Find the best health insurance
The best health insurance will give you peace of mind and money back on treatments like dental and optical.
Updated . What changed?
Lots of things can make one health insurance policy better than another. Maybe you want the highest level of cover or just decent dental. If you've already got health insurance, make sure that you're not paying for expensive cover that you may not need. If you're looking for the first time - always check the limits in your extras to see how much you can claim.
To give you a benchmark of what you can get for your money, these policies from Finder partners offer a mix of treatments. Prices are based on a single person living in Sydney. We looked at a Bronze and Silver level of cover with extras for common treatments such as general dental.
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 ||Optical ||Physiotherapy||Psychology|
|Medibank (includes ahm)||52.50%||68.10%||47.80%||30.80%|
 For some funds, the data does not take account of discounts at some providers or fund Dental / Optical centres.
Best sign up deals for August 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.
Popular Health insurance deals coupon codes
|Last checked||Code description||Code|
|7 Aug 2020||Get 4 weeks free + Waive 2 & 6 months waiting period on extras||4FR****|
|3 Aug 2020||Get 1 month free + Skip 2 & 6 month waiting periods||1MF****|
|3 Aug 2020||Get $100 gift card + 10% off on extras premium (with combined cover)||********|
|3 Aug 2020||Get up to $300 off + Waive 2 & 6 month waiting periods||********|
|3 Aug 2020||Get up to 110,000 Qantas Points when joining or switching to Qantas health insurance||********|
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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
How do I find the right dental cover
Around 50% of all extras claims in 2016 were for dental. People tend to prioritise dental in their extras cover because it can be prohibitively expensive and is not covered by Medicare.
How can government schemes affect me?
The Australian government penalises people who earn over a certain amount if they don't have health insurance. It also offers rebates for taking out cover if they earn under a certain amount.
Remember, it's important to compare your options and other financial avenues before applying.
Picture: Philipe cavalcant, Rawpixel, Kyle Loftus, Andrew Neel - Unsplash
*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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