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Best health insurance – seriously sick options

We analysed 400+ health insurance policies in Australia. Some were junk. Loads were great. But these ones are excellent.

Who is this cover for?

Top pick for
Customer service
ahm health insurance
  • Winner: 2023 Finder Customer Satisfaction Awards
  • Lowest complaints ratio of any major fund
Top pick for
Families
Bupa Health Insurance
  • No excess for kids in hospital
  • Free dental check-ups with combined cover
Top pick for
Basic hospital cover
HBF Health Insurance
Finder Award
  • Best Health Fund of the Year - 2024 Finder Awards
  • Excellent value basic hospital policy
Top pick for
Hospital cover
HCF Health Insurance
  • 2023 Finder Award Winner: Best Bronze and Silver hospital
  • Silver policy covers 30 treatments at a great price
Top pick for
Pregnancy
Medibank Health Insurance
  • Comprehensive hospital and extras
  • Continuity of care
  • Antenatal and postnatal classes

The best health insurance for you will depend on your budget and personal circumstances. Our experts have chosen a bunch of picks that will be great for a lot of folks, but these should only be used as a guide. You should always read the PDS to know if a product is a good fit for you.

Our top picks for the best health insurance - June 2024

The top picks were updated by our team of insurance experts after 80+ hours of research across 45+ health funds. They were reviewed by insurance publisher Tim Bennett on 20 June 2024.

Top pick for customer service

Our verdict

ahm won the 2023 Finder Customer Satisfaction award. Out of the 750+ customers surveyed, it scored highly for customer service, value for money and application process. It also has some of the cheapest hospital policies on the market.

Pros

Cons

  • 90% of hospital charges are covered. Several insurers including Bupa, HBF and St.Lukes are better.
  • 83.8% of medical services have no gap. This is the 5th worst out of 23 health funds.
  • ahm's gold option isn't the cheapest gold policy available on the market.

Top pick for families (hospital and extras)

Bronze Plus Simple Hospital $750 Excess + Top Extras

From

$47.25

/week

Hospital and Extras

From

$47.25

/week

Our verdict

This combined hospital and extras policy could be good for complete families. Bupa's Top Extras policy covers orthodontics, dental check-ups are free with certain dentists and there's no excess for kids. You're also exempt from paying the Medicare levy surcharge if you earn over $194,000 a year as a family.

Pros

  • Kids can stay on the policy until 31. No insurer beats this.
  • No excess or co-payment fees if your kids end up in hospital.
  • $0 dental check-ups for the family at Member First Platinum dentists.
  • Orthodontics included with Top Extras.

Cons

  • Every family is different. Make sure this option covers what yours needs.
  • Insurers including Latrobe and Westfund can also cover kids up to age 31.
  • Bupa's Bronze Plus Simple is cheap but it wasn't a 2024 Finder Award winner.

Top pick for basic hospital cover

Basic Hospital Plus Elevate $750/$1500 Excess

From

$22.50

/week

Hospital only

From

$22.50

/week

Our verdict

One of the only good value basic hospital policies on the market. Many basic policies don't cover any hospital treatments. HBF Basic Elevate covers 18. Bonus points – it lets you avoid the Medicare levy surcharge (MLS) (the tax you need to pay if you earn over $97,000 as a single). The not-for-profit also won Finder's 2024 best health fund of the year award.

Pros

  • 92.5% of hospital services have no gap (out-of-pocket expenses) – the best of all open health funds.
  • It's only around $2 more than the cheapest policy in Finder's database of 480 policies.
  • It won the 2024 Finder Award for best value basic policy.

Cons

  • If you solely want to avoid the MLS, there are some marginally cheaper options.
  • Bronze hospital cover may be better value depending on your health needs.
  • Some restricted funds, such as Doctors' Health (93%), have an even better no gap record.

Top pick for hospital cover (bronze hospital)

HCF HOSPITAL BRONZE PLUS $750 EXCESS

From

$22.78

/week

Hospital only

From

$22.78

/week

Our verdict

This won the Finder Award for best value bronze policy for the second year in a row. It scored higher than all 100+ bronze plans we assessed. It covers 25 hospital treatments – 7 more than a standard bronze policy. The not-for-profit also has a really strong record of giving its money back towards members.

