HIF health insurance review
HIF health insurance review: ethical and affordable cover with lots of benefits.
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HIF is a not-for-profit health insurer. It offers 6 hospital policies and 6 extras policies and its surpluses go back to its members in the form of lower premiums, benefits and discounts. That means money off things like pet insurance, optical and competitively priced premiums.
- It's a great option for the ethical shopper. HIF is not-for-profit, so its surpluses go back to its members, and it's Australia's first carbon-neutral health fund.
- It's one of a handful of insurers that allow its members to choose their healthcare provider.
- It's competitively priced. At around $80.70 a month for a basic hospital policy, it's around the same price as other health funds, only slightly more expensive than ahm and Frank at $71.16.
Review by our insurance writer Gary Hunter
What policies does HIF offer?
There are two major categories for health insurance: hospital cover and extras cover:
Within Hospital cover there are various options, ranging from entry-level covers to top covers which have higher premiums but wider coverage. The levels of cover for HIF hospital insurance are:
|Benefits||Basic Plus||Bronze||Bronze Plus||Silver||Silver Plus||Gold Star|
|Shared room - all stays|
|Private room - maternity stays|
|Private room - all stays|
|Hospital psychiatric services|
|Brain and nervous system|
|Eye (not cataracts)|
|Ear, nose and throat|
|Tonsils, adenoids and grommets|
|Bone, joint and muscle|
|Kidney and bladder|
|Male reproductive system|
|Hernia and appendix|
|Miscarriage and termination of pregnancy|
|Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy for cancer|
|Breast surgery (medically necessary)|
|Diabetes management (excluding insulin pumps)|
|Heart and vascular system|
|Lung and chest|
|Back, neck and spine|
|Plastic and reconstructive surgery (medically necessary)|
|Implantation of hearing devices|
|Dialysis for chronic kidney failure|
|Pregnancy and birth|
|Assisted reproductive services|
|Weight loss surgery|
|Pain management with device|
Extras cover options provide cover for services such as general dental, endodontic and periodontal. The levels of cover for extras are:
- Simple Options. This provides 60% back or more on things like major and general dental, physio, optical, ambulance and chiro.
- Vital Options cover. It provides general dental, emergency ambulance and periodontal cover. Plus a 50% rebate for select services like chiropractic, osteopathic, ambulance and physiotherapy up to the limits of the policy.
- Saver Options. Additional cover includes general dental, podiatry, physiotherapy, pharmacy and optical.
- Special Options. Additional cover includes the above and major dental.
- Super Options. Additional cover includes speech therapy, psychology, peak flow meter, orthoptics, orthotics, occupational therapy, hearing aids, medical appliances, diabetics education and auxiliary home nursing.
- Premium Options. Additional cover includes a much higher benefit and no limits for several treatments. For customers who require regular extra services, this option is useful as it covers all treatment with highest benefits.
HIF Visitors and Corporate cover
HIF also have health insurance options for visitors to Australia, which provides non-Australian residents visa compliant cover and cover for businesses, which offers corporate health solutions and affordable prices.
How many members does HIF service?
HIF provides health insurance cover to more than 120,000 members. This gives it a total market share of 0.9%.
Is HIF nonprofit?
How many hospital agreements does HIF have in my state and in total?
If you receive hospital treatment in Australia, the benefit paid by your health fund depends on two main factors:
- The level of health insurance cover you have in place
- Whether your health fund has an agreement with the hospital where you are treated
The table below features a full list of the number of hospital agreements HIF has in place in each Australian state and territory. The industry maximum figure for all health funds is also included as a guide.
|State||Private hospital agreements||Day hospital agreements|
Does HIF receive a lot of complaints?
HIF accounts for:
- 0.8% of the Australian health insurance market
- 1.0% of all complaints about benefit payments
- 1.3% of all complaints about service
- 0.5% of all complaints that require investigation
Source: Private Health Insurance Ombudsman, State of the Health Fund Report 2017
What excesses are available on HIF policies?
Excesses vary between policies. With HIF, some policies come with a standard excess, while others give you the option to choose your own:
- Basic Plus Hospital cover. You can choose from either a $500 or $750 excess per person.
- Bronze Hospital cover. You can choose from $200, $500 and $750 excess options.
- Bronze Plus Hospital cover. You can choose from $200, $500 and $750 excess options.
- Silver Hospital cover. You can choose from $200, $500 and $750 excess options.
- Silver Plus Hospital cover. You can choose from $200, $500 and $750 excess options.
- Gold Star Hospital cover. If you do choose to apply an excess to reduce your Gold Star Hospital premium, you'll only have to pay it if you require an overnight admission. The choices available are::
- $0 (no excess)
- $200 per person to a max of $400 (single policy)
- $500 per person to a max of $1000 (single policy)
- $750 per person to a max of $1500 (single policy)
Paying your HIF health insurance premiums
There are several ways you can pay your HIF health insurance premiums:
- Direct debit. You can have your premiums automatically deducted from your bank account or credit card at a frequency that suits you. You can pay fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, half-yearly (a discount of 2% applies) or yearly (a discount of 4% applies).
- Pay Online. If you need to make a one-off credit card payment at any stage (for example, if your contributions have fallen behind), you can do so within HIF's Online Member Centre.
- BPAY. HIF's Billpay code is 0639 and their BPAY code is 2543. Members can find their reference number noted within the BPAY section of their invoice. Alternatively, login to HIF's Online Member Centre and your reference number will be listed there.
- Payroll deduction. HIF has payroll deduction agreements in place with many employers around Australia.
- Manual invoice. If you want to be sent an invoice whenever your contribution is due, you can pay on a monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly basis.
- At your nearest Australia Post office.
- By phone using the POSTbillpay service.
- By mail if you detach the payment slip at the bottom of your membership renewal.
How can you claim on your HIF policy?
If you need to make an extras claim with HIF, there are several ways to submit your claim:
- On the spot. Healthcare providers with electronic claiming technology can settle your account with you on the spot. All you need to do is swipe your HIF membership card and pay the difference (if any).
- Online. HIF's Online Member Centre gives you access to a range of services to help manage your policy including lodging an Extras claim online. Even better, you'll instantly see the estimated benefit payable! Before you get started, you'll just need to ensure that your provider's fees are paid in full before uploading receipts.
- On your mobile. Submit Extras claims anytime, anywhere, with our easy-to-use mobile App. It's fast, free and reduces paper waste. HIF's Member App also allows Members to update their contact details, view their policy information and claims history, order replacement membership cards, contact HIF and more.
- By email or fax. For paid Extras accounts, simply email a scan of your completed HIF claim form and associated receipts to email@example.com. Alternatively, you can fax everything to (08) 9328 1685.
- By post. Complete an HIF claim form and post it to: HIF, GPO Box X2221, Perth WA 6847.
Get the HIF app
What can't you claim on your HIF policy?
Some general exclusion for HIF insurance cover are:
- Cosmetic services. These services are excluded from all packages and have to be paid fully by members.
- Services not covered by Medicare. These services are also not covered by HIF.
- Level of cover. Only services which are included within a particular package are covered.
- Waiting period. Different treatments have different waiting periods, during which time claims will not be accepted for these services.
Still have questions about HIF?
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