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Health insurance companies: Who’s right for you?

How do you choose between health funds? Here's a full list of health insurance companies in Australia, along with tips and tricks for comparing them.

This guide takes a look at what separates good health fund companies from the bad, what you should look for, as well as summarises of the policies and benefits offered by funds in Australia.

Want to kick off your research by comparing options?

Compare quotes and cover from 30+ Australian health funds

What should I look for in a health fund?

Funds come in all shapes and sizes, and finding the right one for you involves comparing funds and their policies until you find the perfect fit. Things to look for in a health fund include:

  • Whether they have agreements with hospitals and ancillary service providers in your area, so you will have low or no out-of-pocket expenses
  • Whether their cover includes a percentage of costs rather than a set benefit amount, as this will usually ensure you get more back
  • Whether they give you access as a member to health and lifestyle-related discounts
  • Whether they are a restricted membership fund, as this usually means lower premiums and higher benefits for members
  • Whether they have a good reputation, with few complaints and high retention rates
  • Whether they have a good industry rating and claims payment record
  • Whether they have lower management expenses as a percentage of premiums.

Benefit breakdown by health fund

The following is a comparison of Australian health insurance providers, which summarises their policies and the benefits they offer.

ACA health logo

ACA Health

ACA Health Benefits Fund is a not-for-profit health fund for employees of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and their families.

Benefits

  • $17 million in benefits paid each year
  • Optical discounts available to holders of ancillary cover
    • Member-owned health fund
  • Personal and professional service

ahm logo

Benefits

  • Single annual limit to be used on the extras you want
  • No waiting periods on many extras
  • Online and mobile claims and payments

Apia logo

Apia

Apia specialises in providing health insurance cover for over 50s and seniors. Underwritten by Suncorp

Benefits

  • Wide variety of benefit treatments
  • Does not exclude pre-existing conditions
  • Has no more than a 2-month waiting period for everything


Australian Unity

Australian Unity is a health care, financial services and retirement living organisation that provides services to over half a million Australians.

Benefits

  • General dental
  • Physio
  • Hospital care at home and in home rehab


Bupa logo

Bupa

Formerly known as HBA, MBF and Mutual Community, Bupa has been around for more than 60 years.

Benefits

  • Extensive ancillary services network
  • Agreements with most private hospitals
  • Medical no gap or known gap scheme
  • Range of positive health programs


CBHS logo

CBHS

CBHS Health Fund is a restricted not-for-profit fund for current and former employees of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia Group and their eligible families.

Benefits

  • Health management program for those with chronic illnesses
  • Best Doctors specialist network with some products
  • Choice Network of no-gap dental and optical providers
  • A range of health and wellness-related discounts
  • Hospital in the Home alternative to some hospital treatments


CDH logo

Cessnock District Health Fund

Cessnock District Health Benefits Fund has been offering cost-effective private health cover for its members for more than 60 years.

Benefits

  • Cost-effective cover for singles and families
  • Affordable premiums
  • Friendly and professional service


CUA logo

CUA

Credit Union Australia Limited (CUA) is a private health fund registered under the Private Health Insurance Act and committed to the principles of the Private Health Insurance Code of Conduct.

Benefits

  • No excess or co-payment for dependant kids’ hospital admission
  • First month free for new members
  • The freedom to choose your own healthcare provider
  • Online and mobile claiming
  • Discounts for home loan customers


Defence health logo

Defence Health

Defence Health offers its suite of private health cover options to more than 235,000 members with connections to the Australian Defence Force.

Benefits

  • Discounts available from optical network partners
  • 15% off at network dentists
  • Affordable cover


Doctors health fund logo

Doctors Health Fund

Doctors Health Fund provides a range of private health care solutions for health professionals and their families.

Benefits

  • Products tailored to suit the unique needs of its members
  • Benefits can carry over to the next year


ESH logo

Emergency Services Health

Emergency Services Health is a not-for-profit health fund for Australia’s emergency services community.

Benefits

  • Same-day hospitalisation and day surgery
  • Extras policy covers 80% of the cost of most extras services
  • 12 months for Rollover Benefits


Frank logo

Frank Health Insurance

Frank Private Health Insurance Australia is a not-for-profit health fund that is part of GMHBA (Geelong Medical and Hospital Benefits Association)

  • Frank Hospital
  • Frank Extras

Benefits

  • An all-online fund, so premiums are lower
  • Frank Hospital Rewards program to help cover out-of-pocket hospital expenses
  • Choose your own provider
  • Up to 80% back on extras
  • Access to member bonuses


GMF logo

GMF

GMF Health is part of HealthGuard Health Benefits Fund Limited and is a not-for-profit member-based health fund.

  • GMF Hospitals
  • GMF Extras

Benefits

  • Simple and transparent options
  • Choose your own health care provider
  • Straightforward claims process


GMHBA logo

GMHBA

Geelong Medical and Hospital Benefits Association (GMHBA) is a regionally-based not-for-profit member-based health fund.

