HBF announces planned acquisition of regional Queensland health fund

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HBF has announced the planned acquisition of the Queensland Country Health Fund (QCHF).

QCHF is owned by Queensland Country Bank and currently has around 70,000 policyholders.

HBF said the acquisition will further increase its presence in Queensland following its purchase of CUA Health (CUA) last year. It said QCHF will see no immediate change.

"They will retain, and continue to benefit from, their current QCHF health policies. QCHF’s entire workforce of approximately 100 employees will be offered continued employment at HBF at their current locations," said HBF.

Townsville-based QCHF has six retail centres, 23 product distribution centres through QCHF’s parent Queensland Country Bank, and three dental centres across regional Queensland that will be included in the acquisition.

QCHF also has a small market presence in the Northern Territory through its Territory Health Fund.

Queensland is expected to become HBF’s second-largest state in terms of market share and will see HBF policies outside its home state of WA increase to over 22 per cent.

Completion of the acquisition is expected by mid-2023.

HBF Chair Diane Smith-Gander AO said, “Bringing QCHF under the HBF banner simply makes sense for both organisations. By building economies of scale at a national level, and through our not-for-profit status and values, we will continue to provide competitively priced products and maintain high-value health cover for every one of our members.

“HBF is pleased that QCHF’s confidence to join HBF was supported by the success of our CUA Health acquisition. That’s testament to the seamless integration of CUA Health into HBF and our unwavering commitment to always do the right thing by our members.

“HBF is the most trusted private health insurer in Australia according to Roy Morgan research. We really look forward to welcoming QCHF’s members and people into the HBF family.”

Queensland Country Bank Group CEO Aaron Newman added, “QCHF and HBF are both highly compatible organisations with a clear cultural alignment, both having a member-first ethos and proven track-record in delivering excellent health cover outcomes for the regional community. The success of the CUA Health acquisition was a key driver in our decision to join HBF.

“The acquisition will enable our approximately 70,000 members to leverage the benefits from HBF’s robust scale, whilst maintaining the member-first focused business model QCHF’s members strongly favour and are accustomed to. Crucially, all of our employees have the opportunity to continue their existing roles and will be warmly welcomed by the HBF team.”