HBF health insurance review

HBF is a not-for-profit health fund, owned by more than a million members.

The fund offers a range of policies, from budget cover through to comprehensive plans.

Members receive discounts on health-related products and services, along with free health tips and coaching over the phone.

Key Points

  • Discounts on gym memberships and fitness apparel.

  • HBF app for claiming on the go.

  • 100% back on 1 or 2 dental check-ups a year.

HBF isn't on our panel but we're confident we can get you a great deal on your health insurance.


Hospital cover

Nobody chooses to go to hospital.

But when you do, health insurance policies and the relevant hospital cover will help you get the treatment you need, where and when you want it.

It also helps to pay the bills, as fees for hospital rooms and specialists can add up.

Think about what services you're likely to need, in line with your budget.

If you earn over $90,000 individually or $180,000 as a couple, you could avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

HBF offers many hospital cover options. There are five hospital plans for a variety of ages, life stages and budgets.

Each level of cover, from Basic to Gold, builds on the level before it.

Basic Hospital Plus

Low cost hospital cover that covers the basics that also covers you for your own private room at HBF's Member Plus hospitals. Has a $500 and $750 excess.

Key inclusions:

  • Emergency ambulance

  • No excess for kids

  • Joint reconstructions

Basic Hospital Plus Elevate

Low cost hospital cover that covers the basics that also covers you for your own private room at HBF's Member Plus hospitals. Has a $500 and $750 excess.

Key inclusions:

  • Skin

  • Bone, joint and muscle

  • Joint reconstructions

Bronze Hospital Plus

This policy is more comprehensive than Basic Hospital Plus, but it doesn't include pregnancy and birth or common conditions that affect older Australians like cataracts. Has a $250, $500 and $750 excess.

Key inclusions:

  • Digestive system

  • Sleep studies

  • Male reproductive system

Silver Hospital

Mid-range hospital cover for a wide selection of services. It includes heart and vascular, and hearing devices, so may be suitable for some older Australians. Has a $250, $500 and $750 excess.

Key inclusions:

  • Heart and vascular system

  • Podiatric surgery

  • Implantation of hearing devices

Silver Hospital Plus

Premium hospital cover for most services, excluding just a few like obstetrics and weight loss surgery. Has a $250, $500 and $750 excess.

Key inclusions:

Gold Hospital

This is the top cover with no exclusions. It includes pregnancy and birth, so is suitable for those looking to start a family. Has an excess of $500 and $750.

Key inclusions:

  • Pregnancy and birth

  • Assisted reproductive services

  • Kidney dialysis

Ambulance Cover

All HBF extras, hospital and combined policies have emergency ambulance cover included (excluding air ambulance).

Extras cover

HBF’s extras reset on January 1 every year.

From dental, to optical, to chiro and more, extras insurance helps cover the bills for routine treatments with rebates of up to 100%.  

While we've summarised the key points of each plan below, it's always worth digging a little deeper into any gap fees, how much you can claim back, and whether your preferred healthcare provider, such as your local dentist, has an agreement with the health fund .

Take the time to work out what you need from a health insurance policy and what you're prepared to pay.

Basic Extras

A budget extras option with a standard 2 month waiting period that covers everyday health costs such as general dental, optical, chiro and physio.

Key inclusions:

  • Healthy living programs

  • Preventative dental

  • Physiotherapy

Flex 50

Offers 50% or more back on 12 common services including major dental, remedial massage, and natural therapies.

Key inclusions:

  • Preventative and major dental

  • Psychology

  • Dietetics and nutrition

Flex 60

Similar to the Flex 50 package but with higher rebates of 60% or over, and a larger annual limit.

Key inclusions:

  • Major dental and implants

  • Osteopathy and remedial massage

  • Exercise physiology

Complete 60

More comprehensive than the Flex 60, the Complete 60 offers cover for a wide range of extras services, including orthodontics and psychology, with 60% or more back.

Key inclusions:

Top 70

HBF's most expensive extras package, this option gives you access to HBF's full range of treatments and services, such as podiatry, with 70% or more back. Has no annual limit for preventative or general restorative dental.

Key inclusions:

  • Speech therapy

  • Podiatry

  • Appliances, prostheses and aids


Waiting periods

To stop people signing up, claiming, then cancelling their health insurance, all insurers apply waiting periods.

Generally, the more expensive the treatment, the longer you'll wait.

But keep an eye out for special deals with waiting periods reduced or waived.

Hospital waiting periods

  • 12 months for pre-existing conditions, foot orthoses and major dental

  • 2 months for hospital psychiatric services, rehabilitation and palliative care as well as all other services

  • 1 day for ambulance services

Extra waiting periods

  • 12 months for pre-existing conditions as well as pregnancy and birth

  • 2 months for all other services, including palliative care, rehabilitation and hospital psychiatric services

  • 1 day for accident cover

Member benefits

HBF members have access to a range of discounts and health programs, including discounts on gym memberships and fitness apparel and fully covered flu vaccinations every year.

There are also higher extras rebates at Members Plus providers^^ as well as telephone health coaching and other free health programs.

How to claim

Claim via the free HBF Health app or online, or by sending a claim form through the post. You can also claim on the spot when you visit a provider that offers HICAPS.

Hospital agreements

HBF has agreements with most hospital and day surgery providers across Australia.

When comparing policies, it's worth checking if your local hospitals and clinics are covered.

Our specialists at Compare Club can do this for you.

Customer service

HBF received 4% of complaints in 2021, and has a market share of 7.3%^.



1. Is HBF a not-for-profit fund?

Yes, HBF is a not-for-profit fund. Check out our list of not-for-profit health funds in australia for more info on another not-for-profit health funds

2. Who can apply? Are there restrictions?

You’ll need to be 18 or over to apply for health insurance with HBF.

3. Is it easy to switch to HBF?

HBF is not on Compare Club’s panel, but we’re confident we can find you a good deal from the other funds we compare.

4. Do I need to re-serve waiting periods?

If you switch to an equivalent or lower level of cover, you won’t have to serve new waiting periods. However, you may need to serve new waiting periods if your new policy includes additional services or higher benefits

5. Can I change my level of cover?

Yes, you can choose a lower or higher level of cover.

If you move to a higher level of cover, you will usually need to serve waiting periods on the extra services/higher benefits.

6. Do I get the government rebate?

For every dollar of private health insurance premiums, the Australian Government provides eligible Australians with a rebate of up to 33.4% (depending on your age and income). To learn what you’re entitled to, read our rebate guide.

7. Do I have to pay the Lifetime Health Cover loading?

If you’re 31 or over, you usually need to pay 2% loading for each year you’ve gone without hospital cover since the 1st July following your 31st birthday. You can find out more here.

8. Up to what age are children covered?

Generally, 23.

If they're studying full time, dependents can be covered as a student under a family policy up to the age of 25.

Children must not be married or living in a de facto relationship.

This guide is opinion only and should not be taken as medical or financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.

9. What is CUA Health?

CUA merged with HBF in October 2021 and is closed to new members. You can find our detailed review of CUA here.

^Private Health Ombudsman, HBF, accessed 13 January 2022.