Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

 

Why do premiums go up each year?

Each year on April 1, health insurers review premium rates on existing Hospital and Extras policies to ensure funds can continue to cover the cost of healthcare. These costs continue to rise due to an increase in health-related expenses, new equipment and technology being utilised and an aging population that has resulted in more claims by health fund members.

Does HIF profit directly from premium increases?

No. HIF is a member-owned, not-for-profit health fund. That means that HIF has no shareholders to factor in or distribute profit to, so any net operating margin earned as a result of this year's premium increase will be directly added to HIF's reserves to ensure the future payment of claims, review benefits and reduce pressure on any future premium increases. We would not be acting in the best interest of its members future health, if an appropriate increase wasn't passed on.

Why should I stay with HIF?

We’re here for the long haul (since 1954 in fact) which means we make sure that our members have choice in and access to high quality healthcare when they need it most. While many people only consider the strain on elective surgery wait times, public hospital emergency departments are also affected by increased waits. Having private health insurance provides access to the private health system and the choice to select your own hospital, specialist or provider, all freedoms that aren't necessarily available through the public health system.

I received a COVID-19 payment this year. Why couldn’t HIF use this payment to keep my premium the same?

We review premium rates on existing Hospital and Extras policies each year to ensure we can continue to cover the cost of healthcare and pay future claims. This year’s premium increase covers claims for the period starting 1 April 2022. The COVID-19 payment made to eligible members in December 2021, was the result of claims savings due to our members' inability to access non-urgent Hospital and Extras services between 1 April 2020 and 30 June 2021.

Will HIF profit from any elective surgeries which are cancelled?

As in 2020-2021, we give members our word that HIF will not profit from the pandemic and will again return to them any savings made as a result of delayed hospitalisations. Last year we returned $2.8 million in COVID-19 claims savings to approximately 50,000 eligible members who held active, domestic Hospital and/or Extras cover. The savings potential for this year is unknown but our commitment to members will again be honoured in 2022. For our full PR on this, please visit here. Alternatively to view all updates related to COVID-19 hardship measures, please view our COVID-19 updates

Why is my premium increasing by more than HIF's average increase?

The average percentage increase is an average across all policies, states and territories, but each product is priced individually depending on the increasing health care costs associated with that product in each state or territory. For that reason, some of our rates have gone up less than the average and some more – depending on the costs associated with the particular product or location. How will the premium increase affect me if I’ve paid my contributions in advance? If you pay your premiums prior to the 31 March, you'll enjoy rate protection for that time. That means that you will pay your premiums at the current rate (2021 rate) for the duration of that upfront payment, which can be 12 months’ worth of premiums, 6 months, 3 months, 1 month or one fortnight. If you do choose to make an upfront payment of 12 months, you will also receive an additional bonus discount of 4% (or 2% for six monthly payments). By paying an advanced rate protection amount you will also retain the rebate that is relevant to your situation prior to the April 1 changes.

I’m currently with another fund but I’d like to switch to HIF. What do I need to do?

Switching to HIF is easy as. Simply join online (it only takes a few minutes) or call us on 1300 134 060 to sign up. During the online application process, we’ll ask for the name of your current fund, your previous member number and your authorisation to contact your previous fund on your behalf - then we do everything else! No forms to fill in, no paperwork, nothing. If you transfer to HIF on an equivalent or lower level of cover, you won't need to re-serve any waiting periods already served with your previous fund for those services for which you were already covered.

Why are you increasing the premiums when we could hardly use our services due to lockdowns?

The COVID-19 saw any surgeries and specialist appointments that were cancelled, being reinstated to ensure Australians were getting the care that they needed. If anything, more health appointments were scheduled. The increase in this time period and the general rise in health costs, means health funds, like HIF, needed to pass this rate change onto members.

Where can I access my rate change letter?

Your rate change letter will be sent to your preferred method of communication from 17 February 2022. It will also be available to download from your Online Member Centre (OMC) Inbox from mid-March 2022.

What does the privacy update in my letter mean?

We have updated our privacy policy to outline that our members de-identified information may be disclosed to third party and fourth party operators that we interact with as an example, to complete surveys regarding patients who have finished care.