Pros

  • Finder 2024 best value bronze award winner.
  • An average of nearly 90c back on every dollar spent on premiums.
  • The lowest average rate rise of the major health funds (2.89%).

Cons

  • HCF received a high proportion of complaints compared to other funds.
  • 86.7% of medical services have no gap – Bupa, HBF, NIB and more all do better.
  • Cheaper bronze options are available but they give you less for your money.

Top pick for pregnancy (hospital and extras)

Medibank Gold Protect + Growing Family 70

From

$78.49

/week

Hospital and Extras

From

$78.49

/week

Our verdict

This comes with lots of benefits you don't get with other insurers. In addition to pregnancy cover, continuity of care and IVF cover, you get access to its 24/7 Medibank Nurse service, an OptimalMe program for mums-to-be and a pregnancy health concierge. The Growing Family Extras cover includes antenatal and postnatal classes.

Pros

  • Extremely comprehensive pregnancy cover.
  • The extras option includes antenatal and postnatal classes, pregnancy compression garments and an Australian Breastfeeding Association membership.
  • It's efficient. Medibank has the lowest management expenses of all open health funds.

Cons

  • You may still have out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Only 83.80% of Medibank medical services have no gap (e.g. out-of-pocket expenses). Many including Bupa, HBF, NIB and Westfund are above 90%.
  • It's not the only good value option. Finder 2024 Gold Award winners included St. Lukes, HBF and Health Partners.

Top pick for bonuses

Our verdict

Qantas' silver hospital policy was highly commended in the 2024 Finder health insurance awards because it offered some of the best value coverage among other silver hospital policies. Qantas is also offering new customers up to 120,000 Qantas Points over 6 months when you join an eligible combined policy by 13 September – the more comprehensive your cover, the more points you'll earn. T&Cs apply. You also get 1 Qantas point per $1 spent on premiums.

Pros

  • Points lovers can earn big time by signing up before 13 September with up to 120,000 Qantas points over 6 months up for grabs. T&Cs apply.
  • Qantas' silver hospital policy was highly commended in the 2024 Finder health insurance awards. A silver policy with extras is great for those needing decent hospital cover and out of hospital treatments.
  • According to Finder research, Qantas' policies are on the more affordable end of the spectrum.

Cons

  • There are other providers with cheaper premiums.
  • It is a for-profit health fund which may not align with all customers' values.
  • Its complaints record could be better.

Top pick for value (silver hospital)

Silver Hospital $750/$1500 Excess

From

$32.21

/week

Hospital only

From

$32.21

/week

Our verdict

HBF won a lot at this year's Finder Awards, including health fund of the year and best value silver policy. HBF Silver covers 30 treatments (4 more than a standard silver policy) and is cheaper than its competitors. Government data also shows it has the best track record for no gap, hospital charges covered and benefits.

Pros

  • Finder 2024 health insurer of the year.
  • Not-for-proft. Profits go back to members, not shareholders.
  • 87.9% of benefits paid (the best of all open funds).

Cons

  • No pregnancy cover (this is actually good if you aren't planning on having kids).
  • There are cheaper silver policies but you don't get as much.
  • Only restricted funds, such as Doctors' Health (93%), have a better no gap record.

Best health insurance for seniors (gold + extras)

Medibank Gold Protect + Top Extras 60

From

$75.09

/week

Hospital and Extras

From

$75.09

/week

Our verdict

This product is well-priced for what it covers. There are cheaper policies but they don't include as many treatments. For example, you could pay around $68 per week and be covered for 10 extras treatments or, with Medibank, you could pay around $75 per week (just $7 more) and be covered for 14 treatments.

Pros

  • Gold hospital policy covers you for 38 in hospital treatment. The Top Extras 60 policy covers you for 14 extras treatments. Other providers only cover 10 extras treatments.
  • It's easy to make claims with Medibank health insurance. You can do it; online, on the spot in some cases where you have your member card, by phone, in store and by post.

