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Health Insurance Finder™ is a 100% free, Australian-owned comparison service designed to help you find suitable cover for your needs.

Why compare private health insurance?

Health insurance can be confusing. Whether you’re thinking about starting a family, crossing tax thresholds or just wanting the best level of healthcare possible, we're here to help.

At finder.com.au, we aim to clear up the confusion. Get a quote and compare health insurance from 30+ companies in Australia.

How does it work?

Options and quotes from 30+ funds.

No inflated quotes, fees or phone calls.

Compare and apply directly.

What is private health insurance?

Health insurance helps you cover the cost of hospital treatments as well as some out-of-hospital services. These two services are broken into two groups: hospital treatments and general treatments (also known as ancillary services or extras).

While we're lucky as Australians to have access to hospital treatment through our public healthcare system Medicare, private health insurance provides you with more options.

MedicarePrivate health insurance
Public hospital services
  • Yes
  • Yes
Ambulance
  • No
  • Yes
Private room or hospital
  • No
  • Yes
Everyday health (dentist, physio, etc)
  • No
  • Yes

Find health cover that suits your life

Choose your own health care

Have peace of mind, whether you want choice over your hospital or your surgeon, or you just want to feel safe in the knowledge that you’ve got protection.

Avoid tax penalties

Just want a basic policy that means you don’t get penalised? We got you. Health insurance means you can avoid fearing that claim form come June 30.

Don't sit around waiting

Don’t want to sit on a public waiting list for surgery? Private health insurance can help. You’ll be able to receive treatment quicker, in a private room and from a doctor that you choose.

Get a little extra back for everyday needs

If you get regular massages, physio treatments or you just like keeping your teeth in great condition, these out-of-hospital treatments are only covered by private health insurance.

You have 5 options

When you're looking for private health insurance, it's up to you to decide whether you want hospital or extras or a package with both. You also have the option of taking out a standalone ambulance cover, but ambulance fees are generally included in most extras and hospital policies.

Option 1: Hospital cover

A hospital policy covers you for hospital procedures and accommodation, you can also choose your doctor. Hospital cover is also what you need to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS).

Health insurance hospital cover

Option 2: Extras cover

Extras cover allows you to claim for out-of-hospital health services such as dental and physio. Extras pay either a set refund or a percentage refund.

Health insurance extras cover

Option 3: Hospital and extras combined

A combined policy includes cover for both in and out of hospital services. They are often labelled as packages such as young couples - but you can also mix and match your own.

Health insurance hospital and extras cover

Option 4: Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC)

If you're looking to visit, work or study in Australia, you may need OVHC. Whether you're looking to tick you visa box or searching for a more comprehensive policy - there are several options available.

Compare OVHC

Option 5: No health insurance

You can take this 1-minute quiz to help you figure out whether you would benefit from hospital cover, extras cover, both or neither.

Take the quiz

How much does health insurance cost?

Private health insurance is community rated meaning that no matter how old you are or whether you have any pre-existing conditions, everyone pays the same amount for the same cover.

The cost of health insurance comes down to the choices you make. A basic hospital policy can start from $16 a week and an extras policy from just $3 a week with April 2018 pricing.

You can also easily compare hundreds of policies to find either a cheap or comprehensive policy that works for your budget.

There are ways that you can save a few dollars:

  • Prepay for your policy before 1 April each year. Every year on 1 April, health insurance premiums go up. If you prepay 12 months' worth of premiums before 1 April, you can postpone the rate rise's effect on your hip pocket.
  • Annual payment discounts. If you're planning on paying for your policy in advance for the next year, look for a fund that offers discounts for doing so. Some of these funds offer discounts of up to 4%.
  • Direct debit discounts. While we're on the topic of payment discounts, some funds offer a 4% discount for customers who pay for their premiums by direct debit.
  • Health discounts. Some funds, such as myOwn, are dipping their toes in the water and starting to reward their healthier members with discounted premiums.

What happens if you don't have private health insurance?

The Australian Government has introduced a number of schemes to encourage people who can afford private health care to take it out. Private health care takes the burden off the public health system so that people who really need it can access it when they need to. There are therefore a few schemes that may impact you if you don't have private health insurance.

  • Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading. This is designed to encourage Australians to maintain health insurance from a younger age. It does this by increasing premiums by 2% for every year after your 31st birthday that you don't have cover.
  • Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS). This is an additional tax penalty ranging from 1% to 1.5% of your annual income, depending on how much you earn, and is applied every year that you do not have an adequate private health insurance policy.
  • Private health insurance rebate. One of the major benefits of having private health insurance is being able to claim the private health insurance rebate. The rebate is determined by your age, your relationship status and your income.

What's new in health insurance?

Health insurance in Australia is changing. For more details on the upcoming healthcare reforms and what they mean for you, check out our detailed analysis or watch the 2-minute video below.

 

Can you get cover if you're not an Australian citizen?

Yes, you can. Australian health funds offer a range of cover options for those moving to Australia on either long term or short term visas. These policies are generally called Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC) or Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). The type of cover you need will depend on your visa and whether or not you're required to have health insurance while you're living in Australia. However, people from countries that Australia has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with can access a certain level of subsidised treatment from Medicare. Be aware that the benefits are very limited, with anything but the most vital medical services likely not covered.

Reciprocal Health Care Agreement countries

RHCA countries that don't require health insurance

5 Steps to compare health insurance

Each health fund is different, policy prices, services covered, annual benefit limits, excess options and sign up offers can vary.
This is why comparing is so important, as you could easily miss out on a better deal if you rush into a decision. Here are some key steps to follow:

  • Think about your requirements. Tailoring your search to your budget and lifestyle is a good starting point for comparing. For example, if you are young and you don't want to spend much, the basic cover might be preferable.
  • Find out what services you're paying for. There's not much point in paying more for a higher level of cover if you are unlikely to use any of the additional services.
  • Shop around. You can compare your options in many ways. Our health insurance tool also allows you to do detailed side-by-side comparisons.
  • Consider all the costs. Remember to consider not only the premium costs, but also any excesses, co-payments and deductibles that you may have to pay.
  • Know what the annual benefit limits are. Extras apply benefit limits to many included services. This is the maximum you can claim per year for a specific service.

Looking to save? Check out these health insurance deals

Latest health insurance news

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33 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    NikkoJune 20, 2018

    How to combine two existing top (premium) health cover policies from adult single to a couples when both are with separate insurers? Wish to compare which of these two insurers would best cover the two of us as a couple whilst neither one loses benefits or has a waiting period. We both have been with our respective health providers for over ten years continuously.

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniJune 21, 2018Staff

      Hi Nikko,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      You may want to choose the best cover for you and your wife by comparing them in details. I suggest that you call both of these insurers that you have your premium health covers with, and list all the info you’d get to assure that you are choosing the better one for you and your wife.

      Please note that waiting periods vary and are different for hospital cover and general treatment (extras) cover.

      The government sets the maximum waiting periods that funds can impose for hospital treatment:

      – Two months for palliative care, psychiatric care and rehabilitation
      – 12 months for pre-existing conditions
      – 12 months for obstetrics (pregnancy)

      Many people are hesitant to switch health funds even when they find a better deal because they fear that they will also have to re-serve the waiting periods they have already served with their current fund.

      Luckily, thanks to government legislation, this is not the case. All of your hospital waiting periods that you’ve already served travel with you to the new policy. Keep in mind, you’ll still have to serve waiting periods for any new benefits that you didn’t have before (such as pregnancy cover).

      I hope this helps. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  2. Default Gravatar
    SusanMay 25, 2018

    As a couple over 50 wewould like private hospital cover with general dental, optical, physio and chiro.. what is the best option?

    • finder Customer Care
      NikkiMay 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Susan,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      You may view this page to check on health insurance for over 50s.

      Hope this was helpful.

      Cheers,
      Nikki

  3. Default Gravatar
    KevinMay 24, 2018

    Hi there. My wife is already pregnant and the pregnancy insurance waiting period is 12 months!! So how does PHI work to cover her when she is giving birth? What is the solution around this?

    • finder Customer Care
      JhezelynMay 25, 2018Staff

      Hello Kevin,

      Thank you for your comment.

      To be qualified for the private health insurance you’re advised to take out the policy in advance before attempting to conceive. Most Australian private health funds have a 12 month waiting period for obstetric services.

      This is explained on these pages:
      https://www.finder.com.au/pregnancy-health-insurance
      https://www.finder.com.au/health-insurance/waiting-periods

      I am afraid that no PHI will consider your wife’s condition as she is already pregnant, however, you can still contact the insurer directly and see what options they can offer you. I hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  4. Default Gravatar
    JoApril 19, 2018

    How does Defence Health compare to other health funds in terms of value for money – cost of premium to rebate received. The mo they premium certainly appears a lot higher than other funds but do the rebates reflect that?

