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HCF Overseas Visitor Health Cover Review

HCF OVHC: Australia's biggest not-for-profit health fund, but there are cheaper policies out there.

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HCF is Australia's largest not-for-profit health fund, meaning any money it makes goes back to its members. It offers different levels of overseas visitor health insurance (OVHC) so you can choose to pay as little as possible and simply meet visa requirements or opt for a more comprehensive policy.


  • With a range of policies, it's good if you want either the bare minimum to meet your visa requirements or peace of mind with something more comprehensive.
  • You're going with a trusted fund — HCF is the third-largest health insurer by market share in Australia and the biggest not-for-profit health fund.


  • There are cheaper policies available. Cover starts from around $74.50 per month — that's $10 less than Frank Basic Workers Cover. But you won't need to pay an excess if you go to hospital.

This provider is not available via finder. You can visit www.hcf.com.au for more information or compare more options now.

HCF OVHC: Our verdict

HCF is good if:

  • You want to meet your visa requirements.
  • You want to go with a not-for-profit.
  • You want lots of options.

HCF is not great if:

  • You aren't interested that it's a not-for-profit insurer.

Review by our insurance writer Gary Hunter

What types of health insurance does HCF OVHC offer?

Hospital icon

Working visitors

HCF offers these 4 packages:

  • Basic. HCF Overseas Visitor Basic policy covers you for emergency ambulance rehabilitation and palliative care, emergency department facility fees, medical repatriation and funeral expenses, and all services where a benefit would be payable under Medicare, the Australian public healthcare system.
  • Mid. This provides similar services to a Basic policy but higher limits on some services. For example, you'll get up to $100,000 for medical repatriation, compared to $50,000 with a Basic policy.
  • Top. Comprehensive cover for overseas visitors. As well as hospital care, you'll get cover for extras services including dental, optical, therapies such as physio and natural therapies like acupuncture.
  • Top Plus. The most comprehensive cover HCF offers for visitors, you'll get all the benefits included in previous policies, plus up to $110,000 for medical repatriation and $20,000 for return of mortal remains or funeral expenses.

Private contract

Holiday and working holiday cover

  • Short stay. Short Stay is HCF's most affordable policy. It's designed for healthy singles and couples and covers you for everything that Medicare covers (except pre-existing conditions). This includes doctors' fees, some prescriptions and emergency ambulance services.
  • Essentials. Essentials includes all Medicare-covered treatments, heart surgery, hip and knee replacement and more. Cover also included doctors' fees, PBS medicines, and emergency ambulance transport.
  • Essentials Plus. Essentials Plus covers doctors' fees both in and out of hospital. You'll also get cover for accommodation, medicines during and after your hospital stay, emergency ambulance transport and a range of other hospital services, including cataracts.

Ambulance icon

Ambulance coverage

All HCF OVHC policies cover emergency ambulance transportation. This includes on-the-spot treatment and inter-hospital transfers when the original hospital doesn't have the required clinical facilities.

HCF health insurance complaints

We looked at the 2021 ombudsman health insurance complaints. Here's how HCF stacked up:

  • Proportionally, HCF had the highest percentage complaints compared to the other big health funds.
  • HCF ranked 2nd worst for number of complaints compared to market share of funds with more than 0.5% 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. Only non-restricted funds with a national market share of at least 0.1% are included here. HCF is 18th 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

This chart shows the 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 suggest customers are happy with the service they're receiving; a lower percentage could mean customers aren't happy with the fund's service. HCF had the highest member retention (88%) followed by HBF (86%).

HCF OVHC frequently asked questions

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