Benefits

  • Quick and easy online claims
  • Opportunity to accumulate Reward dollars through the Connect Rewards Plus program
  • A range of packages for those into sports and fitness


GU-logo

GU Health

GU Health, also known as Grand United Corporate Health, is a specialist corporate health fund that services more than 300 companies.

Benefits

  • Benefits available for an extensive range of inpatient services
  • Cover tailored to suit the needs of your company and employees
  • Discounts available at clothing, exercise and travel insurance partners


hbf-logo

HBF

HBF is a not-for-profit health fund and one of the five largest health funds in Australia. Based in Western Australia, it’s been looking after the cover needs of its members for more than 70 years.

Benefits

  • Owned by its members
  • Save 4% when you pay your premiums by direct debit
  • Free personal health app
  • Wide range of discounts on optical and dental services


HCF logo

HCF

The Hospitals Contribution Fund of Australia Limited (HCF) is one of the Big Four health funds and is the largest not-for-profit health fund in Australia.

Benefits

  • No hospital excess for dependant children
  • Only one hospital excess amount per person per calendar year
  • 10% member discount on travel and pet insurance
  • Heart cover included in all hospital products except Basic Hospital
  • Free Victor Chang heart health checks with extras cover


healthcare-logo

HealthCare

Founded in 1938, Health Care Insurance (HCI) aims to offer quality cover and value for money to its members.

Benefits

  • Agreements with more than 500 private hospitals and day surgeries
  • Wholly owned by its members
  • Value for money and personal service


Benefits

  • Operates its own network of dental and optical centres
  • Free online health management tool
  • Newborn member support program


health.com.au-logo

Benefits

  • 24/7 online claiming
  • Award-winning customer service
  • Easy-to-understand cover
  • Ambulance cover included


HIF logo

Benefits

  • Premiums consistently among the lowest in Australia and benefits among the highest
  • Choice of GP and ancillary service providers
  • Access to over 500 private hospitals throughout Australia


latrobe logo

Latrobe

Established in 1951, Latrobe is a member-focused health fund, providing cover to more than 78,000 Australians.

Benefits

  • Optional known or no gap medical benefits cover
  • No exclusions in hospital products
  • A wide choice of extras cover to suit lifestyles and budgets


Medibank logo

Medibank

Medibank’s core business is the underwriting of private health insurance policies through Medibank and AHM. Headquartered in Melbourne, they have operations throughout Australia.

Benefits

  • Easy claiming for extras from your mobile
  • Free online advice and health tips for members
  • Over 12,000 provider locations Australia-wide
  • Medibank nurse 24/7 hotline with hospital cover
  • Rewards for healthy choices


Mildura logo

Mildura Health Fund

Mildura Health Fund, also known as Mildura District Hospital Fund, has been offering health cover to its members since 1929. It has agreements in place with hundreds of hospitals around the country.

Benefits

  • List of no-Gap providers
  • Handy claims app
  • Discounted premiums when you pay via direct debit


navy-logo

Navy Health

Offering competitive policies to suit the cover needs of Australian Defence Force members and their families, Navy Health is a not-for-profit fund and was founded in 1955.

Benefits

  • Cover for all Defence Force members
  • 10% discount for serving Defence Force members
  • Owned by its members


nib logo

nib

nib is one of Australia's fastest growing health funds and began life as Newcastle Industrial Benefits (nib) Hospital Fund and Medical Fund, established by workers at BHP Steelworks in Mayfield.

Benefits

  • Choose your own extras provider
  • No annual limits on ambulance transport anywhere in Australia (excluding QLD, and TAS state ambulance services)
  • No annual limit on preventative dental


nurses-and-midwives

Nurses & Midwives

Nurses & Midwives Health is exclusively for the needs of the Australian nursing and midwifery community.

Benefits

  • Preventative dental cover
  • Emergency and non-emergency ambulance cover


onemedifund

onemedifund

With a focus on providing private health insurance that is straightforward and easy to understand, onemedifund offers a wide range of hospital cover, extras cover and combined cover packages.

  • onemedifund Hospital
  • onemedifund Extras

Benefits

  • Wide range of eye care discounts
  • Online health and wellness portal
  • Simple, affordable private health insurance


Peoplecare

A not-for-profit health fund with a focus on providing value-for-money cover, Peoplecare was named the number-one open health fund in Australia by Australian Financial Review's Smart Investor magazine in 2014.

Benefits

  • Members Own Health Fund
  • Eyewear discounts available
  • Fast and simple claims process
  • Award-winning health fund


Phoenix health fund

Phoenix Health Fund

Founded in 1953 to meet the health cover needs of Stewarts and Lloyds employees, Phoenix Health Fund now offers competitive private health insurance to anyone in Australia who wants to join.

