5 ways your health cover can help improve your wellbeing

Physical Health

5 ways your health cover can help improve your wellbeing

Updated February 2024 | 6 min read
Words by Selina Altomonte

From extras that will keep you moving to essential health checks and programs that support your wellbeing, here’s how your health cover can help improve your wellbeing.

We know that exercising and looking after our mental health is important for our long-term wellbeing, but the truth is that life can get in the way. When it comes to our physical health alone, it is common for people to feel like they just don’t have enough time or have too many other commitments to engage in sport or physical activity for fitness.

As Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund, we want Aussies to have access to high-quality, affordable care that will help them stay healthy and well. From reducing out-of-pocket expenses on everyday health services to wellbeing programs that can help you reach your goals, here’s how your health cover can help improve your wellbeing.

1. Extras that keep you moving

HCF extras can cover treatments that make your everyday healthier – think dental, physio, optical and osteo. Remember to make the most of your extras cover by choosing from more than 16,000 providers within our No-Gap network. Depending on your level of cover and annual limits, you can get 100% back* on popular services through our More for You programs.

Looking for even more flexibility? HCF’s Flex My Extras^ gives you basic extras cover with a single limit plus an additional optical limit, so you can get more back on the extras that matter most to you. Find out more about some of the extras that can keep you moving well below.

Get physio with your HCF cover

Physios provide hands-on treatment for musculoskeletal (muscle, bone, tendon, ligament, joint and cartilage) conditions like sports injuries. They can also support pain management, rehabilitation after surgery and chronic health conditions like diabetes, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, incontinence, cancer, stroke, along with neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Eligible HCF members seeing a physio in our No-Gap network can get 100% back* on their first appointment.

Does HCF cover gym memberships?

Being active on a regular basis can keep you healthy and strong, prevent muscle and bone deterioration, and release feel-good chemicals like endorphins and serotonin.

If your doctor, physio or other allied health practitioner has recommended an exercise or gym program to treat a specific medical condition, you may be able to claim towards the cost. This includes conditions such as:

  • arthritis
  • hypertension
  • obesity
  • asthma
  • diabetes
  • osteoporosis.

Ask your doctor, physio or other allied health provider to fill in the exercise and gym benefits form.

Is osteo covered by health insurance?

Seeing an osteopath can give you a holistic approach to your health and wellbeing, with an emphasis on helping your musculoskeletal system to stay healthy. Osteopaths use spinal manipulation, soft tissue massage, gentle joint movement and muscular resistance to treat conditions including back and neck pain, arthritis, pregnancy-related discomfort, sciatica, headaches, sports injuries and tendonitis. Depending on your level of cover, and annual limits, you could also get 100% back* on a first visit to an osteo.

What is myotherapy?

Myotherapy can help treat or prevent soft-tissue pain and restricted joint movement caused by muscle, ligament and tendon dysfunction. Treatment can include massage, gentle movement, hot or cold therapy, TENS therapy (using a device that sends electrical pulses through the skin to treat pain), acupressure and dry needling to help treat sports and overuse injuries, muscle sprains and strains, headaches, posture issues and back pain.

2. Important health checks and screenings

Prevention is key when it comes to your health and regular screenings are important tools to stay healthy and active. Even if you're feeling well, regular check-ups can help identify any emerging health issues or risk factors and help you maintain an active lifestyle. Take some time to work out which health checks you need for your stage in life and add them to your diary.

Is it time for your heart health check?

Each year, more than 56,000 Australians have a heart attack. That’s why we offer free heart health checks for eligible members+ at different times of the year. And if you’re living with a heart condition or type 2 diabetes, you may be eligible# for our free offer of The COACH Program®, which provides up to six months of over-the-phone support from an accredited health coach.

Bowel cancer screenings

According to the Department of Health and Aged Care, more than 90% of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated if detected early. If you’re aged 50 to 74, you’ll be sent a free bowel cancer screening kit in the mail every 2 years and if you're aged 45 to 49, you can request that your first bowel cancer screening test be mailed to you through the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. Our Health Management Programs provide extra support if you’re outside these free testing ages and you might still be eligible to claim towards the kit under your extras cover.

Essential annual health checks

You may already have your annual eye, hearing, dental and skin checks scheduled in like clockwork, but we want you to make the most of your cover at the same time. Remember, you may be able to claim 100% back* on one or two dental check-ups a year through our No Gap network. Need eyecare services? On 1 January 2024, we increased a number of optical benefits on eligible extras cover for frames, lenses and contact lenses so you can claim your full optical annual limit. Check your limits by logging in to the My Membership app or calling us on 13 13 34. You can also receive a free retinal image through our More for Eyes program.

Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, so it’s vital to have regular skin checks to help prevent any small skin cancers from spreading. While you’re exercising outdoors, remember to slip, slop, slap, seek and slide. See your GP straightaway if you detect any changes to your skin.

