HBF returns $110 million savings to members

Members to receive $45 to $330

HBF returns $110 million savings to members

Life & Health

By Roxanne Libatique

Private health insurer HBF will return $110 million in COVID-19 savings to its members as part of its commitment to not profit from the pandemic.

HBF members will start receiving payments in June 2023, ranging from $45 for singles with an extras-only policy to $330 for families with a hospital and extras policy.

HBF's COVID-19 savings

HBF, which recently joined Members Health Fund Alliance (Members Health), set aside funds when the COVID-19 pandemic impacted access and utilisation of health services. It expected the funds to be paid out as claims later.

With claims stabilising, HBF confirmed that it will not use a significant portion of the funds. Instead, it has decided to return those savings directly to eligible members via a cashback.

The latest payments will make the COVID-19 support provided by HBF to its members total $255 million, including savings from the insurer's decision as the only major fund to completely cancel its premium increase in 2020, the first major fund to return COVID-19 savings to members in 2021, and other COVID-19 hardship support measures.

“Early in the pandemic, HBF pledged to not profit from COVID-19, and we're keeping to that promise,” said HBF CEO Dr. Lachlan Henderson. “We're now seeing claims stabilise, and our commitment to our members is that they should be the direct beneficiaries of any COVID-19 savings.

“Our members have told us in surveys that they would prefer the simplicity of having any savings paid directly into their own bank accounts rather than via premium increase deferrals. This gives them the choice of how to spend this money in light of cost-of-living challenges facing Australian households.”

HBF members who held an eligible active policy on March 1, 2023, and remain with the insurer when payments are made will receive the cashback. The insurer will contact the eligible members directly to inform them of the amount they will receive.

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