HBF support for Western Australia in response to COVID-19

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HBF says it has spent over $41 million to help its members and the Western Australian community deal with the COVID pandemic.

The insurer said since the start of the pandemic it has committed over $39 million in support of HBF members, charities and community groups, with an additional $2.5 million to support the state government's COVID-19 detection program.

It also cancelled its approved 2020 premium increase at a cost of $37 million - HBF said the move has saved an average $75 per policy - and put in place a range of hardship measures for members under which they could apply for premium relief or suspend their cover without penalty. Members could also use their accumulated GapSaver accounts to pay their premium.

HBF said that, by the end of May, 10,000 of its one million members had applied for the Hardship Waiver, Health Cover Protection (HCP) provisions or used their GapSaver balance to pay their premium. At the same time, more than 50,000 of its Western Australian members have received the free flu shot at a Pharmacy 777 outlet, compared to 39,000 for the whole flu season in 2019.

HBF has also donated $370,000 to charities including Foodbank, Lifeline, Salvation Army and Anglicare, and $400,000 left unspent from this year's cancelled 'HBF Run for a Reason' to 170 health charities.

It has also partnered with the state government on the 'DETECT Snapshot' program to accelerate its COVID-19 testing. 

According to CEO John Van Der Wielen, "We see ourselves as an intrinsic part of the WA community and a key player in the State's health infrastructure.

"This is when organisations like HBF are able to show what being a not-for-profit business, that puts the interests of members and the community first, really means."