HIF will return $3million in COVID-19 claims savings back to members* before Christmas.
Approximately 50,000 HIF policies will receive payments ranging from $17.50 (for a single person with Extras only cover) to $120 (for a couple or family with both Hospital and Extras cover).
HIF will make payments to eligible members who held Hospital and/or Extras cover (Domestic and Overseas) between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022, and were still a member as of 30 September 2022.
Members will receive one payment per policy (as opposed to a payment for each person covered by their policy) with payments expected to roll out from 12 December up to Christmas.
CEO Justin James said HIF has remained committed to not profiting from COVID-19 throughout the pandemic and was pleased to be supporting its members for a third year in a row.
“Members before profit is ingrained in everything we do at HIF. We are so happy to be able to pass on these savings to those that matter the most to us before Christmas,” Mr James said.
The $3 million is in addition to the $2.785 million in COVID-19 claims savings given back to HIF members in the 2020/21 financial year in recognition of reduced access to services during the pandemic.
The total estimated amount of financial relief provided to members in response to COVID-19, including premium relief, givebacks and access to additional mental health support now stands at $9.7 million**.
The announcement of COVID-19 payments comes on the back of the release of HIF’s 2021/22 Annual Report in which HIF reported a surplus of $7.7million.
“This is the third year in a row we have returned a surplus, while our membership has remained stable. As a relatively small fund with 50,000+ members, this is something we are exceptionally proud of,” Mr James said.
“Strong financial performance is never taken for granted, however our core operations are showing resilience and quality and this allows us to invest in things that will make a difference to our members now and into the future, which is what we strive for. So we are really pleased with these results.”
For the past 12 months, HIF has worked hard to provide choice and access to members and offer support when they’ve needed it the most.
After delaying its 1 April 2020 premium increase for six months, HIF’s 2022 premium rate of 3.20% was the lowest in the past eight years.
In recognition of the toll the pandemic has played on Australians’ mental health, HIF gave members aged 18 and over free access to Mental Health Navigator – a quick, virtual access to a network of leading clinical psychologists and psychiatrists in Australia.
In the last 12 months, HIF has also supported members impacted by the devastating floods in Queensland and New South Wales by giving them the option to suspend their policies and donated $25,000 to GIVIT to support members and the broader community on the ground where needed.
With the public hospital system currently under strain and wait times for treatments growing rapidly, HIF continues to cover the cost of members’ urgent care consultations at St John Urgent Care centres and offers Telehealth services.
Urgent Care offers access to doctors after hours to receive care for urgent but non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses, without the need to visit an emergency department.
Mr James said looking ahead to 2022/23, HIF would use its ‘What if’ brand to explore new avenues to helping members, including discussions around emerging therapies in the treatment of mental health conditions and improving members’ sleep.
“What if is a question with infinite possibilities and we’re looking forward to exploring those over the next 12 months,” Mr James said.
For more information on Covid payments visit hif.com.au/covid19payment.
View the HIF 2021/22 Annual Report here.
*Eligibility criteria applies to receive HIF’s COVID-19 payment, for further information please visit hif.com.au/covid19payment.
** As of 30 June, 2022.