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Basic Extras Cover

What is basic extras cover? Learn more about this affordable health insurance.

Just like hospital insurance, extras policies are offered by health funds in three varying levels of cover designed to suit different life stages. While comprehensive and medium extras policies are more relevant to those who are older or who have families, basic extras is aimed at people with low health care requirements such as young, healthy singles and couples

This article will focus on the basic level of extras cover by looking in detail at how much cover it provides, who it is best suited to, its exclusions and which Australian health funds offer it.

Compare basic extras cover offered by Australian health funds

Details Features
Active Life Extras
Active Life Extras
Straightforward extras that covers you for vital out of hospital services while keeping premiums low. Treatments include general dental and optical, as well as healthy lifestyle benefits.
  • $500 general and major dental combined limit
  • $400 chiro and osteo annual limit
  • $400 physio annual limit
  • $400 alternate therapies annual limit
Get Quote More info
Heart Hospital with Basic 65 or 75% Extras - Excess $250 or $500
Heart Hospital with Basic 65 or 75% Extras - Excess $250 or $500
Heart Basic provides additional cover for your heart. You can choose to get either 65% or 75% back on extras.
  • Cover starting from $30.63 weekly
  • Knee Reconstruction
  • 65% back on extras
  • Choice of $250 or $500 excess
Enquire Now More info
Extras 50
Extras 50
With the Extras 50 policy health.com.au will pay 50% of the provider's fee.
  • From $10.58 weekly
  • 50% back on extras
  • Unlimited emergency ambulance transport cover
  • $500 general dental limit
Enquire Now More info
Vital Options
Vital Options
Provides great value, entry-level extras cover for singles and couples. 50% Rebate back for each treatment to $800 annual limit.
  • Combined annual limit up to $800
  • 50% rebate on each service claimed
  • General dental cover
  • Chiropractic cover
Get Quote More info

What level of protection does basic extras cover provide?

  • As the title implies, basic extras cover provides only a basic level of cover. This means it only covers a limited number of ancillary services and the benefit limits payable for those services are much lower than those offered by medium and comprehensive extras cover.
  • Basic policies also often combine benefit limits for several services (e.g. physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage and natural therapies), unlike comprehensive and medium policies, which typically offer separate benefit limits for individual services. The disadvantage of this is that you can quickly use up your annual benefit limit in just a few visits to a handful of service providers.
  • If you have a family with high ancillary health care needs, or you use one particular service more frequently than others, you might be better off taking out medium or comprehensive cover rather than just a basic policy.

Who is basic extras health cover suited to?

Basic extras policies tend to only cover medical services such as:

  • General dental
  • Preventative dental
  • Physiotherapy
  • Optical (although this depends heavily on the provider)

Therefore it is more suited to those who are young and healthy and who don’t have need for a high level of ancillary cover. For example, if you only go to the dentist for teeth cleaning or the odd filling, basic cover may be all you need, but if you require more complex dental procedures such as bridgework then medium or comprehensive cover may be a much better choice.

Because Medicare does not cover any of these ancillary services, some form of extras cover is normally required. But if you don’t use these services a lot, then basic extras provides the ideal entry level cover to ensure you’re not paying more than you need to.

Are there any exclusions?

Basic extras cover also excludes a wide variety of ancillary services for which a benefit will not be paid. These include:

  • Major dental
  • Medical appliances
  • Nebulisers/humidifiers
  • Orthotic appliances
  • Psychological consultations
  • Hearing aids
  • Peak-flow meters
  • Pharmacy drugs
  • Podiatry consultations
  • Asthmatic spacers
  • Complementary therapies
  • Dietetics
  • Healthy Lifestyle programs
  • Occupational therapy
  • Orthoptics (eye therapy)
  • Optical (excluded by some and included by others)
  • Speech therapy
  • Blood glucose/pressure monitors

Which providers offer basic extras cover?

The following are the basic extras policies offered by some of Australia’s leading health funds:

Health fundBasic extras policies available*Find out more
HIFHIF’s Vital Options policy provides an $800 combined limit for services that include:

  • General dental and endodontics
  • Physiotherapy and chiropractic
  • Emergency ambulance transport
More info
PeoplecarePeoplecare's Basic Extras policy provides cover for services such as:

  • General dental 
  • Optical 
  • Physiotherapy and chiropractic 
  • Health management programs 
More info
health.com.auThe Base65 policy offers 65% back on your extras, and includes services such as:

  • General dental, major dental, endodontics and orthodontics
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy and chiropractic
  • Acupuncture and naturopathy
More info
AHMAHM’s Basic Extras policy lets you choose your provider and covers services that include:

  • General dental 
  • Optical 
  • Physiotherapy and chiropractic 
  • Non-PBS pharmaceuticals 
More info
Australian UnityAustralian Unity’s Basic Extras policy lets you choose your provider and includes cover for:

  • General dental and endodontics 
  • Optical 
  • Physiotherapy, chiropractic, acupuncture and remedial massage 
  • Non-PBS pharmaceuticals 
More info
CBHS Health FundThe CBHS Essential Extras policy covers services that include:

  • General dental and preventative dental 
  • Optical 
  • Physiotherapy and chiropractic 
  • Non-PBS pharmaceuticals 
More info
GMHBA Health InsuranceGMHBA’s Bronze Extras policy offers 55% back on services which include:

  • General dental and other dental services 
  • Optical 
  • Physiotherapy and related services 
  • Non-PBS pharmaceuticals 
More info
HCFHCF’s Bronze Extras policy includes cover for services such as:

  • General dental 
  • Physiotherapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, naturopathy and remedial massage 
  • Emergency ambulance transport 
More info
nibnib’s Core and Family Extras policy covers services that include:

  • General dental, major dental, preventative dental and orthodontics 
  • Optical 
  • Physiotherapy and related services 
  • Podiatry and related services 
More info
Transport HealthTransport Health's Young Singles Cover includes a $300 limit per service up to $600 per policy on treatments that include:

  • General dental, major dental and endodontics
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy and chiropractic
  • Naturopathy and remedial massage
More info

Anything else to be aware of with basic extras cover?

The following are some additional points that you should be aware of when comparing basic extras cover:

  • Waiting periods. Most ancillary services have waiting periods before benefits will be paid. These are usually two months, but if you’re switching from another fund, many insurers will often waive these waiting periods.
  • Benefit limits. As mentioned previously, separate benefit limits are preferable to combined limits. Some insurers also offer percentage benefits (usually from 60% to 100%), which can be better than dollar amounts, particularly if the provider charges more than the average fee.
  • Preferred providers. Many funds use a network of preferred service providers. The advantage of this is that the provider charges an agreed fee, meaning there may be no gap to pay. The disadvantage could be that there may be no provider close to where you live, so it pays to check with the fund before taking out cover.

Compare basic extras cover policies with help from an adviser

Picture: Shutterstock

Richard Laycock

Richard is the senior insurance writer at finder.com.au and is on a mission to make insurance easier to understand.

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