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Find the best health insurance in Australia

To help you find the best health insurance in Australia, we narrowed down 400+ plans to a handful based on value for money.

How we choose the best private health insurance

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.

To give you a starting point, we've hand-picked 6 policies based on 400+ plans. Our sources include the 2024 Finder Health Insurance Awards, the ombudsman and APRA, plus customer reviews from the Finder Customer Satisfaction Awards.

Why you can trust our research

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

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 $93,000 as a single). The not-for-profit also won Finder's 2024 best health fund of the year award.

Top pick for value (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.

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.

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 $186,000 a year as a family.

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).

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.

Top 5 health insurance companies

Different health insurers perform well in different areas, so it's not as simple as naming the top 5 health funds.

However, not-for-profits including HBF, Health Partners and HCi consistently perform strongly across the board, especially compared to the big for-profit insurers.

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.

Benefits %

  1. HBF: 88.1%
  2. CBHS Corporate: 87.2%
  3. HCF: 86.7%
  4. Health Partners: 86.7%
  5. Peoplecare: 84.7%

Hospital-related charges covered

  1. HBF: 94.4%
  2. CDH: 93.6%
  3. Health Partners: 93.2%
  4. Onemedifund: 93.2%
  5. HCi: 92.8%

Medical services with no gap

  1. HBF: 92.8%
  2. CUA Health: 92.5%
  3. Phoenix: 92.2%
  4. HCi: 91.8%
  5. NIB: 91.8%

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.

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

Find the best health insurance for you

Beginner's guide to health insurance

What type of health insurance do you need?

Heart

Hospital only

Hospital only insurance can be good if you want cover in a private hospital. Private surgery waiting times are shorter and there are tax benefits if you earn $93,000+ a year.
Ambulance

Extras only

Extras cover can be worth it if you use lots of out-of-hospital services like dental. However, it does not save you from the Medicare levy surcharge (MLS) or Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading.
Combined

Combined

Combined cover includes hospital and extras. It can be good if you want total coverage for you and your family.
Pro tip: You'll need to serve a waiting period before you can claim. If you're switching funds, you can skip hospital waiting periods you've already served. Some extras policies let you skip waiting periods on things like dental, even for brand new policies.

Is private health insurance worth it?

Australia has public healthcare, but there are times when private health insurance is worth it.

It's less beneficial if you're young and healthy. Even once the LHC loading that applies once you turn 31, the AMA says it's still not enough incentive to get cover early in life.

If you don't take out hospital insurance and earn over $93,000 a year ($186,000 for couples), you'll have to pay the MLS. This is a 1–1.5% tax depending on your income.

What level of cover is right for you?

Every tier of hospital insurance has to cover a specific set of treatments in Australia: basic (0), bronze (18), silver (26) and gold (38).

Gold hospital cover icon

Gold hospital cover

Gold covers everything, including pregnancy, so is also the most expensive tier. Prices start from $172.8 a month.

Silver hospital cover icon

Silver hospital cover

Silver still covers a lot. All policies cover at least 26 hospital treatments including heart and vascular system and lung and chest.

Bronze hospital cover icon

Bronze hospital cover

Bronze covers at least 18 hospital treatments including joint reconstructions and ear, nose and throat.

Basic hospital cover icon

Basic hospital cover

Basic doesn't have to fully cover anything, but helps you avoid the MLS and LHC loading. Bronze policies cost just a few dollars more, so it might be worth skipping basic altogether.

Pro tip: Consider looking at plus policies. They cover more treatments than their base tier and can be better value.

What else should you consider?

  • Look at restricted funds. These offer cover to a specific industry and their families, such as teachers or union members. They often provide better services than a normal insurer.
  • Consider a not-for-profit. HCF, HBF and GMHBA are among the many not-for-profit funds in Australia. You often get more for your money. Profits go towards members, not shareholders.
  • Don't get couples cover. Couples health insurance is convenient, but isn't always good value. If you and your partner have different needs, 2 single policies can be cheaper.
  • Don't stress about the LHC loading. Lots of people get confused by the LHC loading. It's not a tax. AMA data actually shows people can be better off delaying hospital insurance and just paying the loading later in life. Learn more here.
  • Avoid the MLS. This extra tax applies to anyone earning over $93,000 ($186,000 for couples), but you won't pay it if you have private hospital insurance.
  • Read your extras policy. It's worth the effort. You might find some benefits you didn't realise you had. Finder author Nicola Middlemiss was able to get way more value for money this way: "I have hypermobility that's improved with regular exercise," she told us. "I spoke to my doctor, they signed the health improvement form provided by my insurer, and now I can claim $400 back every year."
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.

Tips for families

  • Get no excess for children. Lots of funds don't charge an excess for children who need to go to hospital.
  • Get cover for older children. Funds can now cover adult children on their parents' cover until 31 years – be sure to check when your fund will cut them off.
  • Looking for pregnancy? All gold-tier policies cover pregnancy, as do some silver plus policies. If you don't want more kids, you could save by downgrading.

Why compare health insurance with Finder?

  • We don't ask for your phone or email to see prices.

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

  • You pay the same price as going direct – we charge no fees.

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