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The Finder Score ranks every health policy in our database on value for money. We updated this monthly with data provided by Ombudsman.
We consider the 38 hospital treatment categories, plus the covered extras categories and the total extras benefit. We also use the average price for each product. Here's the breakdown of factors we consider.
Extras cover helps pay for medical care that's not covered by Medicare. These 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 there are annual cover limits (a cap on how much you can claim per year).
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ahm's lifestyle, family and super extras policies are the only extras insurance products on the market that offer zero waiting periods for general dental and optical without a special offer. Each policy also offers zero waiting periods on a range of other basic extras treatments like physiotherapy.
The second highest ranking policy in the comprehensive extras category, Westfund's Mid Extras policy is only available when you take out a hospital policy but still provides very good value. Its cover includes a $2,500 lifetime limit on orthodontic treatment and up to $120 per policy, per calendar year to put towards antenatal and postnatal classes.
Medibank - Growing Family 60 is tailored towards families who plan to have children. It covers all the standard extras treatments as well as pregnancy compression garments, antenatal and postnatal services and more.
Bupa's FLEXtras 4 Standard 50 is another high-ranking flexible extras option. The 2023 runner up costs around $9 a week and lets you tailor your extras cover to suit your needs. You'll receive 50% back at Bupa recognised providers on your selected services, up to your yearly limits.
Medibank's Healthy Start Extras came in third place. It costs around $6 per week, making it one of the cheapest policies available. You get a $500 combined limit on extras services such as physio, mental health support and chiro.
Bupa's Freedom Extras 60 option is the runner up in 2023 Basic Extras category. Costs start from around $7 a week and it covers general dental, optical and more.
Latrobe's Basic Extras option is the third highest ranking Basic Extras policy according to the Finder rating. Costs start from around $4 a week and it covers general dental, major dental, optical and more.
The cost of extras cover varies depending on how comprehensive your policy is. Currently, the average price of a extras policy is $15 per week*. The cost of the cheapest extras policy available today is just $4 per week*. More expensive policies generally cover more treatments, and have greater benefits. The map and table below has details of the cost of extras cover in each state as of January 2022.
*Prices are based on a single person living in Sydney, for extras policies that cover at least ambulance and general dental.
Extras cover generally includes non-hospital services that aren't covered by Medicare, like dental and optical. The table below outlines some of the most common treatment categories.
|General dental||Also called routine dental, this includes general examinations, clean and polishes, extractions, fillings and more.|
|Major dental||Major dental includes work like crowns, veneers, dentures, periodontics and more.|
|Orthodontics||Orthodontic treatments include braces, aligners and retainers. This benefit is normally subject to a lifetime benefit limit.|
|Endodontics||Endodontics deals with issues inside the tooth, including root canals.|
|Optical||Optical cover typically includes the cost of prescription glasses and sunglasses, as well as contact lenses.|
|Osteopathy||Osteopathy is an alternative medicine focused on muscle and bones, and is partly covered by many extras policies.|
|Healthy lifestyle||This benefit can help with things like quite smoking programs and gym memberships, if recommended by a GP.|
|Travel vaccinations||Vaccinations needed for travel|
|Ambulance services||Ambulance isn't covered by the government in most states, so many extras policies includes private cover for it.|
|Physiotherapy||Physical therapy can be partially covered by many extras plans, including exams, diagnosis and rehabilitation.|
|Chiropractic||Some select alternative therapies, including chriro, can be covered by some extras policies.|
|Non-PBS medication||This benefit can cover some of the costs of medications not covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.|
|Health aids||Health aids is a wide category that can cover appliances like artificial limbs, testing kits and health monitors.|
|Podiatry||Podiatry covers issues with your feet, including orthotics and some surgery.|
|Psychology||Mental health checks and therapy sessions can be partially covered by some extras policies.|
|Dietetics||Support and consultations for food and nutrition services.|
|Hearing Aids||Coverage for hearing aid devices and audiology services can be covered. You'll generally only be able to claim for hearing aids every few years (3 to 5 years is common).|
Waiting periods for health insurance apply to both extras and hospital policies. You'll generally need to wait for a period of between 2 and 12 months before claiming a particular benefit. Some major treatments require waiting periods of up to 2 or more years but this is less common.
There are a few ways to get zero waiting periods on some extras treatments, including general dental, optical and physio.
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:
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:
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