Defence Health Health Insurance

Find out if you can save with the help of Defence Health – compare cover and find the right policy.

You don’t want to take shortcuts when it comes to looking after your health and the wellbeing of your family, so private health cover is a must for every Australian. There’s an abundance of private health funds in Australia and they all offer hospital cover and extras cover, allowing you to tailor a policy to suit your health needs. Defence Health offers a range of health insurance options to more than 235,000 Australians with Defence connections. With hospital and extras cover to suit everyone from the young and healthy to those who need comprehensive protection, it provides affordable cover and peace of mind. does not currently have access to this health insurance brand. You may wish to compare options available on the health insurance homepage.

Who can join Defence Health?

This not-for-profit health fund offers membership to the following people:

  • Anyone who has previously served in the ADF, regardless of whether they served part-time or full-time, as well as their partners and children
  • Anyone who works in the Department of Defence or a related department
  • Anyone who currently works or has previously worked for a Defence supplier
  • Anyone who is the extended family member of anyone listed above. This includes parents, children, siblings, grandchildren, ex-spouses and partners
  • ADF Partners and families
  • Active reservists (anyone serving in the Army Reserve, Air Force Reserve or Naval Reserve), their partners and families.

Permanent ADF members are not required to take out cover for themselves but can cover their partners and children.

How do I choose the right cover?

In order to decide which cover option suits your needs and budget, consider the following questions:

  • Are you young, fit and healthy?
  • Do you just want basic cover or are you looking for something that provides complete peace of mind for you and your family?
  • Are you planning on starting a family soon?
  • Are you on a tight budget or can you afford to spend a little extra?
  • Do you want cover for a wide range of general treatments or only the ones you’re sure you will use?
  • Do you want to get the treatment you need as soon as it is required?

Answering these questions will help you decide on the right health fund and cover option for you.

What is covered?

Hospital cover

Defence Health offers the following hospital cover options to suit different insurance needs and household budgets:

Defence Health Premier Hospital
  • If you want complete peace of mind when it comes to your health, this policy could be for you. It offers comprehensive cover for everything Medicare covers, including everything from joint reconstructions and heart services to pregnancy IVF and psychiatric services. You can enjoy comprehensive ambulance cover, your choice of doctor and hospital, and 100% cover for agreement private hospital charges and public hospital charges.
Defence Health Value Hospital
  • Value Hospital Cover is Defence Health’s mid-range offering and is designed for families who want a decent level of health cover but don’t want to have to spend too much to get it. It offers comprehensive ambulance cover and cover for the cost of a range of procedures like joint investigations, colonoscopies, heart services, cancer treatments, pregnancy and more. However, certain hospital services such as joint replacements and gastric banding are excluded from cover in order to keep costs to a minimum.
Defence Health Essential Hospital
  • This is a basic hospital cover option for applicants who are young, fit and have no major health concerns. If you want cover for a selection of basic hospital treatments or simply to avoid being slugged with levies and loadings by the government, this policy is designed with you in mind. It gives you your choice of doctor and hospital, accommodation in a shared or private room, and cover for theatre fees, intensive care and most drugs supplied in hospital. However, many procedures are excluded from cover.

Extras cover

These can be taken out as standalone cover or paired with one of the following extras cover options:

Defence Health Premier Extras
  • This offers top-level extras protection for a range of general treatments including ambulance, preventative dental, general dental, major dental, orthodontics, optical, physio, chiropractic, antenatal and postnatal services, pharmacy and vaccinations, alternative therapies, exercise physiology, psychology, podiatry, speech therapy, occupational therapy, dietitian and more.
Defence Health Value Extras
  • This mid-range policy covers a similarly wide range of treatments but offers lower benefit limits than a Premier Extras policy. Features include comprehensive ambulance cover, no annual limit on general dental treatment, no-gap glasses deals and much more.
Defence Health Essential Extras
  • This option is designed to offer wallet-friendly cover on the general treatments you’re most likely to use. This includes cover for general and preventative dental, ambulance treatment, optical, physio, travel vaccinations and alternative therapies.

