Woman in field with her loyal border collie

Health insurance loyalty programs

Get rewarded for your loyalty and enjoy increased claims benefits and a wide range of discounts.

Just like any other type of insurer, Australian health insurance providers offer a range of discounts and initiatives to encourage you to purchase a policy and then continue renewing cover each year. One of the tools insurers commonly use to entice you to maintain cover is the loyalty program which offers increased benefit limits and a range of other discounts and giveaways to eligible members.

So, what types of loyalty programs are available and how can they make maintaining cover worth your while? Read on to find out.

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What are health insurance loyalty programs?

Health insurance loyalty programs are designed to motivate Australian consumers to keep cover with the same insurer for an extended period of time. By staying “loyal” to your insurer and renewing or upgrading your cover each year, you can access a variety of benefits from your health fund as well as discounts and special offers from partner retailers.

You can usually enjoy your first loyalty rewards after you have been a health fund member for one year or more, while the level and type of rewards you can access may increase the longer you remain a member of the same health fund.

For example, the most common type of loyalty program provides an increased claim bonus. This means that the longer you’ve been a member of the fund, the more you are able to claim for specific healthcare services.

However, health insurance loyalty programs come in several varieties and can differ widely from one insurer to the next, so let’s look at the types of reward programs available and the benefits they provide.

What services can you claim loyalty bonuses on with Aussie health funds?

FundLoyalty bonuses*
ahmDepending on your policy, ahm members are rewarded for their loyalty every 5, 10 and 20 they hold continuous cover with increased claims bonuses on various extras services including:
  • Complex dental
  • Major dental
  • Orthodontics
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Osteopathy
  • Psychology and hypnotherapy
Australian UnityAustralian Unity increase benefit limits for the first six years of membership on comprehensive extras policies for services including:

  • General dental
  • Preventative dental
  • Crowns, bridges and dentures
  • Orthodontics
Bupa
  • Bupa members who hold continuous Silver, Gold or Platinum Extras cover will see their benefits increase 2% every year, to a maximum of 10%.
HBFHBF provide members, depending on their level of cover, with increasing claims levels on many extras benefits including:
  • Appliances such as hearing aids
  • Chiropractic
  • General dental
  • Major dental and orthodontics
  • Exercise physiology
  • Eye therapy
  • Healthy living programs
  • Natural therapies
  • Nutritionist
  • Occupational therapy
  • Optical
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Psychology
  • Psychology
  • Speech therapy
HCFGold or Platinum extras members can enjoy loyalty benefits on extras benefits including:
  • Appliances such as hearing aids
  • Audiology
  • Chiropractic
  • General dental
  • Major dental and orthodontics
  • Exercise physiology
  • Eye therapy
  • Healthy living programs
  • Natural therapies
  • Nutritionist
  • Occupational therapy
  • Optical
  • Pharmacy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Psychology
  • Speech therapy
HIFIf you have a Saver, Special, Super or Premium extras policies with HIF, you can claim more back on a range of services including:
  • Dental
  • Physio
  • Chiro
  • Complementary therapies
  • Optical
  • Occupational therapy
  • Pharmacy
  • Speech therapy
  • Hearing aids
MedibankDepending on your level of cover, you may be able to get a loyalty bonus for:

  • Major dental
  • Orthodontics
Mildura HealthDepending on your policy, Mildura health offer increased claims for certain dental procedures including:

  • Inlay/onlay
  • Crowns and bridges
onemedifundonemedifund offers loyalty limits on some of it's policies for services including:

  • Crowns and bridges
  • Dentures
  • Orthodontic
  • Surgical equipment/health aids
Nurses & Midwives HealthDepending on your policy, Nurses & Midwives Health offer increasing limits for services such as:

  • Major dental
  • Orthodontics
  • Appliances such as hearing aids
PeoplecarePeoplecare offer Gold Extras members increased benefits when they hold cover for more than five years on:

  • Crowns and bridges
  • Dentures
  • Orthodontics
Police HealthDepending on your level of cover, Police Health offer increased annual benefits on orthodontics. If you hold a Platinum Health or Platinum Plus policy continuously for ten years, your Laser Eye Surgery Lifetime limit will increase from $1,600 to $2,400 per person.
Queensland Country HealthOnce you've held either Essential or Premium Extras with Queensland Country Health for five years, you will be able to increase your claim limit on various extras services.
Teachers Health FundDepending on your level of cover, you can earn loyalty bonuses on the following extras services:

