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Junk policies. Hopeless.
I was disappointed after 5 years of annual premium increases, poor value for money, dreadful customer service and what really amounts to a junk insurance policy.
HBF want a lot of your money year on year, and they force you to visit certain health care providers who they have agreements with. Should you disagree with this meddling, they'll financially disadvantage you when it comes time to lodge a claim.
Imagine a once in 20 year procedure that you might need a well-credentialed specialist for. Sorry, not on their list of preferred prov...iders - but you're welcome to visit one of the generalist health care providers who will have a real good crack at it for you.The icing on the cake is that you'll still only be out of pocket by hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars! The good news is that there are insurers who don't discriminate against health care providers, they just aren't the norm yet.
Worst health insurance ever
Shop around and save over $1000 with other providers and we cancel our policy with hbf and later next day they took more money out from our bank account been with them over 10 yrs and every year they keep on increasing the policy what a scam.
Worst Health Insurance Provider - filed claim with the Ombudsman (details included)
HBF has always done things backwards. Getting a quote for anything other than minor extras has always been a nightmare, and now it’s worse! They wont provide quotes on how much they’ll pay vs how much will be Out of Pocket. Surely that’s EXACTLY what a Health Insurance Company is supposed to do!
I called yesterday to get a quote for some upcoming surgery. I had to give the hospital name (which is a HBF Member Plus Hospital), the surgeons name and provider number, the item numbers and fees associated with all items and was told it would be s...ent to the claims department and they’d email within 48 hours. That’s always been the process. They even asked me if I wanted to upgrade to their “gap saver” program, which I declined. Today they called me to say my claim had been sent back to customer service. When I asked why, they said (and I quote) “HBF no longer gives written quotes for upcoming claims“. So, I asked the officer to walk me through it verbally so I understood what they would pay and what would be an Out of Pocket cost. Again, they said (quote): “I’m sorry. We have a new internal policy that say we cannot give benefit quotes either in writing, in person or over the phone. You will need to have your surgery, pay your excess, and then Medicare and HBF will pay their fists and you’ll be invoiced for the rest.” I was, and am, in total disbelief. What do Insurance Companies do? Surely they are mandated to provide this information? I asked to be escalated to a Team Leader or Manager and was told that [name removed] would call me back within 5 working days. I was (and still am) furious. So, I called the Department of Health. They told me to call the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (1800 640 695) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (1300 55 88 49). I’ve made a formal complaint to the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman. They were super helpful. They’ll get a senior claims officer from HBF to call me by the end of the week and will also reiterate to HBF that internal policies cannot and do not circumvent what they must provide under the commonwealth legislation. They told me to document everything and if it’s not resolved within 10 days, they will take the case on and ensure HBF complies. So - my advice. Know your rights. Be informed. Push back against insurance companies such as HBF that are trying to bully their way out of not paying. We don’t pay them large sums of money to be non-complicit. They also have a duty of care and responsibility to admit and confirm liability and coverage. Take it further if you need to. You could also take it to Social Media, your local member for Parliament and the media. Insurance companies don’t want to pay out, but their policies are binding so you should know what you’re covered for.
Twice my claims were rejected - and on one occasion it was an emergency hospital visit, so I had to get transferred! Very costly monthly payments.
Very disappointed. Do not recommend.
Customer Service is non existent
This company will not give a straight answer, and will not escalate calls through to more senior people. The staff run off a script, rather than understand how their business works. They will take 3 days to contact you back. This is the worst customer service I have seen for an Australian based business for a long time.
Value for money ,the best extra cover
I am an admin at a dental surgery in Brisbane, dealing with private health insurances everyday. I have been with many different health funds myself( medibank private, Pupa ) .But HBF is the best one so far. Especially their extra flexi saver . You pay for what you need the most. Not like others policies, waste $$$ on things which we never claim. I do agree with some reviews that they take forever to answer your call but it usually happens to most health funds anyways. To be honest, at the moment flexi saver of HBF is the cheapest on the market.
Worst service ever
Every time over 30mins on hold.. They will send u around in circles and try everything to not pay you. Very complicated insurance policies.
All health insurance companies especially this one need to be seriously investigated.
HBF Health: Very Unhealthy - Appalling customer service at William Street HBF office
The experience with the William Street HBF office during first month of my membership raised a number of concerns with regards to customer service.
1. Failure to provide a customer with a full list of documents required to open a health insurance account.
2. Significant delays in responding to customer communications and a lengthy, onerous resolution process.
3. Contradictory advice on what documents are required to remove a Lifetime Health Cover loading, with the branch having a different policy to the rest of HBF.
