How to keep your health cover if you're struggling financially

Treatments & Procedures


Your health is our priority, so we’ve made important changes to make sure you’re covered for COVID-19 and to give you financial support if you need it during these difficult and challenging times.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a lot of disruption, with many Aussies finding themselves unexpectedly out of work. Losing your job can be an incredibly stressful experience and you might be wondering how you’re going to make ends meet.

As Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund, we go above and beyond each and every day to put our members’ health first and have done so for almost 90 years. Now more than ever, we’re committed to showing you the Uncommon Care we’re known for.

We want you to have the peace of mind that having private health cover brings so talk to us about support options if you’re struggling financially by calling us on 13 13 34 and speak to our team.

What we’re doing to help

Like everyone across Australia, our business is bound by federal government announcements and restrictions.  

But we assure you, we’re up to the challenge and are continually evolving and expanding our range of services and support to give you care when it counts.

In these uncertain times, you can be confident we're covering COVID-19 related hospital claims for members with hospital cover. For a small number of policies that wouldn’t normally cover all COVID-19 related hospital claims, we’ve extended your policy to make sure you’re covered. This cover extension has been made at no extra cost to our members. Overseas Visitors Health Cover members should check their product information to see if they’re covered.

We put people before profit. That’s why we’re always working on new ways to bring you the care you need, when you need it most.

Involuntary Unemployment Assistance

We know that many of our members are struggling financially because of the impacts of the pandemic – so it’s important we make sure those who are doing it tough get the help they need, when they need it. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our Involuntary Unemployment Program has been helping more than 73,000* eligible members experiencing hardship, to remain covered.

Involuntary Unemployment Assistance allows eligible members who’ve had hospital cover (excluding Extras Only, Ambulance Only and Overseas Visitors Health Cover) for at least 12 months to remain covered by paying their premiums for up to 6 months. We’ve made this easier for you to access during COVID-19, and we've temporarily extended those changes until 31 December 2021. You can apply for assistance as soon as you lose your job or have been stood down. And if you’re a casual or part-time worker, or had your hours reduced, you may still be able to get help.

To apply, just call us on 13 13 34 and speak to our team, otherwise you can send us an email here or go through the HCF My Membership app. Conditions and waiting periods apply.

Suspending your cover

You might also have the option to suspend your cover for a short time, but we recommend you seek advice before you do, as it may have some implications at tax time. Depending on what you earn, if you choose a suspension, you may have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge for the period in the tax year that you didn’t have hospital cover.

Before making this decision, talk with your accountant, the Australian Tax Office or read more here. Subject to certain criteria, if you choose to suspend, rather than cancel your cover, you won’t need to re-serve waiting periods when you resume your HCF cover.

To understand more about which option is right and your circumstances, please get in touch.

Getting in touch

We want to support our members who are struggling financially – especially those who find themselves, recently and suddenly, unemployed. We’ve got your back in good times and bad, so please don’t hesitate to make contact and we can talk through your options.

Here’s how to get in touch with us:

Updated September 2021

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*Figures current for the period March 2020 to June 2021.

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