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HBF delivers lowest premium increase of nation's majors

HBF has delivered the lowest average increase in premiums of all major Australian health funds, with HBF premiums rising by an average 1.94% from 1 April 2019.

Andrew Walton
2 minutes

HBF has delivered the lowest average increase in premiums of all major Australian health funds, with HBF premiums rising by an average 1.94% from 1 April 2019.

The average increase is the fund’s lowest in more than 15 years, and it has been delivered against a 4.4% increase in benefits for the average HBF member last financial year.

Federal Health Minister, Greg Hunt announced the approved increase today and revealed an industrywide average increase of 3.25%.

HBF Chief Executive Officer, John Van Der Wielen said the modest increase was the result of an organisation-wide initiative to drive efficiencies and control costs.

“We will always remain a not-for-profit health fund, and our members will always be at the heart of our decision-making. But we are transforming the way we operate, so we can keep premium increases to an absolute minimum, while maintaining our promise of quality health insurance,” Mr Van Der Wielen said.

“We’re in better shape across the board. Our management structure is more efficient, we’ve contained administration costs, we’ve worked hard to get the best deal for our members through contract negotiations with healthcare providers, and we’ve made changes to our products so claims by a small minority don’t push up premiums for everyone,” he said.

“Our low increase reflects the progress we’ve made this year, but work continues to make us the most competitive health fund, long-term.”

Mr Van Der Wielen said as a not-for-profit fund that had no obligation to shareholders, HBF was free to prioritise the interests of its one million members.

“Last year we returned 91 cents in every premium dollar back to our members as benefits – more than any of the top five majors. If we gave back the industry average of 85% we would have had an additional $75 million surplus. Instead, we made the conscious decision to give this back to members.”


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