Find the best health insurance

We compared 25+ funds to research the best health insurance.

Top pick:
Most popular
Medibank
  • Australia's largest health fund
  • 100% back on dental check-ups
  • 24/7 Medibank Nurse phone service
Top pick:
Waiting periods
ahm lifestyle Extras
  • No 2 or 6 month waiting periods
  • No wait for general dental
  • From $53.90 per month
Top pick:
Tax surcharge
Frank Entry Hospital (Basic+)
  • Basic+ Tier
  • Includes 6 hospital treatments
  • Save on the tax surcharge
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Finding the best health insurance

There's no single health insurance that's best for everyone as all our needs are different - and what's best for you might not be best for someone else.

Best Health Insurance: Finder top picks

Finder Pick: Most popular health fund – Medibank

We chose Medibank as the most popular fund because:

  • It was the most visited Finder partner on our site between March 2020 and March 2021.
  • It had the highest percentage of members of all Aussie funds, according to the Commonwealth Ombudsman's State of the Health Funds Report.

Furthermore, Medibank offers wide ranging policies and a comparatively high standard of out-of-hospital services. For example, it has excellent phone support. Plus, score discounts of up to 25% on shopping with the likes of Fitbit and Motherworld.

Read more about Medibank health cover.

Top pick for waiting periods – ahm lifestyle extras

We settled on ahm lifestyle extras as the best for waiting periods because:

  • It lets you claim heaps of benefits from day one
  • General dental, optical and physiotherapy are all included
  • We couldn't find another policy this generous for common treatments.
  • What's more, ahm Lifestyle Extras is affordable at around $12 a week.

'To make our top pick, we looked at the extras policies of every non-restricted health fund in Australia to compare waiting periods for "extras only" options.'

Find out more about ahm's range of health insurance plans.

Top pick for Medicare Levy Surcharge – Frank's Entry Hospital (Basic+)

Hoping to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge in the future? We chose Frank's Entry Hospital (Basic+) because:

  • It's about $15 a month less than the cost of the levy itself
  • You'll get hospital cover with an excess of $750
  • Enjoy cover for some of the basics like tonsils, grommets and dental surgery.

Frank's Entry Hospital (Basic+) policy is one of the cheapest hospital cover plans available in 2021. It costs around $75 a month for a single policy based in NSW.

Discover this and more private health options with Frank.

Top pick for not for profit – HCF

We chose HCF as our top not-for-profit provider because:

  • It consistently pays out more in benefits than the industry average, according to APRA figures
  • HCF's policies often give you more than the minimum hospital tier requirements – its bronze plus policy covers 26 treatments while its silver plus includes 30.

Finder's health insurance engine algorithm picked HCF ahead of 10 other not-for-profit health funds in Australia.

Read our full review on HCF.

Use our free comparison tool to find the best health insurance for your needs

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 specific needs. Just tick the benefits (such as pregnancy or dental) that are most important to you, and we'll show you policies that match.

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 2020 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:

Best Gold health insurance

  • Winner: Bupa Gold Hospital $500 excess
  • Finalist: HCF Gold Hospital $500 excess
  • Finalist: Phoenix Health Fund Gold Complete $500 excess

Best Silver health insurance

  • Winner: Bupa Mid Hospital $500 Excess - Silver Plus
  • Finalist: CUA Standard Hospital Silver Plus $500 Excess
  • Finalist: NIB Silver Hospital $500 excess

