Find the best health insurance

The best health insurance will give you peace of mind and money back on treatments like dental.

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Make sure that you're not paying for expensive cover that you may not need such as pregnancy or weight loss surgery. Always check the limits in your extras policy to see how much you can claim each year.

Do you have the best health insurance?

These policies from Finder partners all offer a mix of treatments. All our picks are based on a single person living in NSW and are to be used as a benchmark only. We looked at a mid-range level of cover and price with inclusions for common treatments such as ambulance and dental. Please always check limits and treatments on the PDS to find the best policy suited to your individual needs.

ProviderSummary of inclusionsPrice Per MonthApply
Lite Flexi Bronze PlusThis Bronze Plus package includes the standard 18 hospital treatment categories plus 3 bonus services including dental surgery. You'll also get a $800 extras limit towards treatments including dental, optical and physio.$122.90Go to Site
Picture not describedBronze Everyday + Top ExtrasThis Bronze hospital insurance covers 18 treatments. There's also top extras included which pays benefits to over 15 non-hospital services including major dental, as well as orthodontics and psychology.$137.10Go to Site
Picture not describedHeart Hospital + Middle Extras 65This Bronze Plus package includes a few extras such as heart and lunch services. There's extras with up to 65% back from your choice of provider. Limits include $700 toward dental, and $200 towards optical.$156.69Go to Site
nib logo Image: SuppliedSilver Hospital and Core and Wellbeing ExtrasThis Silver hospital package includes more than 25 treatment categories including join reconstruction and heart. The basic extras have limits for common services such as general dental and physio.$166.25Go to Site
Standard Hospital (Silver Plus) + 60% ExtrasThis is a mid level of hospital cover with 31 categories included. Extras include a $700 dental limit, $500 on combined physiotherapy and chiropractic and $200 for optical.$149.36

*Quotes are based on single individual with less than $90,000 income paying $500 excess and living in Sydney.

Looking for the best health insurance? Start your search here

The tool below lets you compare health insurance policies side-by-side - just enter your details, choose the level of cover you'd like, then click search policies.

Once you have your quotes, you can then refine your search so it's tailored to your needs. Just tick the benefits that are most important to you, and we'll only show you policies that match.

Working out which is the best policy for you

Finding the best health insurance doesn't have to be hard but it does require you to answer a few questions. You need to work out what's most important to you. Are you:

Who are the best health funds in Australia?

No health fund is perfect for everyone - some focus on specific regions, some are only open to particular groups, and some operate for a profit, while others don't.

However, there are a few important points to consider when choosing your health fund - including how partner networks operate, how excesses and waiting times are applied, and what out of pocket costs you should expect.

  • Partner networks: Health funds partner with various medical professionals and service providers, so you can choose who performs your knee replacement or which dentist does your root canal. However, if your preferred service provider isn't in your health fund's partner network, you might not be able to claim as much money back.
  • Excesses: You may have to pay an excess if you're admitted to hospital and opt for private treatment - but the amount will vary depending on your health fund and specific policy.
  • Wait times: Health funds often apply wait times on certain procedures - this means if you buy a policy today, you might not be able to make a claim for a certain treatment until months - or even years - later.
  • Out of pocket costs: Health insurance doesn't always cover all of the costs associated with an illness or injury - usually, you'll only be paid a percentage of the final bill, up to a certain limit.
  • Best for rural: If you live rurally or regionally, it's worth finding out how a health fund will make its benefits worthwhile to you. Some health funds are focussed on specific regions - like HBF, which services Western Australia.

Others, including HCF, offer travel and accommodation benefits while some, such as Bupa and Medibank, are rolling out online health services and live video conferencing with medical professionals.

Private hospital cover is available in four different tiers - basic, bronze, silver, and gold - which provide increasingly comprehensive cover as you ascend through the levels.

However, this doesn't mean that all gold policies will be the same - features still vary between different policies, so it's important to compare before you buy.

Best private hospital cover

For the 2019 Finder Awards, we compared 23 gold policies, 45 silver policies, and 25 bronze policies - according to our methodology, these are the funds that came out on top:

  • Gold: Phoenix Health Fund Limited Gold Top Hospital $500 excess
  • Silver: CUA Health Limited Standard Hospital $500 Excess (Silver Plus)
  • Bronze: HBF Health Limited Bronze Hospital Plus $500 excess

Best private health insurance for families

You can choose health insurance which matches the needs of you and your family - whether you're just in the planning stage, you've already got children, or you're wrangling unruly teenagers. Make sure to look out for some key features which might be particularly useful:

  • Pre-pregnancy - If you're hoping to start a family in the near future, it may be worth investing in a gold-level policy, so you can get money back for fertility treatments as well as pre and post-natal care. Keep in mind if you want private hospital care for your baby, there may be a waiting period - usually at least 12 months - between when you took your policy out and when you can claim.
  • Children - Find child-friendly health insurance by looking for policies that offer cover for your kids at little or no extra cost. Some policies will waive the hospital excess if your child is admitted to hospital, while it's also worth checking for no-gap dental benefits.
  • Teenagers - Most health insurers will cover dependent children up to the age of 18, but if you think your kid would benefit from the support for a little longer, you can choose a health fund which lets you extend the age limit to for children up to age 25 - providing they're still a full-time student and remain unmarried.

