HIF Health Insurance Review

Published: April 24, 2019

You might recently have noticed your 1st of April health insurance increase and considering switching health funds or perhaps your 31st birthday is around the corner and you want to avoid the Lifetime Health Cover loading.

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If you’re interested in joining HIF private health insurance and wondering what you’ll be covered for, you might want to request a quote tailored to your requirements and compare their offering to similar options from other health funds in Australia.

Get a HIF health insurance quote

In the meantime, have a read of the fund's Hospital and Extras policies so you can have a better idea of their benefits and services.

The not-for-profit Health Insurance Fund of Australia

The health fund started in 1954 in Western Australia as a medical fund for the government's railway employees. 24 Years later HIF had grown to become a well-known health insurance provider in Western Australia, and in June 2010 their name changed to the Health Insurance Fund (HIF) of Australia because their membership base increased nationwide. To this day, the insurer prides themselves on being focused on its members, and not on profit.

Hospital cover

All Hospital policies from HIF comes standard with AccessGap cover, to help you minimise out-of-pocket costs associated with inpatient medical services in a registered overnight hospital or day facility.

Important: The below information was gathered from the HIF website in April 2019.

Basic Plus

$500 Excess for overnight and same day admissions.

  • Emergency in-hospital treatment when injured because of an accident.
  • Private room in a private hospital for all admissions.
  • Joint reconstruction.
  • Treatment of tonsils, adenoids and grommets, hernia and appendix.
  • Investigation and treatment of the male reproductive system.

This Hospital option provides restrictive coverage for rehabilitation, in-hospital psychiatric treatment and palliative care.

Note: Only Basic Hospital and Gold Starter Hospital policies offer a private room in a private hospital for all admissions.

Bronze and Bronze Plus

For both Bronze Hospital options, a standard Excess of $200 applies. Bronze and Bronze Plus offer similar benefits, with the Plus policy including some additional benefits, as mentioned below. These entry-level Extras provides cover for:

  • Bone, joint and muscle investigations and treatment.
  • Brain and nervous system, for example, head injuries and epilepsy.
  • Treatment of your digestive system, including gastrointestinal endoscopy.
  • Eye treatments, like infections and retinal detachment.
  • Ear, nose and throat, for example, sinus surgery and throat cancer.
  • Investigation and treatment of the female reproductive system, including miscarriage and termination of pregnancy.
  • Chemo, radiotherapy and immunotherapy for cancer.
  • Investigation & treatment of skin and skin-related conditions, like melanoma.

Additional benefits covered in Bronze Plus

  • Investigation and treatment of the lungs and chest, for example, asthma and lung cancer.
  • Investigation and treatment of blood and blood-related conditions, such as blood clotting disorders.
  • Dental surgery, including wisdom teeth removal.
  • Podiatric surgery for conditions affecting the foot and/or ankle.
  • Implantation of hearing devices.

Silver

This Extras option is the health fund's mid-level hospital option; with a standard Excess of $200 it covers:

  • Heart, heart-related conditions and vascular system.
  • Investigations and treatments for your back, neck and spine.
  • Medically necessary plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Gold and Gold Star

Both the Gold Hospital policy and Gold Star Hospital policy provides coverage for everything listed in the above plans, but also include:

  • Pregnancy and birth-related services.
  • Fertility treatments and procedures such as IVF and GIFT.
  • Removal of cataracts and replacement with an artificial lens.
  • Joint replacements, for example, hip, knee and spinal disc replacement.
  • Dialysis for chronic kidney failure.
  • Provision and replacement of insulin pumps.
  • Pain management devices for the treatment of pain.
  • Weight loss surgery, including gastric banding.
  • Your choice of Excess amount: $0, $200, $400 or $500

The only real difference between these two Gold Hospital options seems to be that Gold Star provides you with a private room in a private hospital for all admissions, while the Gold option only provides this offer for maternity admissions.

Gold Star status members will also receive free access to Best Doctors', where you can get an expert second opinion on any diagnosis, condition or treatment.

Compare HIF with other health funds

HIF Extras Options

The Health Insurance Fund provides 5 different Extras policies to cover you for everyday healthcare services. Except for Vital Extras, your benefits and annual limits will increase after a specific period. For example, your optical and physio benefits and limits will rise after you've kept your policy for five years.

