Changes to health policy suspensions

As of 1 August 2022, HBF Health policies can only be suspended for a maximum period of three years.

What is changing with suspensions at HBF?

We’ve worked hard to improve the simplicity of our fund rules to ensure all members understand how to get the most out of their health cover. Following a recent review of our Fund Rules, from 1 August 2022, policy suspension rules will change.

The following changes will occur;

  • Eligible HBF Health policies can be suspended for a minimum period of 2 months up to 3 years due to travel overseas (in addition to Australian Defence Force or imprisonment).
  • To be eligible to suspend, members must have served a minimum of 12 months paid membership with HBF.
  • There is no limit on how many suspensions you can have, only there must be a gap of 12 months paid membership between each suspension.
  • Eligible Health HBF products include all Hospital and Extras cover, excluding Overseas visitors health cover and Urgent Ambulance products.
  • Members to supply a current email address to ensure we can contact you, if required.

On 1 August 2022, the Fund Rules under section C9 Temporary Suspension of Membership will be updated with the new version which can be viewed via this link.

What does this mean for members with existing suspensions?

Recently, we wrote to members who hold active Overseas, Imprisonment or Australian Defence Force suspensions.

Members currently suspended will be able to continue their suspension for a maximum period of 3 years from the date they suspended.

For members who have already surpassed the three year period and do not wish to resume their cover, your suspension period will end on 1 August 2022.

Members with HBF Overseas Visitor Cover

You can have one period of suspension every three years, for any period from two to six months. So, if you want to return overseas for a short period of time, it’s important you maintain your existing HBF membership as part of your visa condition in maintaining adequate health cover while in Australia.

Find answers to some frequently asked questions below.

What is changing with the Suspension rules?

From 1 August 2022, we are changing the Fund and Business Rule for Overseas, Imprisonment and Australian Defence Force Suspensions. From this date, eligible* members will be able to suspend their policies for a minimum suspension of 2 months with a maximum suspension time of 3 years. Members will only be able to suspend their policy once every 12 months and payments for the policy must be up to date. Members have 2 months upon return or release to notify HBF and resume their policy.

*Excludes Overseas Visitors Cover & Urgent Ambulance only policies.

Why are the Suspension rules changing?

Our priority is to remain a sustainable, member-focused organisation that continues to provide affordable and valuable health insurance products for all our members. As the health insurance market changes over time, we need to continuously review and assess the range of services we offer and the coverage they provide. Our recent review has shown that our Suspensions policy needed to change to make our health cover options simpler and easier to understand for our members.

I am currently overseas, how can I contact HBF?

HBF contact centre is open from 6am – 7pm WST Monday - Friday and 7am – 4pm WST Saturdays. The contact number is +61 8 9265 6111.Alternatively, you can email us via

Can I keep the same cover I had when I suspended?

Whilst you are suspended there may be changes made to your health insurance product, HBF membership rules or the way in which you claim or use your cover. If your product is no longer available when you resume your membership, HBF will offer the health insurance product most closely approximating your current product.

My policy is suspended, do I have to do anything?

We are currently reaching out to our members who have a current suspension to advise them if they will be impacted by the change and to advise them of the next steps. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 133 423 or visit your local branch if you are in Australia or if overseas, you can contact us on +61 8 9265 6111. Alternatively, you can email us via

I have a suspended Urgent Ambulance policy, why are you removing this offer?

As a result of a recent review, from 1 August 2022, we are making changes to our policy suspension rules, this includes clarification Urgent Ambulance product is not an eligible for suspension as there are no retained benefits that offer value to our members. Therefore, it’s important to note if you need ambulance cover with HBF there is only a seven-day waiting period from the date of joining before you can claim urgent ambulance services, and subject to the state you’re in Ambulance transport may already be covered by a State Government scheme or other third party.