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About HBF

HBF members able to pre-pay 18 months to beat the means test

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Based on the current policy of the ATO, HBF expects thousands of its members to pre-pay their health insurance premiums before 1 July, to avoid the impact of the new means test on the health insurance rebate.

HBF estimates that around 23% of policyholders will be affected by the means test and receive either a lower rebate or no rebate at all after 1 July.  Health fund members who lose their rebate will experience up to a 43% increase in the cost of their cover and the Government’s higher Medicare Levy Surcharge means most will be financially worse off if they then drop their cover.

But HBF members will receive the full rebate for the period covered by their pre-payment if the payment is made before 1 July 2012.  Under HBF’s Fund Rules, members can pre-pay for up to 18 months in June 2012 and continue to receive the rebate till the end of December 2013. 

A typical family with top hospital and standard ancillary cover could save well over $2,000 by pre-paying 18 months.

For the past three years HBF has been one of the most vocal opponents of the means test and HBF Managing Director, Rob Bransby, said that he was keen that members understood that they had the option to avoid the immediate impact of the means test.

“Pre-paying up to the end of December 2013 means members can be pre-paid until after the next Federal election and the Federal Opposition Coalition has promised to dump the means test as soon as possible if it takes power,” Mr Bransby said. 

“We have argued against the introduction of the means test for the past three years and believe we have a responsibility to inform our members of this even if it makes us unpopular with the Federal Government.”

HBF is expecting that many members will take advantage of the pre-payment option but is pleading with members not to wait until the end of June to contact them. 

“We’ll put on extra resources in our branches and our call centre but a huge rush by members at the end of June would almost certainly mean members would be queuing up to speak to us” Mr Bransby said.

Health fund members should seek the advice of their tax advisor or the ATO before taking any action in relation to the prepayment of their health insurance premiums.

For further information please contact:
Andrew Walton, Group Public Affairs Manager 
(08) 9265 6181  / 0438 925 050 
Andrew.walton@hbf.com.au

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