  • Phoenix Health Fund Hospital

Benefits

  • 99% customer service satisfaction rating
  • Members Own Health Fund
  • No limit to your choice of providers


Police health

Police Health

Run by police for police, Police Health is a not-for-profit fund that offers value-for-money cover.

Benefits

  • Members Own Health Fund
  • Mobile claims app
  • Personal service
  • Generous rebates on extras

Qantas Assure

Qantas Assure is issued by NIB and made available by Qantas.

Benefits

  • Receive discounted prices if you are an existing Qantas Frequent Flyer member
  • Get free Qantas Points


Queensland Country Health Fund

Queensland Country Health Fund

Based in regional Queensland, Queensland Country Health Fund aims to offer top-quality cover to Queenslanders. It has more than 35,000 members.

  • Queensland Country Health Fund Hospital
  • Queensland Country Health Fund Extras

Benefits

  • Online health and wellness portal
  • Eyewear discounts available
  • Not-for-profit health fund


rbhs logo

Reserve Bank Health Society

Reserve Bank Health Society is a restricted health fund for current and former employees of the Reserve Bank of Australia or Note Printing Australia and their families.

Benefits

  • Australia-wide coverage through a national network of 460 hospitals and 21,000 doctors
  • Coverage for up to 90% of optical and dental costs
  • Online wellness program


RT health

RT Health

With a history dating back more than 126 years, RT Health Fund is a not-for-profit fund that offers a large variety of hospital and extras cover options for its members.

Benefits

  • Optical and dental discounts available
  • Free health management programs
  • Members Own Health Fund


St.lukes health

St. LukesHealth

St.LukesHealth was founded in Tasmania in 1952. It offers affordable hospital and extras cover to members in every Australian state and territory.

Benefits

  • Not-for-profit health fund
  • Health and wellbeing program for members
  • Personalised service
  • Easy claims process


teachers health

Benefits

  • On average 20% lower contribution rates than all other health funds
  • Management and administration expenses well below the industry average
  • A private room in a private hospital with Mid and Top Hospital cover
  • Free access to health support programs
  • Access to a range of discounts from health providers


Transport health

Benefits

  • Membership available to all Australians
  • 100% back on dental and physio
  • Flexible and affordable cover


TUH

TUH

Established in 1972 by the Queensland Teachers' Union, TUH offers quality health cover to members of the union and their families. It provides private health insurance cover for more than 70,000 Australians.

  • TUH Hospitals
  • TUH Extras

Benefits

  • Members Own Health Fund
  • Wide range of cover options
  • Large selection of wellness programs and health initiatives

UniHealth

UniHealth is created exclusively for the higher education community and their families.

Benefits

  • Full private room cover
  • Get 10% off Allianz Global Assistance travel insurance


Westfund

Westfund Health

Westfund is a member-owned health fund that was established in 1929. It aims to offer top-quality health cover to a wide variety of Australians.

Benefits

  • Member Advantages program to reward member loyalty
  • Wide range of cover options available
  • Members Own Health Fund

Health insurance tips

Finding the right health cover is like taking out any form of insurance. You need to compare policies and identify the one that is the fit for you and represents the value for money. The following are some things to bear in mind when doing so.

  • Review your cover regularly (at least once a year), as circumstances change (both your fund’s and your own)
  • If you find a better deal, switch fund, as it is easier than you think and your current benefits and status are fully transferable under law
  • Consider having your hospital cover and extras cover with separate funds if you find good independent offers on each
  • Select a higher excess if you can afford it, to reduce the cost of your premium
  • Be wary of policies that have both an excess and a co-payment, as you could end up paying both
  • Look for policies that offer full ambulance cover, not just emergency cover
  • Make sure your fund has agreements with your doctor and local hospital to avoid paying a gap.
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How are health funds regulated?

When looking for health cover, it’s important to look at the fund as well as the policy to make sure they would be able to fulfil their part of the bargain if you make a claim. You can learn something about a fund’s industry standing, claims record and customer service levels from their online presence and also through industry forums on social media.

The health insurance industry in Australia is regulated by the Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC), which conducts quarterly reviews of health funds to ensure compliance. The Private Health Insurance Act 2007 gives the PHIAC the power to issue directives and enforce compliance if necessary, so consumers can be fairly confident that, in Australia at least, our private health insurance industry is well regulated and financially sound.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    davidJanuary 16, 2017

    My wife is on a 461 visa (NZ family) which does not include medicare. Which insurance company provides the best value private insurance which covers the same/similar things as medicare?

    • finder Customer Care
      RichardJanuary 16, 2017Staff

      Hi David,

      Thanks for reaching out. finder.com.au is a comparison service and we are not permitted to provide personalised financial advice. If you would like to compare overseas visitors health cover (OVHC), please head to our OVHC article.

      On this page you’ll find out useful information about this type of cover, along with a comparison table of the products available through the funds in our panel.

      All the best,
      Richard

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