Extras Cover in Australia

Extras cover helps pay for medical costs not covered by Medicare, like dental, physio and glasses. Policies start from around $13 a month and are very customisable.

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!

Good value extras cover

Here are some good value extras policies available from Finder partners. Each covers different treatments, so check the details. You can also compare cheap extras and top extras policies on this page.

*Quotes are based on a single individual with less than $90,000 income, $500 excess and living in Sydney. Annual limits apply.

Compare cheap extras policies

Here are some basic extras only policies from Finder partners. They all include emergency ambulance cover and will help cover the cost of included treatments.

Name Product Chiropractic cover Remedial Massage General Dental Physiotherapy cover Emergency Ambulance Price Per Month Hide CompareBox Apply
ahm black 50 saver
$12.60
Frank Basic Extras
$13.55
HBF Flex 50
$27.59
Medibank Healthy Start Extras
$26.50
Qantas Basic Extras
$33.05
ahm choosable 60 – teeth / muscle & bone
$33.70
This new ahm product comes with a base bundle of teeth and emergency ambulance, then lets you choose from optional extras bundles so you only pay for the cover you actually need.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

*Quotes are based on single individual with less than $90,000 income and living in Sydney. Some treatments may come with a waiting period. Annual limits apply.

What is extras cover?

Extras cover helps pay for medical care that's not covered by Medicare. Such treatments are usually done out-of-hospital and include dental, physio, psychology, optical and chiropractic services. You must serve a waiting period before you can claim money back, and any savings are restricted by annual cover limits.

Heart

Hospital only

Hospital cover helps pay for treatment and surgery in a private hospital.
Ambulance

Extras only

Extras cover helps cover the cost of optical, dental, physio and more.
Combined

Combined

Combined coverage includes hospital and extras coverage, each tailored to your needs.

Pros and cons of extras only health insurance

Pros

  • A wide range of services are included, offering you multiple chances to save money
  • Helps you pay for prescription medications that aren't listed on the government's PBS list
  • It can be very cheap to get cover. Extras cover can start from around $3 per week - less than a cup of coffee

Cons

  • You won't be insured for a range of hospital treatments
  • Gap payments (or out-of-pocket costs) are likely to apply to many services
  • Extras coverage won't exempt you from the Medicare Levy Surcharge or the Lifetime Health Cover loading. You'll need hospital or combined cover for that

Top extras cover

Here are some good value top extras policies from Finder partners, which cover a wide range of extras treatments. These can include health screenings, speech therapy, hearing aids, dietician services, and natural therapies like remedial massages and acupuncture.

*Quotes are based on a single individual with less than $90,000 income, $500 excess and living in Sydney. Annual limits apply.

What levels of cover do extras come in?

Hearing aid

Top extras

The highest level policy available and also the most expensive, it is designed to suit the needs of mature singles, couples, families and others with extensive health care needs. It covers the broadest range of non-hospital treatments and pays the highest benefits on claims.

Major dental

Medium extras

If you are middle-aged or have a growing family, this intermediate policy can be a good choice for balancing affordability and cover. It pays benefits for a broad range of services, has reasonable premiums and is typically suited to those with an average need for health care services.

Optical extras

Basic extras

Designed for those who are young, fit and healthy and not in need of a high level of cover, this policy will pay benefits for a limited selection of essential services. While annual benefit limits will be smaller compared to medium or comprehensive extras policies, the cost of premiums for basic extras is also lower.

What services can extras coverage include?

The most common services on extras cover are as follows:

Service coveredTypical waiting period
General dental2 months
Major dental12 months
Healthy lifestyle6 months
Travel vaccinationsFrom 0
Ambulance transport0-2 days
Optical6-months
Physiotherapy2 months
Chiropractic2 months
Non-PBS medication2 months
Health aidsVaries
Podiatry (General)2 months
Psychology2 months
Dietetics2 months
Hearing Aids12 months

Waiting periods could be longer or shorter depending on your policy. The services listed here do not represent a complete list of services covered under all extras policies. Depending on your fund and policy, you may find many other cover options to match your needs.

How waiting periods work for extras

Just like hospital cover, you'll need to serve a waiting period before you are able to lodge a claim for extras services. While each fund is different, some typical waiting periods include:

  • Two months. General dental, physiotherapy and most other extras services.
  • Six months. Optical items such as glasses or contact lenses.
  • 12 months. Major dental, psychological consultations and orthotic appliances.
  • 12, 24 or 36 months. Orthodontics, hearing aids, assisted reproduction drugs.

One important point to keep in mind about extras health insurance is that each fund is free to set waiting periods of its choice. Therefore, keep an eye out for promotions which may waive waiting periods to attract new members, but also be more vigilant about checking the fine print before purchasing an extras policy.

Extras cover with no waiting period

A waiting period is the length of time you must wait until you can claim money back for a health service. While most funds set 2-, 6- and 12-month waiting periods across their treatments, it's possible to find some no-wait periods.

For example, ahm's Lifestyle Extras plan offers no waiting periods on selected extras including general dental, optical and psychology.

Additionally, the latest health insurance sign-up deals often waive your wait period if you switch as a new customer.

Set benefits vs percentage benefits

Health funds use two methods to cover extras services. Set benefits apply a fixed amount to each service, such as $500 for general dental, while percentage benefits do what the name suggests and calculates the benefit as a percentage that covers all services, such as 50% back. Some pros and cons of each method are outlined below:

Cover methodProsCons
Set benefits
  • You can customise your cover by picking a policy that pays the highest benefits for specific services.
  • Some funds increase the benefits each year that you continue to hold cover as a loyalty bonus.
  • Harder to calculate your out-of-pocket expenses, unless you know how much the provider charges for your treatment.
Percentage benefits
  • Provides more certainty as you know whatever the bill is a set percentage of it is covered.
  • You may be able to opt for a higher percentage back in exchange for paying a slightly higher premium.
  • No ability to prioritise specific services, since the percentage back applies to everything covered by the policy.

How benefit limits work

Benefit limits for extras only health insurance are the maximum amounts you can claim for specific treatments each calendar year. Many funds also break these down into the following types:

  • Combined limits. This is where several different services are included in one shared limit, such as physiotherapy, chiropractic and remedial massage all falling under an overall physical therapy benefit.
  • Sub-limits. These apply to specific treatments under a certain service, such as $500 for dentures and $800 for crowns, even though they fall under a major dental benefit.
  • Lifetime limits. Fairly rare and generally only applied to orthodontics, this means that your limit does not renew each year, and is carried over even if you switch to a higher level of cover or switch funds.

Compare extras cover from 30+ providers

Frequently asked questions

More guides on Finder

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.
Go to site