    • finder Customer Care
      JeniApril 22, 2018Staff

      Hi Jo,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Defence Health offers a range of health insurance options to more than 235,000 Australians with Defence connections. With hospital and extras cover to suit everyone from the young and healthy to those who need comprehensive protection, it provides affordable cover and peace of mind.

      You may want to know more by clicking on this link.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  5. Default Gravatar
    MarcoMarch 19, 2018

    Hi, are quoted premiums before or after any Govt rebates?

    • finder Customer Care
      NikkiMarch 26, 2018Staff

      Hi Marco!

      Thanks for your question and for visiting finder.

      Quoted premiums are before government rebates. Rebate rates are subject to change based on the cost of living and the average health insurance premium amount. It would be helpful to check with your health insurance provider on their ongoing rates as well.

      Hope this helps!

      Thanks and best regards,

      Nikki

  6. Default Gravatar
    SteveMarch 8, 2018

    What does the question “Do you qualify for a restricted fund?” mean.

    • finder Customer Care
      RenchMarch 8, 2018Staff

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Restricted health funds are funds where membership is restricted to certain people. They are usually operated by industry or employment groups and are not-for-profit, being run solely for the benefit of their members. You can know more information on this page.

      Best regards,
      Rench

  7. Default Gravatar
    ShaunOctober 4, 2017

    With premiums that keep increasing, I am now paying around $94 a month ($1128 per year) on something that I have never actually used over the last 6 years!
    What is the actual consequence if I walked out of heath insurance (don’t mention hypothetical scenarios such as me getting into an accident)?
    How much am I actually penalized on my tax?

    • Default Gravatar
      GruOctober 5, 2017

      Hello Shaun,

      Thank you for your question.

      If you would decide not to take on private health insurance, please be ready to face out-of-pocket costs if you do get hospitalised or need medical care and services. Out-of-pocket costs will vary greatly depending on the hospital you go to and the doctor or specialist they see.

      As per being penalised for not taking out health insurance, yes would. Another reason Australians commonly take out private health insurance is to avoid financial penalties. Australia’s tax system encourages high-income earners to take out private health insurance as well as paying the 2% levy to help fund Medicare and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

      If you do not take out private health insurance, you will pay a 2% tax penalty called the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

      Hope this helped.

      Cheers,
      Gru

  8. Default Gravatar
    AleishaSeptember 5, 2017

    I am 76 years old. What do I need to cover with private health insurance that I am not covered for as a pensioner? Thank you.

    • finder Customer Care
      LiezlSeptember 6, 2017Staff

      Hi Aleisha,

      Thanks for reaching out.

      Medicare does not provide cover for the following:
      – most dental examinations and treatment,
      – most physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, eye therapy, chiropractic services, podiatry or psychology services,
      – acupuncture (unless part of a doctor’s consultation),
      – glasses and contact lenses,
      – hearing aids and other appliances

      You may, however, arrange private health insurance to cover many of these services. You may compare health insurance for seniors over 70 on this page. Please make sure to click the “More Options” button to select the correct age range, before clicking the “Search Policies”.

      I hope this has helped.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

  9. Default Gravatar
    AnitaAugust 3, 2017

    I want to find a better cover at a better price than what I already have.

    • finder Customer Care
      LiezlAugust 3, 2017Staff

      Hi Anita,

      Thanks for reaching out. You can definitely do that by using our policy search engine above. Simply enter your details and type of cover you want. Once you click the “Search Policies” quotations from different brands will be generated. You may then click the “Go to Site” button to get the quote and for more details.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

  10. Default Gravatar
    DionneJune 29, 2017

    Hi, just want to check our current policy with other providers to ensure we are adequately covered and what we currently require.

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 29, 2017

      Hello Dionne!

      Thanks for the question! You are actually on the right page! :)

      Scroll a bit below, you would see different health insurance available in finder, such as health funds, EoFY deals, hospital and extra covers, and overseas. You may select which one is applicable for you.

      Once redirected to another page, use our form and click “Search Policies” orange button.

      If you need further help on this matter, you can talk to an insurance advisor or financial adviser.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

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