Cons

  • Medibank has a sub-standard complaints record. Although it's worth noting that this could be largely attributed to its data breach rather than product related complaints.
  • There are cheaper products, although they also cover less treatments.

Best health insurance for mental health (gold + extras)

advanced hospital gold + Lifestyle Extras

From

$82.85

/week

Hospital and Extras

From

$82.85

/week

Our verdict

This product is particularly good for mental health as the extras portion of this policy does not have a waiting period to access psychology and counselling services — it's the only provider to do this.

Pros

  • This is a very comprehensive policy. Hospital psychiatric services are included in the gold policy and psychology services are included in the extras policy.
  • ahm's extras policies are the only ones to have no waiting period for psychology and counselling services.
  • ahm's extras policy can cover health improvement items that can help with your mental health, such as stress management courses and exercise classes.

Cons

  • ahm is on the more expensive side.
  • ahm was caught up in the Medibank data breach to it's complaints record could be better.
  • There are other extras policies with higher psychology benefit limits, however they come with a waiting period.

Best health insurance for under 30s (basic hospital plus)

Basic Hospital Plus Elevate $500/$1000 Excess

From

$24.86

/week

Hospital only

From

$24.86

/week

Our verdict

HBF's basic hospital plus elevate health insurance policy is great for under 30s who are looking for a basic policy to avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS). It's relatively cheap yet covers a few more treatments than other basic policies. If you're young, healthy and looking for a tax-purposes policy, this could be worth looking at.

Pros

  • HBF's basic hospital plus elevate policy won the award for Basic Hospital in Finder's 2024 Health Insurance Awards because it covers more treatments than its competitors and charges a lower premium.
  • It's relatively cheap and is great for those looking to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS).
  • HBF has an excellent complaints history. It has 7.7% market share but accounts for only 3.7% of complaints received by the Ombudsman. The lower the percentage of complaints to the percentage of market share, the better.

Cons

  • If you prefer a physical branch, HBF only offers one in WA.
  • If you're not earning over $97,000 or expecting to need basic hospital services, then it may not be worth getting.

Best health insurance for dental (extras only)

Flex 50

From

$9.14

/week

Extras only

From

$9.14

/week

Our verdict

HBF Flex 50 won Finder's Medium Extras cover award in both 2023 and 2024. This is because it gives you $800 to split across a bunch of benefits, including dental. You can either split the $800 or use it entirely on dental.

Pros

  • High benefit limit of $800 that can be used entirely on dental.
  • HBF is not-for-profit meaning profits go back into the hands of members, not shareholders.
  • Finder 2024 Health Insurance Award winner.

Cons

  • It's extras only so you won't be covered for any in hospital treatments.
  • If you prefer a physical brand, your only options are in Western Australia.

Top pick for health benefits

Bronze Plus Hospital 750

From

$25.64

/week

Hospital only

From

$25.64

/week

Our verdict

If you want more for your money, AIA could be a good health insurer for you. You get access to AIA Vitality, money off gym memberships, cashback on Virgin flights, money off gift cards and more. The Bronze Plus policy is particularly good value. It costs around $24 per week, $3 more than the cheapest bronze option, and covers 23 hospital services (5 more than is required for a bronze policy).

Pros

  • You get access to AIA Vitality.
  • It's competitively priced.
  • AIA received fewer complaints than other funds offering AIA Vitality, such as GMHBA (1.3% vs 1.9%).

Cons

  • It's not as beneficial if you aren't interested in AIA Vitality.
  • Customers don't tend to stay around for long. AIA has the lowest member retention rate (76.1%) of all major health funds.
  • 84.3% of AIA hospital services have no gap which is worse than many other funds including Bupa (91.1%), HBF (92.5%) and nib (91.7%).

Why you can trust our research

400+
policies assessed
46
health funds analysed
80+
hours of research
765
customers surveyed

How we choose the picks

If you're looking for the best health insurance in Australia, it's basically impossible to get a single answer. Hospital vs extras, price, how much you're covered for, benefit limits, waiting periods and more – there's a lot to consider. The 11 policies above are a starting point.

Our sources include the 2024 Finder Health Insurance Awards, the ombudsman and APRA, plus customer reviews from the Finder Customer Satisfaction Awards.

