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Find the best health insurance

Want the best health insurance*? We’ll show you how.

Whether you’re looking at the most comprehensive, best price or simply the most popular - it can be confusing to find the best health insurance (and let’s face it, a little boring).

Well fear not, you have a lot of options. With over 600 health insurance policies to choose from in Australia, it can be easy to get some bucks back from your premium.

To get you started, we’ve done the legwork to guide you through your choices. Read on for those pro tips, or check out some options below.

The 3 most popular health insurers on finder are:
1. AHM
2. HCF
3. health.com.au

Based on our the number of clicks to our current policies in the comparison table from July 1 2018 - July 31 2018.

In just 5 clicks compare options from 30+ Australian funds

Tip: We'll show you some top picks but you can also click refine results and tick services you may use.

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:

finder Awards 2017 winners and finalists

Since 2016, finder has been putting on the finder Awards and in 2017 we started awarding the Best health insurance (Comprehensive) and Best health insurance (Value). Below are the winners and finalists for those categories.

Best health insurance (Comprehensive) 2017

"According to finder's algorithm, Bupa's Ultimate Health Cover policy came out on top for comprehensiveness, including its excess/co-payment amount and its range of associated hospitals."

  • Winner 2017 Best Health Insurance (Comprehensive): Bupa Ultimate Health Cover

Best health insurance (Value) 2017

"Health Care Insurance's Premier Package presents the best value for money based on policy pricing and features."

  • Finalists 2017 Best Health Insurance (Value): CUA Health Basic Hospital + Essential Extras
  • Finalists 2017 Best Health Insurance (Value): Phoenix Health Fund YoungSavers

Awards selections are based on generally available offers as of 6 October 2017. Learn more about how we chose our winners.

Best for extras coverage

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%64.50%62.70%34.60%
BUPA54.60%56.40%50.10%41.50%
CDH39.90%50.10%50.00%21.70%
CUA Health51.40%61.60%40.80%35.80%
GMHBA52.10%57.30%47.20%44.30%
GU Corporate74.80%67.10%82.40%78.60%
HBF60.70%57.50%44.00%42.70%
HCF56.80%56.60%43.00%46.90%
HCI51.20%51.10%46.40%32.60%
health.com.au51.50%46.00%60.60%53.00%
Health Partners59.60%54.00%58.90%34.80%
HIF49.60%59.00%37.60%35.20%
Latrobe33.30%53.70%34.10%34.10%
MDHF62.30%55.60%44.10%25.20%
Medibank (includes ahm)52.50%67.70%48.60%37.20%
nib56.20%53.80%58.80%55.40%
onemedifund55.20%52.10%54.20%46.00%
Peoplecare49.40%62.40%41.20%38.80%
Phoenix57.60%61.70%51.30%42.40%
QCH53.10%58.80%48.00%47.60%
St Lukes64.30%67.80%51.30%50.40%
Transport Health55.30%59.30%47.10%33.90%
Westfund52.80%49.00%39.70%36.40%

[1] For some funds, the data does not take account of discounts at some providers or fund Dental / Optical centres.
Source: http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/publications/state-of-the-health-funds-report/2017-state-of-the-health-funds-report

Health insurance vs Medicare

Hospital

Be aware that health funds may require you to visit a hospital in its affiliate network in order to be covered as a private patient. You can check that the hospital you choose to be treated at is covered by your fund prior to admittance.

Private or public?What is or isn't covered?
Private health insurance
  • Choice of public OR private hospital
  • Choice of your own doctor
  • Choice of hospital
  • Choice as to when you are admitted to hospital
  • 75% of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee for associated medical costs
  • Medical services that are cosmetic, not clinically necessary or incurred overseas
Medicare
  • Treated at no charge
  • Treatment in a public hospital by a doctor appointed by the hospital
  • Treated as a public patient
  • Private patient hospital costs
  • No choice of doctor or hospital
  • Medical services which are cosmetic, not clinically necessary or incurred overseas

Extras

Medicare will reimburse 100% of the MBS fee for a general practitioner and 85% of the MBS fee for a specialist if you visit a doctor outside a hospital. If your doctor bulk bills, then you won't pay a cent.

Private or public?What can you get benefits for?
Private health insurance
  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic services
  • Eye therapy
  • Most physiotherapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Most dental examinations and treatment
  • Glasses and contact lenses
  • Occupational therapy
  • Hearing aids and other appliances
  • Podiatry or psychology services
Medicare
  • Consultation fees for doctors
  • Most out-of-hospital surgery
  • Tests and examination
  • Initial eye tests
  • Specific items under the Cleft Lip and Palate Scheme
  • Specific items under the Enhanced Primary Care Plan (EPC)
  • Some surgical procedures performed by approved dentists
  • Other therapeutic procedures performed by doctors

Ambulance

Emergency ambulance services are provided free by the state governments of Queensland and Tasmania, but in other states only certain people, such as veterans and pensioners, are eligible for free services. You can find ambulance cover in both hospital and extras policies.

Private or public?What's covered?
Private health insurance
  • Emergency ambulance transport fees
  • Non-emergency ambulance transport (depending on the policy)
  • Benefits apply anywhere in Australia
Medicare
  • Not covered

Pharmaceuticals

Under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), you only pay a portion of the cost of prescription medications. The amount varies depending on the medication up to a standard maximum. However, not all medications are included on the PBS, which is where health insurance comes in.

Private or public?How are pharmaceuticals covered?
Private health insurance
  • Non-PBS prescription medicines can be covered but a co-payment may still apply
Medicare
  • Benefits are paid only towards those listed on the PBS

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.

Grab a sign up deal for September 2018

ahm Deals ahm Deals

2 and 6 month waiting periods waived when you take out hospital and extras.

Skip the wait on extras when signing up before 27 September.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal expires

CUA Health Deals CUA Health Deals

Get 1 month free + a pair of wireless Sennheiser headphones with a combined policy.

Plus save an additional 4% when paying from a CUA everyday account.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal expires

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*Disclaimer: The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

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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?

    • finder 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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