COVID-19 payments to members
HBF is returning $42 million to members who held Hospital and/or Extras cover between 25 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.
After cancelling this year’s premium increase, HBF has announced relief for members experiencing particular financial hardship due to COVID-19.
HBF’s Health Cover Protection (HCP) provides eligible members who are receiving the JobSeeker payment through
Centrelink with premium relief for up to nine months. Members can continue to claim throughout this period
HBF CEO John Van Der Wielen said HBF’s Health Cover Protection would especially protect members who had been with HBF for many years,
and who through no fault of their own now found it difficult to meet premium payments.
“We believe that in times like these that it’s particularly important to recognise the loyalty of our longest standing members, and support those who are struggling,” he said.
Members ineligible for HCP may be able to receive HBF’s Hardship Waiver, which allows a member who has been with HBF for more than one month to suspend their health cover for up to six months without:
Mr Van Der Wielen said as the health and financial impacts of COVID-19 continued to be felt, the health and wellbeing of members was his highest priority.
“My commitment to our members is that we will look after you and do our best to alleviate as much of your distress as we can,” he said.
“We’re the only major fund to have cancelled, rather than suspended, our premium increase for 2020 and we’ll continue to be there for our members in the moments that matter.”
In another response to the COVID-19 crisis, HBF this week introduced temporary benefits for eligible members for certain Psychology and Clinical Psychology services as well as Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Dietetics delivered via phone or video channels.
“We know that many members who cannot access face-to-face consultations with their health providers are eager to continue treatment via telehealth.
We’ll continue to consider what other Extras services we should support in this way,” Mr Van Der Wielen said.
HBF members seeking more information should call HBF’s Member Contact Centre on 133 423 or visit www.hbf.com.au/members/covid-19.
Media enquiries: Lauren Underhill/Jodi Eastman 0438 925 050 / CorporateAffairs@hbf.com.au
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