Find the best health insurance for you (video)

Best health insurance companies

While it's hard to label any single company as the 'best', there are a few things to keep an eye out for that can help you understand each insurer's strengths. We've used data from the government's latest State of the Health Funds report to break down the top 5 for benefits paid, hospital-related charges covered and no-gap medical services.

We only looked at open membership funds – these are ones available to all Australians. If you're entitled to join a restricted membership fund though, it's worth considering. They sometimes perform better than open funds.

For benefits %

This is the percentage of total contributions the insurer received that it returned to contributors in benefits.

  1. HBF: 87.9%
  2. HCF: 87.7%
  3. CBHS Corporate: 84%
  4. St Lukes: 83.6%
  5. Medibank: 83.4%

For hospital-related charges covered

The is the proportion of private hospital charges covered on average.

  1. CDH: 94.4%
  2. HBF: 93.7%
  3. Health Partners: 93.2%
  4. Onemedifund: 92.5%
  5. Transport Health: 92.4%

For medical services with no gap

This is the the proportion of medical services for which a gap is not payable by the patient.

  1. HBF: 92.5%
  2. CUA Health: 92.2%
  3. NIB: 91.7%
  4. HCi: 91.5%
  5. Australian Unity: 91.4%

2024 Finder award winning hospital cover

These are the hospital insurance policies that came out on top in the 2024 Finder Awards. Each award category is based on the government's hospital tiers for gold, silver, bronze and basic policies.

Health fund of the year — HBF health insurance

  • Winner: HBF health insurance

Gold hospital insurance

  • Winner: St. Lukes Health - Gold Hospital
  • Highly commended: Health Partners - Gold Hospital Complete
  • Highly commended: HBF - Gold Hospital Elevate

Silver hospital insurance

  • Winner: HBF - Silver Hospital
  • Highly commended: HCF - Hospital Standard Silver Plus
  • Highly commended: Qantas Insurance – Qantas Silver Hospital

Bronze hospital insurance

  • Winner: HCF – Hospital Bronze Plus
  • Highly commended: HBF – Bronze Hospital Plus
  • Highly commended: Medibank – Bronze Plus Progress

Basic hospital insurance

  • Winner: HBF – Basic Hospital Plus Elevate
  • Highly commended: Bupa – Basic Plus Starter Hospital
  • Highly commended: Frank – Entry Hospital (basic+)

Finder Award winners

Best health insurers by customer satisfaction

Below are the results of the Finder 2023 health insurance Customer Satisfaction awards. These tell us which health funds Aussies think is the greatest for customer services and overall experience. We got responses from over 750 Australians to get these results. Funds without a score didn't get enough reviews for us to be confident of the results.

BrandOverall satisfactionCustomers who'd recommend
ahm health insurance★★★★★ 4.17/586%
Australian Unity health insurance★★★★★ 4.10/584%
frank health insurance★★★★★ 4.09/579%
Bupa health insurance★★★★★ 4.09/579%
HCF health insurance★★★★★ 4.07/584%
nib health insurance★★★★★ 3.99/581%
HBF health insurance★★★★★ 3.96/583%
Medibank health insurance★★★★★ 3.67/566%

Customer satisfaction methodology

Where to next?

Pro tip: Basic hospital policies let you avoid the MLS but they're often poor value. Basic plus or bronze policies give you more value for money.

Why compare health insurance with Finder?

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  • With 1 click, you can open your results to nearly every fund in Australia.

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Frequently asked questions

Tim Bennett's headshot
To make sure you get accurate and helpful information, this guide has been edited by Tim Bennett as part of our fact-checking process.
Gary Ross Hunter's headshot
Editor, Insurance & Innovations

Gary Ross Hunter was an editor at Finder, specialising in insurance. He’s been writing about life, travel, home, car, pet and health insurance for over 6 years and regularly appears as an insurance expert in publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian and news.com.au. Gary holds a Kaplan Tier 2 General Advice General Insurance certification which meets the requirements of ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146). See full bio

Gary Ross's expertise
Gary Ross has written 730 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Health, home, life, car, pet and travel insurance
  • Managing the cost of living

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