4. Breach of privacy b...
Don't waste your money
I have been a loyal HBF member for many years and i did not have an issue with them, until recently. My partner started a new job which included private health. Without my knowledge HBF cancelled my current policy which was paid forward for another month to ensure my family were covered. They also would not refund my GAP Saver which was $300+
I have had countless calls to them asking for a manager to contact me and no one would reply or get back to me. They have caused me nothing but stress and upset with this whole situation. They are a huge ...
Premiums without protection
Faithfully paid "ambulance cover" every year, found ourselves in an emergency, called an ambulance for suspected poisoning situation, really scary, was not covered and hit up for the ambulance visit, big bucks for nothing. Very deceitful wording in policy coverage and they showed no regard for our fixed income situation, might as well have said "go suck eggs, don't want to know you" because you weren't foaming at the mouth when you called the ambulance you can go bite your bottom, you won't be covered by the policy. Well, we decided not to renew and we'll drive down the hospital in our own car and pay petrol. Both st john's and Hbf as useful as a wooden eye, extremely disappointed with them both, never again!
Don't be deluded by most of these comments
I have also been a long standing member of HBF and my experience has been exemplary in every matter. The problem with comment sites like this one is that anyone can say anything to rubbish HBF. It's pretty clear, those health funds that have to generate shareholder profits cannot possibly compete with a fund like HBF that is owned by it's members. I was with HBF for many years and the premium was paid by my employer. At one point, my employer decided to move everyone to Medibank Private and I had no choice but to change. During my time with MP ...I came across a bill I could have claimed with HBF so I walked into their office in Innaloo and asked if I could claim it as it was twelve months since leaving. Straight away they said that as I was with HBF when the bill was generated that I could. I've since left that employment and I immediately changed over again to HBF and I haven't; had a single issue even though I've had some serious health problems such prostate cancer. I've just read a lot of these comments below and deduce that most of them are written by employees of profit driven health funds so don't believe a single word of them. There is no way known that they can compete so they resort to nonsense comments for the obvious reasons.
Disgusting! Claim for my father to receive treatment for pneumonia was declined by HBF based on their reasoning that it could POSSIBLY associated to cardiac conditions. We checked the paperwork and he was even covered for most cardio excluding a few rare conditions. Amazed at how disgustingly they have bauked at a customer who has been paying over $400 per month for years. Do your loved ones a favor and stay away from HBF, lest they get stuck down with pnemonia and other readily treatable conditions only to be turned away at hospital.
all good except if you need to claim
been with them for years.time to make a hot water system claim that had water pouring out. Sorry not covered. They couldnt call me and tell me that, i had to follow up with it. I told her that i would take my several policies elsewere and she goes "thats your prerogative'..........awesome service..NOT
Phoned first time today
I have had HBF cover since 2012 & phoned today for the first time in quite awhile. Am a bit surprised by the number of recent negative reviews as I wasn't on hold for very long (approx 7 minutes) and the customer service was helpful. So far, so good! Just wanted to offer an alternative review to those that I've read recently!
Leaving lost its edge.
The reason I was in hbf was the extra service we had, bedside visits by those lovely lady's that would help you with everything and I was able to go through my policy with them, they would offer me advice on how to cut costs and give me piece of mind, also they are going to cut out the branches and stop the fun run! I was willing to pay but extra but not anymore goodbye.
Declined to cover surgery after agreeing
I took out Comprehensive Visitor Healthcover for my Mum who was on holiday from Zimbabwe with HBF as I have been doing over the years.
After 4 months on holiday in Perth and covered she required surgery to remove her thyroid and I was told that this would be covered. I booked the surgery and on the day I was told by St John of God Murdoch Hospital that HBF have declined to cover this as they believe this to be a pre existing condition dispite evidence that this was untrue as my Mum had undergone a full medical check by a selected Doctor appoi...
Long standing customer!
I have to say I am a little surprised with what I have been reading in regard to the reviews left recently. I have been a customer of HBF since I was 15, I am now 49, I took out singles cover, then got married and had children, I have continued to support HBF as I have always felt they have been there to support my family on many occasions.
I love the known gap cover specialists they have on there books. Myself and my family have used some of the specialists for various procedures without any out of pocket expense, all whilst being on mid ...range cover with Hospital, they have all been fantastic, cant speak highly enough of the specialists. I recently upgraded my cover, I visited the Joondalup store and saw a really lovely customer service officer, who could not help me enough. I will be sticking with them.
