Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
 

Why do premiums go up each year?

Each year on April 1, health insurers raise 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 and heavier population that has resulted in more claims by health fund members.


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 31st of March, you'll enjoy rate protection for that time. That means that you will pay your premiums at the current rate (2020 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 1st changes.


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, and reduce pressure on any future premium increases.

HIF would not be acting in the best interest of its members future health, if an appropriate increase wasn't passed on.


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 13 40 60 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 should I stay with HIF?

We’re here for the long haul, which means we want to make sure that our members have access to high quality healthcare, without having to wait a long period of time.

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.


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

The aftermath of COVID-19 saw any surgeries and specialist appointments that were canceled, 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.


Why has HIF’s annual rate risen twice in the past six months?

Due to COVID-19 HIF pushed its annual rate change back to October 2020 to help those who may have been suffering financial hardship during this period. Once both the public and private systems were functioning as normal once again, private health insurers passed on the annual increase in October.


What are the new Australian Government Private Health Rebate rates from 1 April 2021?

POLICY TYPE  BASE TIERTIER 1TIER 2TIER 3
SINGLE$90,000 or less$90,001 - $105,000$105,001 - $140,000$140,001 or more
COUPLE / FAMILY$180,000 or less$180,001 - $210,000$210,001 - $280,000$280,001 or more
AGEAPPLICABLE PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE REBATE
UNDER 6524.608%16.405%8.202%0%
65 - 6928.710%20.507%12.303%0%
OVER 7032.812%24.608%16.405%0%

We're always looking for other ways we can do more for you. After listening to your feedback, we're pleased to announce the following new features:

  • Flu Vaccinations (from 1 March 2021) - An annual flu vaccination is now covered on HIF Extras policies (except Vital Options). Simply visit any local registered pharmacy to claim this through your policies Pharmacy Benefit.
  • Private Rooms in Private Hospitals (from 1 April 2021) - Private rooms accommodation in private HIF-contracted hospitals is now covered by your Hospital policy, excluding Silver Plus Saver Hospital Cover, Gold Hospital Cover, and Overseas Hospital Cover (including all excesses). When admitted into a public hospital, we'll continue to cover the cost for a shared room.
  • Simplified Dental Benefits (from 1 April 2021) - HIF is simplifying how dental benefits are calculated. This means you'll receive either an equal or higher benefit when you visit the dentist on Saver, Special, Super and Premium Options. 
  • Policy Annual Limits Removed (from 1 April 2021) - We're removing the policy limits on Premium and Super Options for chiro, osteo and healthy lifestyle benefits. We’re also removing the policy limits on Super Options for Complimentary Therapies. This means everyone in your family will be able to claim for these services up to the per person annual limit.
  • Psychology Waiting Periods (from 1 April 2021) - As demand increased for mental health support, HIF has reduced the waiting period for psychological consultations on our Super and Premium Extras, from 12 months to two months. 

Important points to consider when reviewing your new post-April premium:

  • Focus on value for money: If you plan to compare your HIF cover with other funds, consider all the really important factors - benefits, annual limits, excesses and customer care.
  • Consider past performance: If you want to compare different health funds’ rate rises, add up the last 5 to 10 years’ worth of rate rises – this will give a clearer idea of who’s most competitive. Don’t forget other important figures. It isn’t always easy to compare like-for-like covers – many similar covers differ in various ways – but focus on the actual price of similar covers, not the rate rise, versus what you’ll get back when you need it. 
  • Don’t focus solely on the percentages: It doesn’t tell you how much your individual policy has increased by. The weighted industry average is just that – an average.
  • Our focus isn't on shareholder dividends: it's on big benefits, increasing rebates and delivering outstanding health cover to loyal members. 
  • We're an established national health fund - with over 67 years experience we've been helping members since 1954 
  • Your choice: No ‘preferred (contracted) providers’ for Extras here. We believe you should be able to choose any healthcare provider you want, wherever you want without being disadvantaged. 
  • Knowledgeable, personal support: Whether it’s a minor dental treatment or major surgery, we’re here for you. Call 1300 13 40 60 or email us at hello@hif.com.au – we’re always here to help. You can also visit our handy online knowledge base, Ask HIF - it’s packed full of useful info.

 

 

Are you on the right level of cover?

We recommend that you regularly review your cover to make sure it's providing you the best value for your current circumstance.