Health funds under pressure to return COVID savings

18 Mar 2021

Health funds have saved $1.8 billion because of lower demand for healthcare during the COVID-19 pandemic, but only one is returning the savings as a cash handout to members. 

West Australian health fund HBF is preparing to return $40 million of COVID-19 savings back to its 500,000 policy holders — $31 for extras policy holders and $140 per hospitals and extras policy. 

Dr Khorshid called on the insurers to hand back any windfalls. 

“One fund’s doing the right thing, that’s for sure, and it does really beg the question as to what’s so different about the other funds,” Dr Khorshid told ABC Radio Adelaide. 

“There is an opportunity for funds to really demonstrate their value, the fact that they’re not going to make windfall profits, and to give back this money to policy holders who didn’t get that value in the past year.” 

Health fund premiums are due to rise again next month, adding $250 a year to the cost of a family hospital and extras policy. 

It will be the second rise in just six months.