HCF Overseas Visitor Health Cover Review

HCF OVHC: they're 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.

Our Verdict

  1. 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.
  2. 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. .
  3. 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.

Review by our insurance writer Gary Hunter

finder.com.au does not currently have access to this health insurance brand. You may wish to compare options available on our overseas visitor health insurance page.

What does the policy cover?

HCF now offers 4 packages for working visitors.

  • 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.

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.

Are there any additional benefits?

    • Pet Insurance. HCF Pet Insurance, issued by The Hollard Insurance Company, is available at a 15% discount for HCF members.
    • 100% back on extras. HCF gives you up to 100% back on a range of extras treatments for eyes, teeth, muscles, backs, feet and hearing aids.
    • Dental and eyecare centres. HCF operates a network of dental and eyecare centres across metropolitan Sydney.
    • Healthy Weight for Life program. This 18-week program helps you reach your weight goals and maintain that healthy weight.

    Policy limitations, exclusions, waiting periods and excesses to be aware of

    There are certain situations when your HCF Overseas Visitors Health Cover policy will not provide protection. These include:

    • Ambulance transport by a provider not recognised by HCF
    • Ambulance transported where you are covered under another scheme, for example a state ambulance subscription service
    • Your claim is for a treatment specifically excluded from your policy
    • Your claim is for treatment received while you are serving a waiting period
    • You can recover the costs from a third party other than HCF, for example from workers’ compensation insurance
    • It is for experimental treatments or treatment not deemed suitable by HCF
    • It is for goods or services that are delivered outside Australia, or for treatment that is not delivered face-to-face

    It’s also worth pointing out that this policy is not available for visitors who hold a:

    • Student visa
    • Tourist visa
    • Retiree visa not listed above

    Finally, keep in mind that waiting periods will apply for certain treatments and procedures. For example, a 12-month waiting period before you can receive cover for the treatment of pre-existing conditions or pregnancy and birth-related services.

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    How much does HCF Overseas Visitors Health Cover cost?

    There are a few factors that can affect the cost of your HCF Overseas Visitors Health Cover premiums, such as if you decide to pair extras cover with your policy.

    • The level of cover. The higher the level of extras cover you choose, the more you can expect to pay.
    • The excess. The higher the excess amount you choose, the lower your premiums will be. You can choose an excess of: $0 or $250.

    How to save on your policy

    • Choose a higher excess. This will result in lower premiums.
    • Don’t add extras cover. Your policy will be cheaper if you only opt for the hospital cover provided by HCF Overseas Visitors Health Cover.
    • Choose a lower level of extras cover. Choosing a basic level of extras protection will be more affordable that choosing a high level of cover.
    • Loyalty benefit. The longer you are an HCF member, the higher the benefit limit you receive for a range of extras treatments.
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    How do I make a claim?

    If you receive treatment in hospital, your hospital should bill HCF directly for the cost of your stay. If you need to make an extras claim there are multiple options to choose from with HCF:

    • You can swipe your membership card at a provider that offers on-the-spot electronic claiming
    • You can submit your claim details online through the HCF website
    • You can lodge your claim through the HCF claims app
    • You can submit a claim form via post
    • You can lodge a claim by visiting a HCF branch
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    Some final questions you might have

    Compare HCF health insurance options

    If you’re working in Australia but you’re not eligible to receive Medicare benefits, consider HCF Overseas Visitors Health Cover when you need to take care of your private health insurance needs. Compare the features of this cover with those offered by similar policies from other health funds to ensure that you find a policy that’s right for you.

    Receive a quote for HCF Overseas Visitor Health Cover

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