HCF Health Insurance

HCF health insurance review

Our verdict: HCF has competitively priced Bronze Plus, Silver Plus and Gold (but no Basic) hospital policies, as well as several good value extras policies. However, it did get more complaints than its market share in 2020.

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Pros

  • Most hospital policies cover more than the minimum tier requirements, but are still competitively priced.
  • Of the big funds, HCF had the highest member retention rate in 2020 (88%) according to the Commonwealth Ombudsman.
  • "Starter Extras" is the cheapest extras policy with a benefit for remedial massage, starting at around $13 a month.

Cons

  • No Basic or Basic Plus policies available.
  • HCF received the highest number of complaints compared to market share of any of the big health funds.

Good value HCF policies

These are some good value hospital policies from HCF, including 2 extras polices and 1 Silver tier policy.


*Quotes are based on a single individual with less than $90,000 income, $500 excess and living in Sydney.

HCF health insurance: Our verdict

HCF has a wide selection of comprehensive hospital policies that are competitively priced. It also offers several extras policies that are good value for particular treatments. It did receive more than its fair share of complaints in 2020, but it also had the highest member retention that year. Neither of those are necessarily good or bad, but they may help you decide if HCF is right for you.

HCF is good if:

  • You're after a cheap Silver Plus policy. "Hospital Standard Silver Plus" is good value, covering 29 treatments from around $116 a month.
  • You want a mid-priced extras plan with good dental coverage. "Mid Extras" offers 100% back on up to 2 dental checks per year, from around $32 a month.

HCF is not great if:

  • You need a Basic or Basic Plus policy (especially if it's to avoid the MLS or LHC).
  • You want the best value Bronze Plus policy – we found comparable alternatives for less from Medibank and HBF**.

Review by our health insurance publisher Tim Bennett.

**"HCF Hospital Bronze Plus" covers 25 treatments from around $93 a month, while "HBF Bronze Hospital Plus" and "Medibank Bronze Plus Progress" each cover 26 treatments for around $90 and $90 a month, respectively.

Compare all policies from HCF

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What types of health insurance does HCF offer?

Hospital icon

Hospital Coverage

  • HCF Hospital Bronze Plus. Hospital cover designed for the healthy and budget conscious. It covers accidents, intensive care and accommodation, plus joint reconstructions, digestive system and more.
  • HCF Hospital Standard Silver Plus. Affordable hospital cover for some common treatments including heart surgery, back, neck and spine, plus more.
  • HCF Hospital Silver Plus. Comprehensive hospital cover for those who don't need cover for pregnancy.
  • HCF Hospital Gold. The HCF top hospital cover option aims to provide premium hospital health care protection and peace of mind to members.

Extras icon

Extras coverage

  • HCF Starter Extras. This basic extras policy gives you 100% back on 1 dental check per year at participating providers and a $350 limit per person.
  • HCF Starter Extras (with optical). Covers the same services as Starter Extras but also includes optical, including glasses and contact lenses, and has a $400 limit per person.
  • HCF Mid Extras. This comprehensive policy gives you 100% back on up to 2 dental checks per year. It also includes prescription glasses (excluding some add-ons) and free digital retinal imaging eye check as well as cover on a range of therapies.
  • HCF Vital Extras. For around $50 a month you can get a range of important services on a range of therapies as well as everything in the Mid Extras.
  • HCF Top Extras. The most comprehensive cover, this one gives you higher annual limits and increases your loyalty limits each year.

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Combined coverage

Looking for both hospital and extras cover? You can combine any hospital policy and extras policy from the previous 2 tabs, or you can choose 1 of these 3 custom policies that combine hospital cover and extras cover that you can't buy on their own:

  • My Future Basic Plus 250, 500 or 750. The hospital policy in this package is an enhanced Bronze policy offering cover for bones, joints, hernias, skin issues and dental surgery. The extras policy is quite basic, covering optical, general dental, major dental, a few therapies, emergency ambulance and some vaccines. You can choose between 3 different hospital excesses: $250, $500 or $750. A higher excess means lower premiums, but it also reduces your benefit limits on your extras policy.
  • My Family Silver Plus. The hospital policy in this package offers more than what is required of a Silver policy, but slightly less than what you'd get through HCF's standalone Silver Plus policy since it doesn't cover kidney dialysis, insulin pumps, cataracts or joint replacements. That makes it ideal for families that want a high level of cover but may not need treatments that are largely associated with ageing. The extras policy covers optical, general dental, major dental, a range of therapies and emergency ambulance. Other than optical, you get a combined limit on the other treatments meaning you can spend your limits however you choose.
  • My Family Advanced Silver Plus. The hospital policy in this package is practically the same as what you get in the My Family Silver Plus policy except that you get full cover for podiatric surgery rather than limited benefits. The extras policy is very similar as well, except you're covered for orthodontics, artificial health aids, podiatry and a few others. Your benefit limits are also slightly higher on a few extras treatments.

