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HBF cancels premium rises due to come into effect on 1 April 2020.
HBF CEO John Van Der Wielen said the extraordinary decision recognised that many members impacted by the coronavirus COVID-19 now found themselves in difficult financial circumstances.
He said HBF’s Board unanimously approved the decision to cancel premium increases at an urgent meeting overnight.
“These are extraordinary times and now, more than ever, access to the best healthcare is more important than ever. We want to do everything we can to keep health insurance affordable for our members,” John Van Der Wielen said.
Mr Van Der Wielen said that as a large not-for-profit health insurer with no obligations to shareholders, HBF was able to put the interests of its members first.
“Our focus today is on two things, the first is making sure we continue to operate as an essential service and are there for our members during this once in lifetime health crisis. The second is doing everything to keep health cover affordable for our members.”
Mr Van Der Wielen said HBF was also looking at other measures to provide relief for members who found themselves in real financial distress.
“During the bushfires we were able to offer premium relief for members whose lives had been turned upside down by the fires. We expect to be able to do something similar for members who have suddenly lost their income because of COVID-19.”
He said he expected to announce details of HBF’s financial relief package in the coming week.
For more detail and frequently asked questions for HBF members, please visit our Health Insurance Premium FAQs.
Media enquiries: Lauren Underhill/Jodi Eastman 0438 925 050 / CorporateAffairs@hbf.com.au
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