HBF announces new plan for members receiving JobSeeker

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HBF has announced Health Cover Protection (HCP) for its members receiving the JobSeeker payment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Perth-based private health insurer said HCP will provide eligible members receiving JobSeeker with premium relief for up to nine months. It said members can continue to claim throughout this period.

According to CEO John Van Der Wielen, HCP would protect members who had been with HBF for many years and now found it difficult to meet premium payments.

“We believe that in times like these that it’s particularly important to recognise the loyalty of our longest standing members, and support those who are struggling,” he said.

HBF said its members ineligible for HCP may still be able to receive its Hardship Waiver. This allows a member who has been with the insurer for more than one month to suspend their health cover for up to six months without losing their length of cover, incurring lifetime health cover loading or re-serving waiting periods upon resumption.

“My commitment to our members is that we will look after you and do our best to alleviate as much of your distress as we can,” said Mr Van Der Wielen.

“We’re the only major fund to have cancelled, rather than suspended, our premium increase for 2020 and we’ll continue to be there for our members in the moments that matter.”

HBF also announced it had introduced temporary benefits for eligible members for certain psychology and clinical psychology services as well as physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and dietetics delivered via phone or video channels.

“We know that many members who cannot access face-to-face consultations with their health providers are eager to continue treatment via telehealth. We’ll continue to consider what other Extras services we should support in this way,” added Mr Van Der Wielen.