With the Government’s means test on the health insurance rebate coming into effect on 1 July, health insurer HBF is being slammed with last minute calls from members trying to save their rebate.
HBF Managing Director Rob Bransby said: “Yesterday our member contact centre dealt with 4,896 health insurance enquiries – the greatest number of calls in a single day in the history of our organisation.”
The number of members prepaying has shot up from around 500 a day last week, to over 1000 yesterday.
Although the means test will not come into effect until July 1, some payment methods incur bank processing delays, so HBF is asking members to submit their payment by 27 June to be certain it is processed on time.
“We want to make sure our members don’t miss out on thousands of dollars by missing the deadline for prepayment, so we’ve added staff to our branches and call centres this week to deal with the rush. We’ve also extended our call centre hours to 7pm each evening, and branches will open late this Thursday 28 June and Saturday 30 June for payment types that will not incur waiting periods, such as cash and EFTPOS,” Mr Bransby said.
HBF estimates around 23% of its members will be impacted by the means test and a third of these could face the loss of their rebate altogether.
“We expect the number of members contacting us to save their rebate to increase yet again today, so I would implore members not to leave it until the last minute – contact us as soon as possible,” Mr Bransby said.
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