HBF Health Insurance

HBF Health Insurance Review

Our verdict: HBF is one of Australia's largest not-for-profit funds, offering some great value hospital and extras policies. However, its Silver policies are relatively expensive.

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  • HBF 'Gold Hospital' is the cheapest gold policy available on Finder from around $165 a month (with a $750 excess). HBF also has low priced Basic Plus and Bronze Plus policies.
  • The lowest number of complaints compared to market share of any of the big health funds.
  • One of Australia's largest not-for-profit funds.


  • HBF's Silver tier policies are not very competitive on price, with cheaper policies available from brands including Bupa and ahm.
  • There are very few physical HBF branches outside WA. There are 3 kiosk locations in Melbourne, but that's it.

Good value HBF policies

Here are some great value hospital policies from HBF, one each from Basic Plus, Bronze Plus and Gold tiers.

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

HBF health insurance: Our verdict

HBF is very competitive on price with some of the best value hospital Basic, Bronze and Gold tier policies, as well as for basic extras coverage.

HBF is good if:

  • You want a low priced Basic Plus, Bronze Plus or Gold tier hospital policy.
  • You're after a cheap extras policy that covers optical. 'Basic Extras' is the cheapest extras cover available on Finder that covers optical, from around $17 a month.
  • You're looking for a cheap extras policy for hearing aids. 'Complete 60' is the cheapest policy on Finder to cover hearing aids, with a $600 limit every 3 years.

HBF is not great if:

  • You need a competitively priced silver tier hospital policy.
  • You want to discuss your coverage in person outside of Melbourne or Western Australia.

Review by our insurance writer Gary Hunter

Compare all policies from HBF

What types of health insurance does HBF offer?

Hospital icon

Hospital Coverage

Basic and Bronze cover

This meets the government's requirement for Basic cover by offering restricted cover for:
  • Psychiatry
  • Rehabilitation
  • Palliative care

However, it goes beyond that, also providing full cover five more clinical categories, including:

  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Gynaecology

Cost: From around $80.67 per month.

This is a step up from Basic Hospital Plus. Basic Hospital Plus Elevate covers you for 15 treatments and 3 restricted services, including:
  • Tonsils, adenoids and grommets
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Ear, nose and throat
  • Cancer treatment, including chemotherapy

Cost: From around $90.08 per month.

This policy provides full cover for all 18 clinical categories required for a Bronze policy, plus full cover for additional categories such as:
  • Sleep studies
  • Medically necessary plastic surgery
  • Back, neck and spine treatments

Cost: From around $91.88 per month.

Silver and Gold cover

This policy includes the cover for the 26 clinical categories required to be labelled a Silver policy plus a few more such as:
  • Insulin pumps
  • Full palliative care (rather than restricted cover)

Cost: From around $129.87 per month.

This covers everything the Silver policy does plus a few more, including:
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Full rehabilitation cover (rather than restricted cover)

Cost: From around $162.17 per month.

This is the highest level of hospital insurance and includes all 38 clinical categories required for a Gold label, including:
  • Hospital psychiatric services
  • Assisted reproductive services
  • Weight loss surgery

Cost: From around $175.51 per month.

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

Extras icon

Extras coverage

  • Basic Extras. This is a very basic policy covering general dental, optical, a few therapies like physio, and healthy living programs.
  • Flex 50 Extras. This covers general dental, emergency ambulance and a combined limit for the following treatments: major dental, optical, physio, chiro, osteo, healthy living programs, pharmacy and remedial massage.
  • Flex 60 Extras. This covers 13 common treatments such as general dental, major dental, optical, physio, chiro, osteopathy and more.
  • Complete 60 Extras. This covers all of HBF's extras services including general dental, major dental, optical, physio, chiro, pharmaceuticals, eye therapy and more, and gives you 60% back on all treatments. It also comes with no annual limit.
  • Top 70 Extras. This also covers HBF's full range of treatments and gives you 70% back on treatments. It also has no annual limits on preventative dental.

HBF health insurance complaints

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

  • Proportionally, HBF had one of the lowest number of complaints than other large health funds.
  • HBF didn't quite get first place, coming in second overall to TUH (Teacher's Union Health Fund). Of course, TUH only has 0.6% 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. HBF is second overall in this ranking. The weighting ensures that funds are compared fairly; larger funds serve more customers so can potentially get more complaints.

HBF frequently asked questions

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6 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    TranFebruary 13, 2019

    My daughter had preventative orthodontic work at a young age. Now she has grown up and needs extra work, which insurance best suit major secondary orthodontic treatment

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniFebruary 16, 2019Staff

      Hi Tran,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      If you’re currently insured with HBF, please contact them directly regarding your daughter’s needs.

      You may also start comparing your health insurance for orthodontics options. Please note that orthodontic treatment is part of the extras cover and has a 12-month waiting period. When you are ready, press the ‘Go to site’ button to apply.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!


    Default Gravatar
    PhilMarch 20, 2018

    If my taxable income is about $120,000/yr, what would be my medicare levy + surcharge levy (2+ 1.25=3.5%)? I am 71 & have single cover & now new premiums are $1616/yr,is this enough to avoid the surcharge ? Is this basic hosp cover? Thanx

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      DeeMarch 22, 2018Staff

      Hi Phil,

      Thanks for your question.

      If your taxable income is at $120,000, your medicare levy (2% of taxable income) will be $2,400. We have listed some of the criteria to be exempt from paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

      For the Medicare Levy Surcharge, your income falls under the $105,001 – $140,000 bracket for singles with a surcharge rate of 1.25%. This will amount to $1,5000. To be exempt, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:

      • You must get a private health insurance which provide private patient hospital cover
      • Have a maximum payable excess per year of $500 for singles and $1,000 for couples and families
      • Be purchased from a registered Australian health fund

      Kindly note that you’ll need to maintain this appropriate level of cover for the full year in order to avoid paying the surcharge.

      From the information that you provided, I am unable to assess if you can get an exemption as there are several other criteria that you must meet.

      If you would like to confirm your eligibility for exemption, you may also contact the ATO office in your area.

      I hope this helps.


    Default Gravatar
    DorothyJanuary 27, 2018

    My H.B.F. member number X and Y ( husband X )
    What are we covered for?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JonathanFebruary 22, 2018Staff

      Hi Dorothy, thanks for your inquiry.

      To check your health insurance inclusions, please contact HBF directly on:

      133 423
      From Monday to Friday (WST) 7am-6pm and Saturday 8am-2pm (WST).

      Best regards,


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