Best for extras coverage

Extras cover is designed to help with the cost of non-hospital healthcare - so things like dental treatments, prescription glasses, and physiotherapy are usually included. Emergency ambulance transport can also fall under extras, along with psychology consultations.

There are some important factors to consider when choosing which extras cover is best for you.

  • Inclusions - Not all extras are created equal. You may find two policies which are similar in price but have different inclusions.

For example, nib's Core and Family Extras policy doesn't include psychology treatments but Medibank's Top Extras 55 policy will pay out $200 towards psychology treatments.

  • Waiting periods - Health insurers enforce waiting periods on certain treatments - but every provider applies waiting periods differently.

For example, ahm's Lifestyle Extras cover has no waiting period on optical or routine dental. However, CUA's Classic Extras cover - which costs a similar amount - comes with a six-month wait period for optical and a two-month wait for routine dental.

  • Limit amount - There'll also be a limit to the amount you can claim for each specific treatment - again, this will vary between different health insurance policies. Medibank's Growing Family 60 cover has a $300 limit for physiotherapy, while CUA's 60% Extras cover has a $500 limit.
  • Costs covered - Extras cover won't always pay the whole cost of a treatment - instead, it will cover a percentage of the final bill. The table below shows the average percentage of costs covered by different health funds.

The below table shows the average amount of costs covered by service:

Fund name (Open membership funds)Dental [1]Optical [1]PhysiotherapyPsychology
Australian Unity46.20%64.80%62.30%34.20%
BUPA54.30%56.70%48.90%42.20%
CDH39.80%51.40%49.70%21.70%
CUA Health50.50%60.70%39.30%35.30%
GMHBA52.00%58.30%48.80%46.80%
GU Corporate79.20%67.20%82.80%78.20%
HBF60.80%59.10%44.10%42.40%
HCF58.30%57.30%43.80%46.70%
HCI53.40%53.60%44.60%33.70%
health.com.au50.30%45.90%60.00%0.7%
Health Partners60.30%53.90%59.20%32.60%
HIF49.00%59.90%36.80%34.20%
Latrobe32.60%54.10%33.20%33.10%
MDHF61.80%65.40%43.00%27.30%
Medibank (includes ahm)52.50%68.10%47.80%30.80%
onemedifund58.90%51.80%53.20%33.80%
Peoplecare49.10%61.60%40.30%38.50%
Phoenix57.20%61.30%50.20%41.20%
QCH52.30%58.70%46.60%44.30%
St Lukes64.60%75.90%52.40%48.50%
Transport Health55.50%58.30%45.60%29.90%
Westfund54.70%53.60%50.00%39.30%

[1] For some funds, the data does not take account of discounts at some providers or fund Dental / Optical centres.
Source: https://www.ombudsman.gov.au/publications/reports/state-of-the-health-funds/all-reports/docs/2018-state-of-the-health-funds-report

Best sign up deals for June 2020 from Finder Partners

Check the deals below before buying health insurance and you could save money on your premium - or get a reward for signing up.

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Latest headlines

More ways to get value for money

  • Pay your premium in advance to avoid the administration fees associated with monthly payments.
  • Opting to pay annually via direct debit can get you a discount with some health funds.
  • Pay an excess or co-payment to lower your premium in exchange for paying a lump or daily sum if you go to hospital.
  • Join a restricted membership fund if you are eligible, as the premiums are usually lower and benefits to members higher.
  • Mix and match your hospital and extras cover, as two different funds may have the best* offers on each.
  • If insuring your family, check how long your children can stay covered under your policy.
  • To avoid paying a gap, make sure your preferred doctor and hospital both have agreements with your health fund.

Useful info for first-time buyers

Remember, it's important to compare your options and other financial avenues before applying.

Read more:

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*Disclaimer: The products compared on this page are chosen from a range of offers available to us and are not representative of all the products available in the market. There is no perfect order or perfect ranking system for the products we list on our Site, so we provide you with the functionality to self-select, re-order and compare products. The initial display order is influenced by a range of factors including conversion rates, product costs and commercial arrangements, so please don't interpret the listing order as an endorsement or recommendation from us. We're happy to provide you with the tools you need to make better decisions, but we'd like you to make your own decisions and compare and assess products based on your own preferences, circumstances and needs.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MichaelFebruary 15, 2017

    Which private health insurance companies offer the best reimbursement of the cost of hearing aids?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      ZubairFebruary 16, 2017Staff

      Hi Michael,

      Thank you for your question.

      If you would like to review the cover limits of Australian funds for hearing aids please head over to our health insurance for hearing aids article.

      Cheers,
      Zubair

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