Vital Options Saver Options Special Options
HIF’s cheapest Extras option that covers the essentials with a combined limit of $800 per policy.
  • Emergency ambulance
  • General dental
  • Physiotherapy
This option is marketed toward young people who want affordable coverage and includes:
  • Emergency ambulance
  • General dental - $750
  • Optical - $110
Combined $350 limit for physio, chiro, acupuncture and remedial massage.
The Special option provides more significant benefits and includes a broader range of services.
  • Emergency ambulance
  • General and Major dental - $1,000 combined
  • Optical - $140
  • Dietetics - $252
  • Non-PBS - $200
Super Options Premium Options
This Extras policy is HIF’s most popular option:
  • Emergency ambulance
  • General, Major dental & orthodontics - $1,300 combined
  • Optical - $260
  • Physiotherapy - $900
  • Hearing aids - $550
  • Blood glucose monitor - $200
  • Home nursing - $1,800
  • Psychology - $740
  • Podiatry - $354
The health fund’s most comprehensive Extras:
  • Emergency ambulance
  • General, Major dental & orthodontics - $1,500 combined
  • Optical - $280
  • Physiotherapy - $1,200
  • Hearing aids - $550
  • Blood glucose monitor - $200
  • Home nursing - $1,800
  • Psychology - $1,000
  • Podiatry - $382
Source: HIF website (April 2019)

Combined Silver Plus no maternity

The Health Insurance Fund of Australia offers customers a straightforward combined Hospital and Extras package, designed for people wanting an affordable all-in-one policy. The combo policy offers a wide range of services and treatments but excludes all pregnancy and birth-related services.

  • Joint reconstruction and replacements
  • Rehabilitation
  • Heart and vascular system
  • Palliative care
  • Cataracts
  • Medically necessary plastic surgery
  • Emergency and non-emergency ambulance
  • General and major dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Weightloss programs

For a complete list of treatment covered and benefit limits, please request a HIF quote or visit their website.

Hospital and Extras waiting periods

  • Treatment for accidents: 1 Day
  • General hospitalisation: 2 Months
  • Psychiatric care: 2 Months
  • Rehabilitation: 2 Months
  • Palliative care: 2 Months
  • Pre-existing conditions: 12 Months
  • Pregnancy and birth-related services: 12 Months
  • Emergency ambulance: 2 Months
  • General dental: 2 Months
  • Major dental: 12 Months
  • Physiotherapy: 2 Months
  • Optical: 2 Months
  • Psychology: 12 Months
  • Hearing aids: 36 Months
  • Home nursing: 2 Months

Frequently asked questions and answers

How do you join?

You can join HIF insurance by purchasing a Hospital and/or Extras policy via their website or by filling in the quote form above and applying for a policy.

How to claim HIF benefits

You can claim HIF Extras on the spot at a HICAPS terminal using your member card. Alternatively, you can claim online via their Member Centre or by using their smartphone App. You also have the option of downloading the HIF claim forms from their website and emailing or posting it to them.

How do you contact HIF?

You can call the insurer directly, Monday to Friday or visit them at their head office in Perth, 100 Sterling street. Alternatively, you can send them an email.

Does HIF have ambulance cover?

All HIF Extras policies pay a benefit for emergency ambulance call-outs and transportations. However, ambulance services are not induced in any of HIF’s Hospital policy options. Although, eligible members with a Hospital policy that permanently reside in NSW or ACT might receive assistance with the costs required for emergency ambulance services if provided by your local state-controlled ambulance providers.

Does the health fund offer gym memberships?

If you have an eligible Extras policy, you might have access to the fund's Healthy Lifestyle service, which allows you to claim on gym memberships from HIF approved providers. If you would like to know whether your gym qualifies, you need to ask your GP or personal trainer to complete the Health Management form (available from the HIF website) and return it to them with your gym membership invoice.

What is HIF Healthy Lifestyle Cover?

The Healthy Lifestyle benefit is a program to helps you stay healthy and is available on all Extras options, except for Vital. Your benefit amount and annual limit will depend on your choice of Extras policy. With this benefit, you might be able to claim on your gym membership and a wide selection of weight management programs — for example, Weight Watchers, Sure Slim and Tony Ferguson.

You can also use your Healthy Lifestyle Benefit for exercise physiologist that holds a Medicare provider number and for Quit Smoking programs, like Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking.

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