Packaged options

ADF Total package
  • The ADF Total Package provides you with comprehensive hospital cover and allows you to take advantage of a range of extras treatments with generous annual limits.
ADF Essentials Package
  • The ADF Essentials Package is its entry level combined policy, which covers a limited range of hospital and extras treatments.
Which services are covered? Premier Hospital Value Hospital Essentials Hospital
Accidental injury Yes Yes Yes
All other services recognised by Medicare Yes No No
Assisted reproductive services and infertility treatments Cataracts, Glaucoma and laser eye surgery Yes No No
Brain surgery Yes Yes No
Cancer treatment Yes Yes No
Chronic care programs Yes Yes No
Colonoscopy Yes Yes Yes
Dialysis for renal failure Yes No No
Gastroscopy Yes Yes Yes
Hernia repairs Yes Yes Yes
Home nursing – Maximum $1,800 $750 No
Per day $90 $70 No
Hospital substitute programs Yes Yes No
Joint investigations and minor repairs Yes Yes Yes
Joint reconstructions Yes Yes Yes
Joint replacements Yes No No
Midwifery (confinement and delivery) $1,500 $750 No
Obesity related treatment (eg. gastric banding) Yes No No
Palliative care Yes Yes Yes (Restricted)
Pregnancy and pregnancy related services Heart related procedures Yes Yes No
Psychiatric treatment Yes Yes (Restricted) Yes (Restricted)
Rehabilitation Yes Yes Yes (Restricted)
Removal of adenoids Yes Yes Yes
Removal of appendix Yes Yes Yes
Removal of tonsils Yes Yes Yes
Stroke treatment Yes Yes No
Surgical extraction of teeth Yes Yes Yes
Treatment not recognised by Medicare incl. most cosmetic surgery No No No

When am I not covered?

There are certain circumstances under which Defence Health will not pay your claim, including if:

  • It is for a hospital service specifically listed as an exclusion on your policy
  • It is for treatment you receive while you are serving a waiting period
  • It is for treatment provided at a hospital’s emergency department
  • It is for treatment for which a Medicare benefit is not payable (except for things like psychiatric treatments and palliative care)
  • It is for treatment that is not medically necessary, for example cosmetic surgery
  • It is for doctors’ fees in excess of the Medicare Benefits Schedule fee, unless those fees are covered by Access Gap Cover
  • It is for treatment you receive from your GP or as an outpatient
  • It is for discharge pharmaceuticals
  • It is for exceptionally expensive drugs
  • It is for personal items such as newspapers and TV hire
  • It is for the cost of accommodation in an aged care facility
  • You stay in hospital for more than 35 days and your claim is not supported by an Acute Care Certificate
  • It is for services that could be claimed from another source, for example workers’ compensation insurance
  • It is for private midwifery fees when a doctor is required to intervene in the pregnancy.

How much does cover cost?

The cost of your Defence Health health insurance will be impacted by a range of factors, including:

  • The level of cover you choose
  • Whether you select a single or family policy
  • Whether you choose standalone cover or combined hospital and extras cover
  • The age at which you take out cover. You will be slugged with a premium loading for every year after you turn 31 that you do not have private health cover in place
  • Whether you are eligible for the Australian Government Rebate
  • The excess you choose. Premier Hospital Cover, for example, allows you to choose the amount of excess you would like to pay. The higher the excess, the lower your premiums will be.

Defence Health Health Insurance excess

You can lower the amount of the premium you will have to pay if you choose to pay an excess when you are admitted to hospital The excess is the amount that you contribute to the cost of your hospital stay. For example, Premier Hospital Cover allows you to choose between an excess of $200 or $400 per adult. This excess applies once per adult every financial year and is paid upon your admission to hospital. However, no excess is payable for dependent children on your policy.

