HBF is a nonprofit health fund founded in Western Australia in 1941 and headquartered in Perth. It has more than a million members nationally (with the majority of these in WA) and is Australia's fifth-largest private health fund behind Medibank, Bupa, HCF and NIB. HBF is also part of Members Health, an alliance of nonprofit and mutual health funds.
Phone: 133 423
In 2023 the HBF health insurance premium increase is 4.49% (on average), and took effect on 1 April.
This compares with an average premium increase of 2.9% and is the highest increase of the five major health funds:
You can often save money on your health insurance by taking advantage of available discounts that centre around how and when you pay, such as:
- 3.85% discount when you prepay your premium (maximum prepayment period is 18 months)
- 4% discount when you pay by direct debit
- 7.85% discount for some policies when you prepay your premium using direct debit.
Review, switch and save
If you want to check whether you're getting the best deal, you can review your health insurance at any time (in fact, it's good practice to do it at least once a year). To help you wade through the seemingly infinite options, our insurance experts developed a tool that lets you compare health insurance policies based on your needs so you can find cover that works for you, and potentially save yourself hundreds.
HBF has a Medium complaints rating.
The major funds are all evenly matched in this regard, with Medibank, Bupa, HCF and NIB having a Medium complaints rating as well.
When we score policies we give each fund a complaints rating, based on the number of complaints and serious disputes the Ombudsman deals with. We take into account the size of the fund, so big funds don't get automatically penalised for having more complaints. The ratings are Low, Medium and High. A Low rating is better than a High rating – it means the fund has fewer complaints and fewer serious disputes for its size.
A medical gap is the difference between Medicare's recommended fee and what your doctor actually charges for a treatment or service.
Health funds have agreements with particular doctors and hospitals to cover all of the gap, which are called 'no gap agreements', or part of that gap, which are called 'known gap agreements' (these will have lower out-of-pocket costs, usually less than $500).
Our graphic below displays the CHOICE gap rating, which takes into account the percentage of services where members either paid no gap or a known gap, compared to the state average.
Gap cover forms part of our rating for health insurance policies.
- Well above average
- Above average
- Below average
- Well below average
The benefit amount your fund pays you for hospital services depends not only on the type of cover you buy, but also whether your fund has an agreement with the hospital where you're treated.
The table below shows how many hospital agreements HBF has in your state compared to the fund with the highest number (the industry maximum). Note that public hospitals don't have agreements with specific funds and are generally treated as though they're agreement hospitals.
All HBF extras, hospital and combined policies have emergency ambulance cover (but not air ambulance).
- Adult children are covered on family policies for free until they turn 21.
- Full-time students are covered on family policies for free until they turn 25.
- Adult children younger than 25 can be covered on extended family policies for an extra cost.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.