HBF overseas visitor cover review
HBF offers three main types of cover for visitors who are in Australia for work or leisure purposes. Its most comprehensive policy can meet some of the costs of accommodation in a private room and pharmacy expenses.
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If you're in Australia on a working visa, you'll need to make sure you have the appropriate health cover in place. HBF offers a range of insurance plans that can meet those on working visas.
- With three core plans to choose from, you're likely to find something that fits your need: whether that's the minimum to meet your visa requirements, or some added health cover.
- HBF had an impressively low rate of policy complaints (4.2%) and disputes (4.3%), compared to its overall market share of 7.3% in Australia. The Commonwealth Ombudsman figures were from 1 October until 31 December 2020.
- It's worth shopping around to see if you can find other competitively priced options.
Review by our senior health insurance writer James Martin
What OVHC cover options does HBF offer?
HBF overseas visitor cover options include:
- Standard Overseas Visitors cover. Policies start at $26.70* per week and cover you for benefits including urgent ambulance, in-hospital pharmacy and even insulin pumps.
- Working Visa Hospital cover. Policies start at $25.90* per week and provide you with a range of cover for benefits including joint replacements, heart treatments and IVF.
- Working Visa Hospital and Medical cover. Policies start at $42.30* per week and provide top-level cover with protection for the costs from accommodation in a private room and out-of-hospital pharmacy.
If you are coming to Australia on a working visa, you may still meet visa requirements with one of the holiday visitor plans, if you are coming from a country with a reciprocal health care agreement (RHCA).
You're also able to add extra cover to these policies, which protect you from the costs from treatments like physiotherapy and massage.
*Price is based on a single, in WA paying by direct-debit with 0% Australian Government Rebate on private health insurance and 0% Lifetime Health Cover loading price gathered 29/03/2021.
What do the policies cover me for?
For necessary medical services, except those specifically excluded under each plan, you are able to receive treatments in a private hospital, following admission.
In all cases your health insurance will only cover shared-room hospital accommodation, so you will need to pay more for a private room, or will have to pay these costs out of pocket if you are admitted to a hospital that only has private rooms available.
The more comprehensive plans also cover you for a range of out-of-hospital services, such as doctor appointments and health check-ups.
It is important to note that you may not be covered for 100% of medical expenses. You should contact HBF prior to receiving treatment to find out if any out-of-pocket expenses are involved.
What are the limitations and waiting periods that apply?
Not all of these plans are suitable for working visas, and additional conditions or exclusions may apply. You are not necessarily covered for all private hospital treatments, and may be left with out-of-pocket expenses.
You are generally only covered for private hospital services in HBF-partnered private hospitals. The HBF network may be more expansive in Western Australia than other states, and as such this type of cover may be most suitable for those intending to reside in Western Australia.
If you will be living or working in a different state, you may want to compare other overseas visitor health cover options.
Waiting periods apply as follows:
- 12 months. Pre-existing conditions (except psychiatric, rehabilitation and palliative care), maternity care services
- 6 months. Repatriation
- 2 months. Rehabilitation, palliative care and psychiatric treatments
- None. Ambulance cover
- None. All other treatments and services
How can I make a claim?
If you are admitted to hospital while you are in Australia, the hospital can check your overseas visitor cover details, and may be able to bill HBF directly. You will need to pay any remaining expenses to the hospital or practitioner as applicable.
How are premiums paid?
You can pay premiums via direct debit from a bank account or credit card.
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