Ways you can save on your policy

  • Enjoy a range of discounts on glasses, lenses and frames with Defence Health’s optical network partners
  • Transition discount. If you’re discharging from the permanent ADF and aren’t becoming an active reservist, you’ll receive a 10% discount in the first year of your hospital cover or combined hospital and extras cover if you pay by direct debit
  • Take out cover before your 31st birthday to avoid a premium loading.

Does Defence Health offer a loyalty benefit?

Defence Health is a member-owned health fund that is designed to serve the needs of the Defence community. Rather than being run to benefit shareholders or a big corporation, Defence Health is run in the interests of its members. This means it can offer affordable and competitive cover to Australians with Defence connections – no matter what their health insurance needs are.

How do I make a claim?

In many cases, extras claims can be lodged and paid on the spot using electronic claiming; all you have to do is swipe your Defence Health membership card. For all other claims, you will need to claim through Defence Health’s mobile claiming app on your smartphone or tablet, online through the member area of the Defence Health website, or by completing a claim form and emailing, faxing or mailing it back to Defence Health.

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Frequently asked questions about Defence Health

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10 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    PaulApril 10, 2017

    Do you have tailored packages?
    eg: We’re both over 65 and would want most of the services provided by Premier Hospital BUT;
    I had my appendix out years ago;
    We’re certainly not going to get pregnant!
    It is highly unlikely that we will need any ‘gastric banding’ type services;
    I have a DVA White Card which will cover any cancer treatment for myself;
    … just to name a few.

    • finder Customer Care
      ZubairApril 11, 2017Staff

      Hi Paul,

      Thank you for your question.

      You have contacted, a comparison and information service and not actually Defence Health Health Insurance.

      Defence Health Health Insurance is not currently one of the brands in our panel of health insurers. You will need to contact them directly about this matter.

      All the best,

  2. Default Gravatar
    maureenMarch 27, 2017

    How do I get in touch or where is the table set out in order to see comparisons.I am the sister of a Vietnam Veteran

    • finder Customer Care
      ZubairMarch 28, 2017Staff

      Hi Maureen,
      Thank you for your question.

      You have contacted, a comparison and information service and not actually Defence Health Health Insurance.

      Defence Health Health Insurance is not one of the brands in our panel of health funds, which means while you can compare cover from Navy Health on our site you will need to contact Defence Health directly about taking out cover.

      To compare quotes from the 30+ health funds, please head to ourhealth insurance home page.


  3. Default Gravatar
    March 1, 2017

    I had to pay extra for an MRI Spine so is that claimable ?

    • finder Customer Care
      ZubairMarch 2, 2017Staff

      Hi Andrea,

      Thank you for your question.

      You have contacted, we are a comparison and information service and not actually Defence Health Insurance. Defence Health Insurance is not currently one of the brands in our panel of health insurers. It’s a good idea to get in touch directly with your insurer or consult the Product Disclosure Statement for clarification on whether you are eligible to receive a claim. You may find our health insurance for MRI guide helpful.

      All the best,

  4. Default Gravatar
    ColleenMarch 9, 2016

    My husband served in the Army Reserve during his National Service, can we join Defence Health?

    • finder Customer Care
      RichardMarch 10, 2016Staff

      Hi Colleen,

      Thanks for your question. is a comparison service and not an insurer. Looking at the Defence Health website, it looks like active Reservists and their families are eligible to join. Unfortunately, it makes no mention of ex-reservists. You may wish to contact them directly for clarification by calling 1800 335 425.

      I hope this was helpful,

    • Default Gravatar
      FrancesMarch 30, 2017

      Am I covered for a visit to a naturopath?

    • finder Customer Care
      ZubairMarch 31, 2017Staff

      Hi Frances,

      Thank you for your question.

      You have contacted, a comparison and information and not actually Defence Health Health Insurance.

      You will need to contact Defence Health Health Insurance directly to check if you are eligible for naturopathy benefit.


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