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HCF Health Insurance Review

Choose your doctor, surgeon or specialist. Claim benefits not covered by Medicare, such as dental, optical and physiotherapy. 1300 743 254

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Anneke Van Aswegen Published/updated: 30 September 2019
Types of Health Insurance

HCF is Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund, providing health insurance to more than 1.5 million members. HCF re-invests the premiums you pay them back into the company. Their vision is to make private health insurance understandable, affordable and customer-centric.

The health fund operates in all states and territories in Australia and has over 50 branches.

ComparingExpert does not currently have access to this provider. Visit www.hcf.com.au to request a quote and compare their price and benefits to the Australian private health insurance companies we have access to.

What does HCF stand for?

HCF stands for the Hospitals Contribution Fund of Australia. However, when it was established in 1932, under the name Metropolitan Hospitals Fund.

With over 85 years of experience, HCF protects over 1.5 million Australians with a wide range of products that serves to manage and improve member’s health and lifestyle. Besides private health insurance, they also offer life cover, travel insurance and pet insurance.

Overview of HCF health insurance products

The HCF health fund is the third largest private health insurer in Australia, with 10.4% of the market share, as of 2018 and the largest not-for-profit health fund. They offer a variety of Hospital and Extras policies, as well as a few convenient package options that combine Extras and Hospital cover for singles, couples and families.

HCF Hospital cover options

For an HCF Hospital policy from HCF insurance, you can choose an Excess of either $250, $500 or $750. All Hospital cover options provide you with in-hospital treatments as a private patient in a public or private hospital.

Basic Plus

The cheapest option to help you avoid the LHC loading and Medicare Levy Surcharge.

Bronze Plus

Affordable, but includes more hospital procedures than the Basic options, for example:

Silver

Comprehensive coverage for those wanting to start or grow their family.

Includes everything listed in the Bronze package, plus:

Gold

Top level Hospital insurance for complete peace of mind.

You’ll be covered for everything in the Silver Hospital plan, plus:

Podiatric surgery will be restricted.

Source: HCF health insurance website (27 September 2019)

When you have an HCF Hospital policy, you won’t pay any excess when your children need to go to a hospital, regardless of how many kids you have or how frequently they need to go to the hospital.

HCF Extras cover

HCF offers a variety of Extras policies, from the cheapest Starter option to the more expensive and comprehensive Top Extras policy. Please remember, while HCF Extras cover some or all of the costs associated with general treatments received outside of the hospital, it does not exempt you from the Lifetime Health Cover loading or Medicare Levy Surcharge.

Starter Extras

Generally, for those that have a strict budget looking to cover the essential services, including general dental, physiotherapy and ambulance services. With this Extras option, you’ll get 100% back on 1 dental check-up, 1 scale and clean and 1 fluoride treatment per person per year if done at a participating provider.

For an extra fee, you can have the Starter option that includes cover for Optical.

Mid Extras

The policy includes benefits for optical treatments, as well as increased limits on general and major dental and selected therapies, including physiotherapy.

You can also claim benefits toward HCF approved vaccines and immunisations, and you’ll be granted access to the insurer’s Health Management Programs.

Vital Extras

This policy might be suitable for families with kids as it includes orthodontics, occupational therapy and the school accident benefit. However, Vita Extras might also be beneficial for senior Australians that want coverage for hearing aids, osteopathy and dentures.

Receive benefits for a wide range of general treatments and therapies, including 2 dental check-ups, 2 scale and clean and 1 fluoride treatment per person per year if done at a participating provider. Additionally, you’ll receive a benefit for:

Top Extras

The most comprehensive Extras policy includes everything listed in the Vital Extras option, but with higher benefit limits.

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Combined Packages

This health fund offers you the convenience of choosing a combined Hospital and Extras package suited to your specific stage of life: Young and single, starting a family or established family.

HCF’s most popular health insurance packages

My Future 500 Basic Plus

Created for the budget-conscious young single or couple. Combines Basic Hospital ($500 excess) and Extras cover, to include:

This package does have some exclusions and restrictions. For example, there’s a minim benefit applied to rehabilitation, palliative care and hospital psychiatric services.

My Family Silver Plus

Designed for those planning to start or grow their family; combines a Silver Hospital policy with a Mid-level Extras cover. It includes everything in the Basic Plus package, as well as:

You’ll also have limited benefits applied to podiatric surgery and hospital psychiatric services.

Hospital Gold and Mid Extras

A comprehensive package for complete peace of mind. Covers everything listed in the My Family Silver Plus option, but also includes:

Source: HCF health insurance website (27 September 2019)

Take note: Before choosing a policy you might want compare HCF reviews with other major health brands in Australia to determine which one meets your requirements and budget.

