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Reviewed and updated 3 April 2024

About HCF

What is HCF? 

HCF is a private health insurer that operates as an open health fund

It is Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund and claims to have almost 1.8 million members.

Background 

HCF began as the Metropolitan Hospitals Fund, which was established in Sydney in 1932. Its original objective was to insure the local community for the cost of hospital care. In 1942, HCF expanded to offer hospital cover to anyone living in NSW and changed its name to the Hospital Contributions Fund of NSW. 

In the 1960s, HCF extended to Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania and became the Hospital Contributions Fund of Australia.

The insurer merged with rt health, Australia’s oldest health fund, in 2021.

In 2022, HCF entered a 5-year agreement with Ramsay Health Care to make health care more accessible and affordable for HCF members.

Who can join HCF?

Anyone can join HCF because it is an open health fund.

What products does HCF offer?

HCF offers:

Do HCF policies include Ambulance Cover?

For residents of NSW and ACT, Hospital and Extras Cover includes emergency Ambulance Cover.

For residents of NT, SA, VIC and WA, you need to take out Ambulance Only Cover or subscribe with your local ambulance service.

For residents of QLD and TAS, you are already covered by your local state-based ambulance service.


Is HCF a not-for-profit health insurer?

Yes. HCF is a not-for-profit health insurer.


Does HCF operate in all Australian states and territories?

Yes. HCF operates in all Australian states and territories.


How does HCF Hospital Cover compare with other insurers?

BenchmarksHCFIndustry average
Member retention for Hospital Cover98.6%88.6%
% hospital-related charges covered90.1%90.6%

Source: Private Health Insurance Ombudsman: State of the Health Funds Report: 2022


Does HCF have agreements with some private hospitals or day hospitals to provide services at low cost or with no out-of-pocket costs?

Yes. HCF has agreements with a number of private hospitals that allow it to provide services to its members at low cost or with no out-of-pocket costs:

LocationNumber of private Agreement HospitalsIndustry maximum
ACT56
NSW8998
NT12
QLD4960
SA1923
TAS59
VIC6576
WA1824

HCF also has agreements with a number of day hospitals allowing it to provide services at low cost or with no out-of-pocket costs:

LocationNumber of day Agreement Hospitals Industry maximum
ACT79
NSW87103
NT12
QLD3957
SA1930
TAS68
VIC5379
WA1624

Source: HCF: performance


How does HCF Extras Cover compare with other insurers?

BenchmarkHCFIndustry average
% Extras Cover charges covered51.5%52.0%

Source: Private Health Insurance Ombudsman: State of the Health Funds Report: 2022


How does HCF compare with other private health insurers?

BenchmarksHCFIndustry average
Market share12.4%
% services with no gap87.8%88.8%
% services with no gap or where known gap payment made98.0%97.4%
Market share of complaints to the PHIO18.1%
% complaints investigated by the PHIO23.8%
Benefits as a % of contributions86.7%83.1%
Management expenses as a % of contribution income10.3%9.9%
Management expenses per average policy$419$375

Source: Private Health Insurance Ombudsman: State of the Health Funds Report: 2022


Is HCF a member of any industry associations?

Yes. HCF is a member of Private Healthcare Australia (PHA), a body that represents 20 registered health insurers and 97% of people covered by private health insurance.

It is also a member of the Members Health Fund Alliance, an alliance of not-for-profit, member-owned, regional or community-based health insurers.


Does HCF let me claim online or via an app?

Yes. HCF allows you to make a claim online using your HCF member login. You can upload your extras or ambulance claim with the HCF My Membership app or in online member services. With most providers, you can claim on the spot with your physical or digital membership card.


How to contact HCF

Phone:

13 13 34

Website:

https://www.hcf.com.au/

Email:

Online form

Address:

Head Office:
1/403 George Street
SYDNEY NSW 2000

Postal address:

GPO Box 4242
SYDNEY NSW 2001


Compare HCF with other private health insurers

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