'Reorder Membership Card' to submit your request. Your new card will arrive in around 5 business days.
- for security purposes, all current membership cards will no longer be valid once your order has been successfully processed
- the minimum selection is 1 card for single or single parent membership, and 2 cards for a family membership
- the maximum number of cards you can select is based on the number of people covered on your membership.
Changing your cover
Some considerations if you change your level of cover:
- for a lower level of cover, you'll be entitled to the benefits of your new cover immediately
- for a higher level of cover, you'll only be entitled to the benefits from your old level of cover until you serve the necessary waiting periods for your higher entitlements
- waiting periods will also apply if you upgrade for services you weren't covered for before. To check whether you need to serve waiting periods, check your product summary, or call us on 13 13 34.
Suspending your cover
How do I suspend my membership?
You can apply to suspend your membership if you’re travelling overseas, receiving a Newstart or Sickness Allowance from Centrelink, or for a reason approved by us. Please note that everyone on the suspended policy won’t be covered for the period of suspension. Suspension is at HCF’s absolute discretion.
To discuss suspending your membership, please call 13 13 34.
What conditions apply to suspending my membership?
- the minimum period of suspension is 30 days
- the maximum period of suspension is 2 years, after which time your membership will lapse
- no benefits are payable during the period of suspension
- the period of suspension doesn't count towards waiting periods and loyalty benefits won't increase
- the additional Medicare Levy Surcharge may be payable for the period of suspension, depending on your annual taxable income
- if you want to suspend your cover for travel reasons, please advise us before leaving Australia
- active and financial membership must be held for more than 6 months before suspension and at least 6 months between suspensions
- a membership can't be suspended more than once in a 12 month period
- Cash Assist and life insurance policies can't be suspended. To maintain your cover, please call 13 13 34 to arrange for your premiums to be paid while your health cover is suspended
- only health products can be suspended. You can’t suspend if you’re have Overseas Visitors Cover or life insurance.
I'm currently suspended, how do I resume my cover?
Your policy must be resumed within 30 days of no longer receiving a Newstart or Sickness Allowance from Centrelink, or within 30 days of your return to Australia.
Please complete and submit a Application to Resume Membership and Payment Authority Form, together with proof that benefits were being received (e.g. a letter from Centrelink or current employer) or proof of departure and arrival into Australia.
How do I cancel my membership?
To cancel your membership, the policyholder needs to let us know in writing. Any premiums paid in advance of the effective cancellation date will be refunded in full, provided you haven’t made a claim after your cancellation date.
If you're considering cancelling, please let us know so we can try and find cover that better meets your needs. You can call us on 13 13 34.
When will I get my private health insurance tax statement?
Your statement may be mailed or emailed to you during the first 2 weeks of July (depending on your communication preference). Statements will also be available at online member services.
How do I get my statement?
If you're an existing member, or have had HCF health insurance during the last financial year, we'll contact you with your tax statement details. You'll be notified by SMS, email or post depending on your communication preference.
Can I get a statement earlier?
Tax statements include details of all payments processed by HCF up to and including 30 June. This means that we can't begin to process them until after that date. We aim to get statements out to all members as quickly as possible.
Why do I need a tax statement?
You may need it to complete your tax return. Your tax statement will confirm the number of days you had an appropriate level of hospital cover over the last financial year. If you weren't covered for the full financial year, and you fall within certain income brackets, you may be liable for the Medicare Levy Surcharge.
Your statement will also outline premium reductions you've received due to the Australian Government Rebate on private health insurance, as well as details of any additional rebate you may be able to claim as part of your tax return.
Will I receive anything else with my statement?
If you're an existing member, you'll also get an Annual Policy Summary. This provides a summary of your current Lifetime Health Cover status and an overview of your current level of cover. You may also receive a Standard Information Statement.
Do I need my Annual Policy Summary or Standard Information Statement to complete my tax return?
No. These are for your personal records.
What information from my statement do I need to complete my tax return?
You may need these details to complete your tax return.
|Health insurer id||Membership number||Your premiums eligible for Australian Government rebate||Your Australian Gvernment rebate received||Benefit code||Other adult beneficiariesfor the policy|
If there's a problem with your membership or cover, please contact us directly on 13 13 34 so we can resolve it as quickly as possible.
If your complaint isn’t dealt with satisfactorily, you can also contact the relevant Ombudsman. This is an independent body formed to help resolve complaints and provide advice and information.
If your complaint is about health insurance:
Private Health Insurance Ombudsman
Call: 1300 362 072 (option 4)
Write: Private Health Insurance Ombudsman, Commonwealth Ombudsman, GPO Box 442, Canberra, ACT, 2601
If your complaint is about life, pet or travel insurance:
Australian Financial Complaints Authority
Call: 1800 931 678
Write: Australian Financial Complaints Authority, GPO Box 3, Melbourne VIC 3001
HCF also supports the Private Patients Hospital Charter, which outlines what members can expect from doctors, hospitals and health funds. You can call us on 13 13 34 to request a copy of the Charter.