Good obstetrics cover, rubbish extras
Took out insurance with HBF because birth related services were included in their mid-hospital cover. Apart from the excess, they basically covered everything while my wife was in hospital. However, same can't be said for extras cover. We recently cancelled ours because it effectively covers nothing.
Dental Cover - Pathetic
Just signed over from Medibank. Really happy, until I had to go to the dentist. Was told that I could get two free dental cleans a year. The clean was so basic they didn't even use dental floss. Yet I was charged over $100! So much for two free cleans, I can't even get one clean! I'm so, so pissed right now!
Cancelled policy before we asked for it
This fund is hopeless. There were numerous issues setting up the policy. We were advised we had free dental check ups. but then when wanting to use it, find out in SA they have no "partner" dentists. We choose to change funds. they cancelled the fund 9 days early and left us with a gap in cover. They are incompetent fund. They tell me there is no fund in Oz that gives you free dental check ups. Yes there is.
I have lodged a complaint and now have to wait 3 days for a response.
Thanks for nothing but headaches and painful phone calls and hold times.
Worse insurer - I only lasted a month with them
They screwed up my account and continuously applied 505 (waiting period) code although I had transferred from another provider where I had served my waiting periods. I had to speak/chat to about 6 CSO, where I was told the issue had been fixed when it wasn't. Their complaints team sent me an email saying they called me, but there was no miss call logged on my phones. I have already switched.
I signed on via comparethemarket.com.au I don't recommend going through them, it was a problem from day one.
After waiting 30 minutes on the HBF enquiry line, and having read all my emails and the online newspapers, i found this site and wanted to confirm the problems so many people refer to (I am now over 40 mins on hold).
For a 'member organisation' this is really not good enough.
Oh and by the way the reason i have phoned is that my wife has been diagnosed with bowel cancer and this (obviously) means we have some questions.
I was looking to change my health insurance as HCF is totally inflexible and is now very expensive. Iselect suggested HBF. Despite the fact that I made it clear that I did not want my account debited and despite the fact that I have not signed any membership forms or direct debit authority, only two days later I am absolutely flabbergasted to find that HBF illegally removed money from my account against my specific instructions not to remove money from my account. I had made it clear to Nick at Iselect that I would pay by BPAY. As a self employ...ed person I need to be in control of my account at all times as cashflow can be erratic to say the least. I contacted both Iselect and HBF and demanded that the money be repaid immediately. I am told that it could take 10 days which puts my mortgage repayment in jeopardy. Not surprisingly I am not proceeding with this policy and I have taken the matter to the ombudsman. HBF's conduct is high handed and illegal and I recommend staying well away from them.
Terrible, Rip Off Company!!!
Don't go near this scam they call a Health Fund!!!
Had an accident resulting in a broken bone which needed surgery, which my policy said I'm covered for... 6 months later I was required to have follow up surgery, however they refused to pay for the surgery as it was outside their 90 day follow up period, despite having confirmation from the surgeon that the followup surgery could not be performed earlier than 6 months minimum due to my bone still being unhealed!!!!
The policy is absolutely pathetic when it comes to what you can claim for the money you pay.
When you ring you are on hold for 25 minutes only to get answered by someone who really doesn't care what you have to say - but when it comes time to renew your policy there is a very happy voice on the other end of the phone.
Dont waste your time with HBF shop around there is heaps better health insurance out there
Questions & Answers
Can I claim through HBF Australia wide
Hi Shirvan, Thank you for reaching out!
Members can access range of providers throughout Australia however, to confirm that benefits will be payable for your treatment or service you are wanting to claim for, it is best to contact us directly to confirm your coverage and, if you will have any out of pocket expenses.
If you have any questions about how our agreements work, or the benefits you can get back please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. – Chloe
I am on HBF Silver cover. I know Gastric Sleeve surgery is not covered but does HBF pay anything toward the hospital stay, anethsaetic costs etc
Hi Diamus, thank you for your question.
Without being able to access your policy, I am only able to provide general information. If something is an exclusion on your policy, unfortunately, we will not be able to pay benefits towards any part of the treatment.
If you would like to look more into your policy inclusion, please feel free to call us on 133 423, or chat with us at hbf.com.au - Cinta
Why is the gap saver no longer available?
Hi Davidg, thank you for getting in touch!
We proactively review our health cover offering, which can lead to us making changes to our suite including closing certain products for sale. In 2019 we reviewed our suite and decided to close Gap Saver to new sales. This cover option is still available to those who held it at the time it was closed.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 133 423. -Bella
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