3. Access to health programs

Expert-led health management programs offer additional free support to help you reach your wellness goals, whether you want to manage your weight, boost your fitness levels and mobility, improve your sleep or are living with mental health challenges.

Weight management

If you need support in reaching a healthy weight, you could be eligible** for the Healthy Weight for Life Essentials program. Led by dietitians and allied health practitioners, it’s designed to support members with a body mass index of 28 to develop healthier habits, lose weight and prevent the onset of chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

Joint health

HCF members living with osteoarthritis of the knee or hip joints could be eligible** for the Osteoarthritis Healthy Weight for Life program, which is designed to help reduce joint pain, improve mobility or prepare you for hip or knee surgery.

Better sleep

Two in 3 adults report at least one sleep problem. If you’re one of them, the Sleepfit app can help you identify sleep issues, recommend improvements and provide personalised tools to help you get good-quality sleep that supports your wellbeing. Eligible members^^ can enjoy a free 12-month subscription.

Access the mental health support you need

We’re committed to providing mental health support to our community, which is why we’ve expanded our mental health offering. Members with eligible cover can now claim consultations with a psychologist (if you don’t have a Medicare Mental Health Treatment Plan or you’ve used it up), an HCF-approved counsellor or an accredited mental health social worker.

Eligible members can also get a free HealthyMinds Check-in for eligible members##. This gives you faster, easier access to PSYCH2U psychologists and digital support service that can help you understand and improve mental health challenges such as stress, anxiety and depression.

4. On-demand injury cover

Planning an active adventure? Flip is our on-demand accidental injury insurance***, so if you feel like going on an adventure-packed holiday, having ski lessons or finally learning how to surf, you can ensure you’re covered for it – whether it's for just a few hours, a week or longer. It’s our way of giving you peace of mind, so you feel empowered to take on anything.

5. Online services

We want you to spend less time on life admin and more time enjoying life, so we’ve put everything you need to manage your health cover in one place. Download the HCF My Membership app to make fast claims on the go, manage your account details, chat with health cover experts, and access a range of health programs, offers and discounts.

And to keep you inspired to live your best life, join us at Health Agenda, where you’ll find insightful articles and videos that will inspire you to stay fit and active, the latest research on health and what it means for you. Also, don’t miss podcasts like Menopause Matters, where host Alison Brae-Daddo speaks with leading women’s health experts about how to thrive through perimenopause and menopause.

Related articles

Health checks you need

Your guide to staying on top of your health with the right screening checks for every life stage and age.

Make the most of your extras

How to use your private health insurance and extras cover to maximise your health and wellbeing.

How eye tests work

Protect your eyesight by having an eye check regularly. Here’s what happens during an appointment.

Workouts for a healthy heart

Not all exercise was created equal when it comes to maintaining a healthy heart. Check out these fitness tips to boost your heart health.


* 100% back through More for You providers in our No-Gap network is available on selected covers. Waiting periods and annual limits apply. Providers are subject to change. We recommend that you confirm the provider prior to your appointment. See hcf.com.au/100back

^ Flexible $650 single limit plus $175 optical limit per person, per year.

+ Must be 18 years or over and have HCF hospital and extras cover. Excludes Overseas Visitors Health Cover.

# To be eligible, members must have a heart-related condition or diabetes and must have had hospital cover that includes heart conditions and vascular system for at least 12 months. Excludes Ambulance Only, Accident Only Basic cover and Overseas Visitors Health Cover. Clinical eligibility applies.

** Eligibility criteria applies. For more information see hcf.com.au/hwfl

^^ Eligibility criteria apply. See hcf.com.au/sleepfit for details.

## 1 HealthyMinds Check-in available per member per calendar year. Service is available free to all members with hospital cover. Excludes extras only cover, Ambulance Only, Accident Only Basic and Overseas Visitors Health Cover.

*** Advice provided by Flip Insurance Pty Ltd (Flip) is general in nature. Flip does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs, so please consider how appropriate it is for you before purchasing. Read our PDS, FSG and TMD available at getflip.com.au before purchasing, too. HCF Life Insurance Company Pty Ltd (HCF Life) is the issuer of Flip insurance. Flip is a wholly owned subsidiary and authorised representative of HCF Life. You can contact Flip and HCF Life here. HCF Life is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hospitals Contribution Fund of Australia Limited (HCF) and acts on its own behalf. Premiums for Flip insurance are paid to HCF Life. HCF receives commission of 80% of HCF Life’s underwriting profit each year, calculated as premiums less claims and expenses. Flip may receive remuneration from HCF Life for the financial services it provides in relation to Flip insurance. Flip and HCF Life employees receive a salary, paid by HCF Life, for the financial services they provide in relation to Flip insurance. In addition, HCF, HCF Life and Flip employees may also receive an incentive depending on the total revenue and profitability of Flip insurance, and for meeting their compliance obligations. This remuneration is provided on a discretionary basis and may vary from time to time.

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