Special offers and benefits for HCF members

The insurer has launched their Thank You program that rewards members the longer they stay with the fund. You’ll receive savings from a wide range of national brands, for example, Coles, Woolworths, Meyer and David Jones.

Diamond and Ruby members can also use HCF Assist, which includes Clinical Triage and Home Assistance.

Members can view the offers and rewards they have access to by logging into the HCF online member service on the company’s website.

HCF provider networks

One of the benefits of joining the HCF health fund is that they enable you to get up to 100% back on selected Extras from over 10,000 participating program providers, depending on your level of cover and annual limits.

You can claim money back on services for your:

HCF waiting periods

Waiting period Service
1 Day Emergency ambulance
2 Months
  • All hospital services for conditions that are not pre-existing
  • General dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychology
  • Health Management Programs
12 Months
  • Treatment for pre-existing conditions
  • Pregnancy and birth-related services
  • Major dental
  • Hearing aids
  • Blood glucose monitors

Frequently asked questions

  • How to join?

    To become an HCF member, you need to choose a policy (Hospital, Extras or Package) that suits your requirements and apply online, through the mail or call them directly. Alternatively, you can also visit one of their branches.
  • How to contact HCF?

    You can call HCF customer service on 13 13 34 Monday to Friday 8 am to 8 pm (AEST/AEDT) and 9 am to 5 pm Saturdays and Sundays. Alternatively, visit their website to send an email or go directly to on of the HCF branches.
  • Does HCF have ambulance cover?

    Yes, HCF provides emergency ambulance cover via their Hospital and Extras policies. They are also one of the few health funds that offer Ambulance only coverage to Australian residents not fully covered by their state government and wanting ambulance services. However, an ambulance only policy from HCF does not include non-approved ambulance providers or non-emergency services, for example, patient transport between hospitals.
  • Who owns HCF health insurance?

    HCF is a mutual organisation, not owned by shareholders. As a not-for-profit health fund, the insurer aims to lower your premiums and improve its product offering by reinvesting the premiums they receive back into their members.
  • How can you find HCF participating providers?

    You can find your nearest health provider by either using the My Membership app or visiting the HCF website.

    To find a participating hospital, go to hcf.com.au/locations/participating-hospitals and enter your suburb or postal code to find the nearest participating hospital near you.

    For general treatments and services, visit hcf.com.au/locations/find-a-participating-provider and enter the service you’re interested in, plus your suburb or postal code.
  • How do you claim HCF benefits?

    Hospital claims: Non-participating public and private hospitals will send your bill directly to HCF. When you’ve been treated at a participating private hospital, complete and sign the HCF claim forms before being discharged and your bill will be sent straight to HCF.

    Should you receive a bill, you need to take it to Medicare and complete the Medicare Two-Way form. After that, visit an HCF brand and complete a Medicare claim form, as well an HCF claim form.

    Extras claims: If you’ve gone for a treatment or service after you waiting period, you can claim on your Extras cover by either:
    • Swiping your membership card on the spot when visiting a participating provider.
    • Completing an HCF online claim via their website or the HCF mobile app, available for Android and Apple devices.
    • Presenting your membership card and original receipt at any HCF branch.
    • Posting the completed claim form and receipts to an HCF branch.
    Take note: You can also use the HCF My Membership app to manage your cover, update your payment details, find your nearest health provider and estimate your benefits.
  • What are HCF loyalty benefits?

    HCF members with a Vital or Top Extras policy can claim money back on a range of services, up to a maximum limit. The longer you are a member, the higher your benefit limit. For example, if you have a Top Extras policy for more than 3 years, then you can claim physiotherapy up to $900.
  • Which Health Management Programs can you access?

    Specific HIC health insurance policies include benefits for Health Management Programs, which allows you to claim money back towards programs such as:

    • Weight management programs, helping you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
    • Exercise or gym programs recommended by your doctor or physiotherapist.
    • Child birthing education programs run by HCF-recognised childbirth educators.
    • Breastfeeding consultation from a lactation specialist that is an AHPRA-registered nurse and midwife.
    • Swimming lessons run by certain swim schools.
    • Bowel cancer testing if you’re between 50 and 74.
    To claim on these programs, you’ll need to complete an HCF claim form, which you can find on their website, and include your original receipt. Download the HCF app on your smartphone or tablet and submit your claim.
  • Does HCF offer health insurance for overseas visitors and students?

    Yes, HCF provides private health insurance for international visitors visiting or temporarily living in Australia. You can generally get overseas visitors health cover (OVHC) when you’re over the age of 18 and have a valid work or holiday visa.

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