Australia’s first No-gap private hospital pregnancy care
For first-time parents Brooke and Mike, HCF’s No-Gap Pregnancy package seemed too good to be true.
“We were both 31 when we got married and we wanted very much to become parents,” says Brooke Delfino, Sydney dietitian and magazine editor. “So it was on the cards that we’d start trying for a baby soon after. We were so lucky it happened quickly – we found out we were expecting a little girl and were over the moon.
“I’d made sure I had private maternity cover before we started trying for a family. This being my first baby, and not knowing what kind of pregnancy I might have, it was really important for me to have continuity of care – to be able to see the same obstetrician throughout.” As Brooke had cover for pregnancy and birth a few months before falling pregnant, she assumed most of her maternity costs would be covered.
“When it came to being pregnant and looking at preparing for the birth, I knew we were going to be covered for my stay at a hospital, but I didn’t realise how much extra we’d have to pay for an obstetrician and the various appointments. Depending on who you are with, it could be thousands on top of what you are covered for. As a first-time parent, not sure what to expect from the birth and aware I was about to be on maternity leave from work, we were looking to save a bit of money. We found out the HCF program was no-gaps and it sounded too good to be true.”
An Australian first, the HCF No-Gap Pregnancy package offers eligible members no out-of-pocket pregnancy costs: care is fully covered from your first scan, to the moment your baby enters the world*. Available to HCF members who hold an appropriate level of cover (with cover for pregnancy and birth-related services)* and who have served their 12 month waiting period by the birth date of their baby either with HCF or their previous fund, the package was launched in 2020 and is currently offered in partnership with Sydney Adventist Hospital (The San).
Brooke jumped on the phone to HCF. “It is what it says: no-gaps. I went to all my appointments with the obstetrician and never had to pull out my wallet, which was amazing.”
HCF’s No-Gap Pregnancy package covers both natural and caesarean births at The San hospital in Sydney, and means mums and couples pay no-gap on obstetrician and birth management fees with selected obstetricians, anaesthetist costs, delivery suite, theatre and ward accommodation fees and ultrasound and pathology costs at selected providers, or charges for paediatrics consultations during the birth. An excess may be payable depending on the member’s hospital cover.
Obstetricians participating in the No-Gap Pregnancy package deliver high-quality, personalised treatment with flexibility for mums-to-be. “I was able to choose the obstetrician I wanted from the list of participating obstetricians and plan the birth as much as possible,” Brooke says. “I already wanted to have the baby at The San hospital, so when I found out this program was there, it was reassuring. And I loved my obstetrician; I was so happy with the care.”
Despite giving birth at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brooke says the arrival of her daughter, Lila Mabel, couldn’t have been a more positive experience at The San. “The hospital made anxious mums – myself included – feel very safe and relaxed. The obstetrician and the midwives were wonderful; I had a really empowering delivery and that definitely had a lot to do with the people around me.”
Brooke and her husband Mike are happy to have discovered the HCF No-Gap Pregnancy package and would go back for a second time. “When we did the maths, we worked out the HCF program probably saved us between $4,000 and $5,000,” Brooke adds. “Going on maternity leave meant no income was coming in, so that saving came in really handy for the year I'm taking off. Just being able to cover things like nappies, wipes and all those things that you don't realise you need when you have a baby."
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*Available with select obstetricians, pathology and ultrasound providers at the Sydney Adventist Hospital. Must be accepted into the program by a participating obstetrician. Depends on your level of cover (pregnancy and birth related services required). To access the HCF No Gap Pregnancy package up until 30 November 2021, you must have served the 12-month waiting period by your baby’s date of birth either with HCF or your previous fund (this is the standard waiting period for pregnancy and birth related services for new joiners to private health insurance). Excludes any policy excess. Not available to Overseas Visitor Health Cover members. To access the HCF No Gap Pregnancy package from 1 December 2021, HCF members must have held HCF Hospital Cover with pregnancy and birth related services for 12 months by the baby’s date of birth.
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