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
Top pick:
Lowest complaints
hbf
  • Lowest number of complaints compared to market share
  • One of Australia's largest not-for-profit funds
We may be paid when you visit links to partner sites - this is how we make money.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

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

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.

Here are a couple of good value Medibank policies that might be right for you:

Top pick for waiting periods: ahm

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.

Here are a couple of good value ahm policies that might be right for you:

Top pick for Medicare Levy Surcharge: Frank

Frank 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 New South Wales. Discover this and more private health options with Frank.

Here are a couple of good value Frank policies that might be right for you:

Top Pick for

Extras Only

Frank Easy Extras image


From $20.08 per month*

General dental | Optical | Remedial massage | Phyiso | Chiro | Acupuncture

More info

Top pick for lowest complaints: HBF

We selected HBF as our choice for lowest complaints because:

  • It had the lowest number of complaints compared to market share of any of the big health funds, according to the Commonwealth Ombudsman's State of the Health Funds Report.

We compared the number of complaints received by each fund and compared it to market share. The data came from the Commonwealth Ombudsman's State of the Health Funds Report for 2020. HBF had the lowest complaints ratio of any open fund with at least a 0.5% national market share.

HBF is also one of the largest not-for-profit funds in Australia, with a range of good value policies. It also has the highest number of medical services with either no gap or a known gap payment in the country. Read more on our HBF health insurance review.

Here are some great value hospital policies from HBF, one each from Basic Plus, Bronze Plus and Gold tiers.

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.

Here are a couple of good value Frank policies that might be right for you:

Top Pick for

Extras Only

HCF Mid Extras image


From $31.85 per month*

General and major dental | Optical | Endodontic | Physio | Chiro | Remedial massage | and more

Go to site More info

Compare the best health insurance from 30+ providers

The tool below lets you find the best health insurance for you by comparing over 30 providers side-by-side. You can also filter your results for the benefits that are most important to you.

Which 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 that 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, for example 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 4 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, and 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 that 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 that 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 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 2 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 6-month waiting period for optical and a 2-month wait for routine dental.

  • Limit amount. There will 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 January 2022 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.

Code VERIFIED

Want up to $200 off? Or up to $100 for singles & single parents?

Expires 31 Jan 2022
New joins on hospital & extras by Jan 31. Find out how.
Code VERIFIED

Want up to $500 worth of gift cards?

Verified 3 days ago Expires 28 Feb 2022
Offer for new members ends 28 February. T&Cs apply. Learn more.
Code exclusive

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

Verified 3 days ago Expires 31 Jan 2022
Join hospital only or combined hospital & extras cover by 31 January 2022 for new members.
Deal 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.
Deal VERIFIED

Join and earn up to 100,000 Qantas Points*

Expires 31 Jan 2022
*Eligibility criteria and T&Cs apply.
Code VERIFIED

Get 6 weeks free. PLUS 2-month waits on extras waived

Verified 3 days ago Expires 31 Jan 2022
Offer applies for new joins on hospital and extras by 31 January. T&Cs apply.

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 2 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

  • Public vs private healthcare

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

Save on your health insurance

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    DeanOctober 13, 2021

    Could you please tell me which health fund covers dependents at no extras cost. Adult dependents who are not studying, living with parents and not working or in a de-facto relationship and between the age of 21-25?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JamesOctober 21, 2021Staff

      Hi Dean,

      Typically, there’s no extra cost for dependents – up to the policy’s stated maximum age (which is 31). There’s no age limit for any dependents with a disability.

      Feel free to compare your health insurance options in the table above. Be sure to read through the terms and conditions of your chosen insurer with care before you buy.

      Regards,
      James

    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

Go to site