Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
 

Why are you increasing premiums when members may be experiencing financial hardship?

Whilst no one could have anticipated the impacts of COVID-19, rate increases are a necessity in our industry due to a number of external factors. These include the ever-increasing cost of hospital and healthcare, medical equipment and technology, increases in claims frequency, chronic health conditions, our ageing population and more. 


Why are you increasing premiums when you've saved millions on Extras claims due to COVID-19?

The simple answer to this is, we haven't. Although April and May were low claiming months due to the impacts of COVID-19, we subsequently paid out higher than the previous years claims benefits in June and July 2020 for dental, optical, physio, chiro, osteo, podiatry and natural therapy services. It's also important to note that as a not for profit organisation we pay out over half a million dollars in claims everyday, so it's imperative that rate changes like this take place in order to ensure we're delivering value for money to all our members in the long-term. 


Does HIF profit from the premium increase?


No. HIF is a not-for-profit, here-for-you health fund. This means that the company has no shareholders to report or distribute profit to. Any net operating margin earned as a result of this rate increase will be directly added to the fund’s reserves to ensure the future payment of claims, benefits for members and covering our operational costs and overheads. 

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

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 premium increases are less than the average while others are more – depending on the costs associated with a particular product or location.


Can I remove cover for something I know I won't use, like maternity services?

We understand that there are services (such as maternity) that our members would like to exclude from their policies, while still retaining services like cardiac and joint reconstruction. With this in mind, our Silver Plus Hospital Cover provides comprehensive cover minus maternity and some other services. It's important to remember though, that while commonly used services like maternity are listed in our hospital cover comparison table, our hospital policies will cover you for thousands of different treatments and procedures - essentially, any service that has a Medicare item number attached and isn't specifically listed on your policy as an excluded service.


How will the premium increase affect me if I’ve paid my contributions in advance?

If you pay your premiums prior to October 1, you'll enjoy rate protection for that time. That means that you will pay your premiums at the current rate for the duration of that advance 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'll also receive an additional bonus discount of 4% (or 2% for 6-monthly payments). To pre-pay your premiums, call us Monday to Friday on 1300 13 40 60. 


I'm an HIF member. By how much will my standard payment increase and when are the new rates effective from?

The exact details of how the premium increase will affect you will be communicated to you in writing mid-September and will be effective 1 October 2020.


What is HIF doing to reduce health care costs?

We are proud to be a part of Private Health Care Australia and the Members Health Fund Alliance. These lobby groups act on our behalf on matters of importance within the industry. If you would like some additional reading on how these bodies are helping advocate for members, visit the Department of Health's website.


How can I avoid this year's premium increase?

If you want to save money and delay when you have to start paying the new premiums, you can! All you have to do is pre-pay your premiums before October 1 – and you can pre-pay up to 12 months in advance. To pre-pay your premiums, call us Monday to Friday on 1300 13 40 60. And remember, when you pay your premium on an annual basis, you'll automatically get a bonus 4% discount (or 2% for half-yearly payments).

It can be easy to forget the support measures we have in place for our members, so here's a quick reminder.

Important points to consider when reviewing your new post-October 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 65 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 know that affordability is important for our members, which is why we're here to help.
If your circumstances have changed, it may be a good time to review your health cover.