Best Bronze health insurance

  • Winner: Health.com.au Base Hospital (Bronze +) $500 excess
  • Finalist: HBF Health Limited Bronze Hospital Plus $500 excess
  • Finalist: HCF Hospital Bronze Pus $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
AIA Health51.80%54.50%58.10%55.70%
Australian Unity45.20%65.50%60.80%33.20%
BUPA56.00%56.50%47.00%41.20%
CBHS Corporate49.70%56.30%52.60%44.00%
CDH37.30%52.70%42.20%17.30%
CUA Health51.30%58.80%38.80%34.40%
GMHBA50.40%57.20%47.70%43.80%
HBF56.10%58.10%47.80%40.00%
HCF58.50%57.30%44.20%45.70%
HCI51.30%53.00%41.30%29.70%
Health Partners61.60%54.40%59.40%35.80%
HIF48.20%58.40%39.00%32.10%
Latrobe33.50%55.20%32.40%28.9%
MDHF61.30%63.00%40.60%26.80%
Medibank (includes ahm)53.50%68.90%46.50%32.20%
nib57.80%54.10%60.70%60.60%
onemedifund59.30%52.20%52.00%37.10%
Peoplecare48.60%60.30%39.20%37.60%
Phoenix56.70%66.10%43.60%40.10%
QCH51.70%60.10%43.70%42.60%
St Lukes64.50%75.70%50.10%45.50%
Transport Health55.00%57.50%43.60%27.60%
Westfund51.50%56.20%45.20%39.60%

[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/2020-state-of-the-health-funds-report

Best sign up deals for June 2021 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.

ahm Deals ahm Deals
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Get 6 weeks free. PLUS any 2 & 6 month waits on extras waived

Offer applies for new joins on hospital and extras after the first 60 days by June 30. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

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Coupon code ends

Medibank Health Insurance Deals Medibank Health Insurance Deals
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Get 6 weeks free. PLUS any 2 & 6 month waits on extras waived

Offer applies on eligible combined hospital & extras cover by 30 June. New members only. T&C's apply.

Last verified

VERIFIED

Coupon code ends

CUA Health Deals CUA Health Deals
VERIFIED

Get up to $500 e-gift card + Skip 2 & 6 month waiting periods

Offer applies when joining hospital + extras cover by 30 June 2021. New members only. T&C's apply.

Last verified

Get deal
VERIFIED

Deal ends

PeopleCare Health Insurance Deals PeopleCare Health Insurance Deals
Exclusive

Get 6 weeks free + Waive 2 & 6 months waiting periods

Join hospital only or combined hospital & extras cover by 30th June 2021 for new members.

Last verified

Exclusive

Coupon code ends

PeopleCare Health Insurance Deals PeopleCare Health Insurance Deals
VERIFIED

Get $100 gift card + 10% off on extras premium (with combined cover)

Join hospital only or combined hospital & extras cover for new members. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal
VERIFIED
Qantas Health Insurance Deals Qantas Health Insurance Deals
VERIFIED

Get up to 110,000 Qantas Points + Skip the waits for 2 & 6 month waiting periods.

Get 60-75% back on extras up to your annual limit. Offer applies for new joins only until July 8, 2021. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal
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Deal ends

HCF Health Insurance deals HCF Health Insurance deals
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HCF members can get loyalty rewards and discounts across Australian stores

Health fund members can claim 10% off Rebel gift cards, 4% off Woolworths e-gift cards & more.

Last verified

Get deal
VERIFIED
HBF Health Insurance HBF Health Insurance
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Get 6 weeks free on eligible Hospital and Extras cover with HBF

Join HBF by 30 June 2021 on eligible Hospital and Extras cover and get 6 weeks free after 6 months. T&Cs apply.

Last verified

Get deal
VERIFIED

Deal ends

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.

*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.

More guides on Finder

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    Learn the pros and cons of private vs public health in this handy guide to the differences between public and private health insurance.

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2 Responses

    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.

      The best insurance company for you would be the one that best meets your needs, preference, and budget.

      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.

      Open that link and you will find a list of health insurance brands that offer hearing aids cover. Check our comparison table to get an overview of their offer. Once you’re done comparing, you can then select the “Go to site” button to be redirected to your chosen provider’s official website.

      While looking for insurers, please make sure you read the terms and conditions of the policy to learn more and know if it is the right policy for you or not.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Zubair

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