Ambulance icon

Ambulance coverage

Ambulance Cover from HCF is only available for residents of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Northern Territory, Western Australia and the ACT. It provides cover for emergency ambulance travel provided by state government services anywhere in Australia.

You also have an annual cover limit for medically necessary, non-emergency ambulance services where your doctor requires you to be transported by ambulance, for up to $5,000. This occurs in situations where your condition needs to be monitored and the right medical support provided while you are in transit.

This cover is offered for singles, couples, families and single parent families, and there is no need to pay upfront for the ambulance service you use once you're insured.

Ambulance Cover is available as a standalone policy or with Cash Back Cover. Cash Back Cover offers a cash benefit to help you cover additional expenses that arise when you are sick or injured. Available from $2 a week for singles, Cash Back Cover provides:

  • A $5,000 benefit for accidents requiring surgery
  • A $5,000 benefit for serious specified medical conditions including malignant cancer, chronic kidney failure, heart disease requiring bypass surgery, heart attack OR stroke

You're also eligible to make multiple claims, up to a limit of $20,000 for singles and $40,000 for families.

Policy limitations, exclusions, waiting periods and excesses

Always check the conditions and the list of general exclusions to make sure you know what is and isn't covered. HCF will not pay your claim if:

  • The ambulance transport you receive does not meet the approved definition supplied in the PDS. (For example, if it is for transport you receive when you are discharged from hospital.)
  • You are covered by another arrangement, such as a state government ambulance subscription scheme.
  • It is for transfers between hospitals.
  • It is for transport provided by an ambulance service not recognised by HCF.

Are there waiting periods?

There are waiting periods which apply when you take out HCF Ambulance Cover. A 1-day waiting period applies to emergency ambulance. There is a 2-month waiting period for medically necessary non-emergency ambulance. If you require ambulance transport or treatment for a pre-existing ailment or condition, keep in mind that you will have to serve a 12-month waiting period.

How much does HCF Ambulance Cover cost?

There are several factors that can influence how much HCF Ambulance Cover costs:

  • Whether you take out a singles, couples, family or single parent family policy.
  • Whether you live in NSW, VIC, SA, NT, WA and the ACT.
  • Your age and income have an impact on the amount of Australian Government private health insurance rebate you are entitled to.

HCF health insurance complaints

We looked at the 2020 ombudsman health insurance complaints. Here's how HCF stacked up:

  • Proportionally, HCF had the highest number of complaints than all of the big health funds.
  • Of all funds with more than 0.5% market share, HCF ranked 6th worst for number of complaints compared to market share.
This chart shows the weighted volume of complaints received by each health fund, according to the Commonwealth Ombudsman. The lower the number, the better. HCF is fourteenth overall in this ranking. The weighting ensures that funds are compared fairly; larger funds serve more customers so can potentially get more complaints.

HCF member retention

The chart below shows the 2020 member retention for each health fund (with a market share of at least 0.5%) according to the Commonwealth Ombudsman. A higher member retention percentage may indicate more satisfied customers, while a lower percentage may mean that customers were less satisfied with their service.

  • Of the big health funds, HCF had the highest member retention (88%) followed by HBF (86%).

HCF frequently asked questions

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14 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JayApril 26, 2019

    I am 78 female, living alone. Would like quotes for hospital, ambulance, specialists doctors, some extras like heart, limbs, hips, dental, along the lines of silver in HCF. Looking what offers available.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniApril 27, 2019Staff

      Hi Jay,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      You may click on the green get deal button on this page you’re looking at and you will be redirected to HCF’s official page where you may get quotes for your health insurance needs. Also, if you enter all details asked in the table on this page, our health insurance advisor will get in touch to give you options and help you find health insurance that will suit your needs.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

    Default Gravatar
    RosemaryApril 12, 2019

    Do you have to have a Community First bank account to open with HCF?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniApril 13, 2019Staff

      Hi Rosemary,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      You may take out any HCF health cover even if you do not have a Community First bank account. You may click on the green get deal button on this page and you’ll be redirected to HCF’s official page where you may learn more on their offered health products or get quotes. Also, on this page you’re looking at, you may enter all details asked on the table and an expert will get in touch to help you compare up-to-date policies from eight funds to see which one is best for you.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

    Default Gravatar
    CherieApril 23, 2017

    I am looking for a cover which will cover an insulin pump

    Default Gravatar
    NormJanuary 22, 2017

    Does the HCF completely cover all costs associated with “capsule endoscopy”. I have top cover for hospital and ambulance. Thanks

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RichardJanuary 23, 2017Staff

      Hi Norm,

      Thanks for getting in touch. finder.com.au is a comparison service and does not have access to that kind of information. You will need to contact HCF directly about the specifics of your policy.

      I hope this was helpful,
      Richard

    Default Gravatar
    PeterJanuary 22, 2017

    Does mid cover hospital include day surgery admission? Thanks.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      RichardJanuary 23, 2017Staff

      Hi Peter,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Whether or not you’ll have cover will depend on the type of surgery. You should contact HCF directly about the specifics of your policy.

      Cheers,
      Richard

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