  • Major dental
  • Orthodontics
  • Appliances such as hearing aids
Transport HealthDepending on your level of cover, you can earn loyalty bonuses on the following extras services:

  • Major dental
  • Orthodontics
TUHDepending on your level of cover, you can earn loyalty bonuses on the following extras services:
  • Major dental
  • Dietetics
  • Home nursing and lactation nurse
  • Mechanical/health appliances
  • Acupuncture
  • Audiology
  • Chiropractic
  • Natural therapies
  • Occupational therapy
  • Optical
  • Orthoptics
  • Orthotics
  • Osteopathy
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Podiatry
  • Prostheses
  • Psychology/hypnotherapy
  • Speech therapy

Information sourced from PDS. Loyalty bonuses are subject to terms and conditions. Loyalty bonuses are subject to change. Bonus caps apply.

What are the different types of rewards available?

Health insurance loyalty programs can offer a wide range of rewards to long-term health fund members, including:

  • Increased claims. The most common type of loyalty reward, this type of program allows you to enjoy an increased benefit limit on specified services the longer you remain a member. For example, your extras cover may offer $750 dental cover in your first year of membership, but this could then increase to $1,000 in your second year, $1,500 in your third year and so on – until you reach the policy’s maximum benefit limit.
  • Cover for out-of-pocket hospital expenses. Some insurers also allow loyal members to accrue reward points that can be used to cover any out-of-pocket hospital expenses that may arise. For example, the Hospital Rewards program from health insurer Frank allows members to accrue rewards when they join and on each policy anniversary date. These rewards are then automatically used to help pay for out-of-pocket expenses if your doctor charges more for a service than the insurer covers.
  • Earn points. When you become a member of a health fund, you may be eligible to earn frequent flyer points or points through other rewards programs such as Flybuys.
  • Discounted movie and sporting tickets. If your health fund has partnerships with cinema chains or ticket providers, you may be able to enjoy discounted movie tickets or reduced-cost entry to sporting events.
  • Discounted gym memberships. Your health fund may have a special deal with a nationwide gym chain, providing access to discounted gym memberships to help you maintain your health and fitness.
  • Discounts at partner retailers. Many health funds also have relationships with a variety of retailers, allowing you to access discounts and special offers on everything from sporting goods and vitamins to theme park entry and even hotel accommodation.
  • Giveaways. Many health funds run regular member-exclusive competitions to win items such as sporting goods, electrical items and even holidays. In some cases, being a long-term member of a fund may give you an increased number of competition entries.
  • Referral bonuses. If you refer a friend and they sign up to become a member of your health fund, your insurer may reward you with a gift card.

What kind of services do these benefits typically apply to?

Where loyalty programs apply to the level of cover you are eligible to receive, they typically apply to a variety of extras cover benefits. Some of the healthcare services for which you can commonly access increased benefit loyalty rewards include:

  • General dental
  • Major dental
  • Orthodontics
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Podiatry
  • Hearing aids
  • Psychology
  • Remedial massage
  • Natural and alternative therapies

It’s also worth pointing out that the Private Health Insurance Act 2007 imposes restrictions on the value of the promotions and discounts health funds can offer to their members. These limits are designed to ensure that the principle of Community Rating is upheld, ensuring that health funds don’t discriminate against people on the basis of their health, age or any other factor.

Can I still access loyalty program benefits if I switch insurers or change my level of cover?

If you decide to switch to a new health fund, in most cases you will forfeit any loyalty benefits that you have accrued with your old fund. However, some funds will recognise your years of membership with your old fund when determining your eligibility to access increased benefits as part of their own rewards programs, so check with your new fund to find out if this is possible before switching.

Changing your level of cover (but staying with the same insurer) may also affect your loyalty benefits. However, the consequences of switching to a new policy differ between insurers so contact your health fund to find out whether you will still have the same access to any benefits you have already accrued.

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Picture: Shutterstock

Tim Falk

A freelance writer with a passion for the written word, Tim loves helping Australians find the right home loans and savings accounts. When he's not chained to a computer, Tim can usually be found exploring the great outdoors.

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