Westfund is a member-owned health fund – Full policy review and comparison
If you’re looking for a private health fund to offer peace of mind and help you take better care of yourself, Westfund Health can help. Established in 1929, Westfund is a member-owned health fund, which means all its profits are returned to members in the form of cheaper premiums and better products.
With an aim of providing quality cover at an affordable price, Westfund Health offers the following plans to its members: Hospital and Extras Cover, Hospital Only Cover, Extras Only Cover, Overseas Cover and Ambulance Cover.
Westfund Health Insurance option
There’s certainly no shortage of health cover options available from Westfund Health, with cover ranging from standalone hospital or extras cover through to combined policies. Whether you want the most basic and affordable level of cover, a mid-range option or comprehensive protection, Westfund Health has options designed to suit you.
Hospital and Extras Cover
Hospital and Extras Cover from Westfund is available in a massive 13 different levels of protection:
- Platinum cover – Provides no exclusions, no excess and no co-payment for your in-hospital treatment. An optional excess lets you reduce your premiums and an extensive range of extras treatments are covered.
- Platinum Saver Cover – Combines top-level hospital cover with basic extras.
- Platinum Extended Cover – Allows you to cover adult children aged 21 to 25.
- Gold and Gold Extended – These policies offer a slightly lower level of cover, than platinum but are still comprehensive.
- Sterling Silver and Silver Cover – This option is suited for people after value for money and mid-range cover.
- Essential and Essential Plus – If you’re on a tight budget these policies offer affordable cover for those who are young, fit and healthy.
- Esteem – This is a product specifically tailored for those aged 65 and over.
- Max Value – This is an affordable option with high-level extras cover for young people.
- Value 4U – This policy that combines specified hospital and extras treatments with ambulance cover.
- Value First – This is a policy that offers Westfund’s most affordable cover for young people.
Hospital Only Cover
Westfund Health offers two high-level hospital-only cover options: Platinum Hospital and Platinum Hospital 500. The only difference between the two is that the latter option requires you to pay a $500 excess when you are admitted to hospital. These policies don’t feature any exclusions and cover an extensive range of treatments in a private hospital. Medical and Ambulance Cover are also included to provide comprehensive protection.
Extras Only Cover
Three levels of extras cover are available from Westfund: Platinum, Gold and Value.
Platinum offers top-level cover and includes:
- major dental
- complementary therapies
- healthier living benefits.
Gold Extras cover is the next step down and covers all the same general treatments but to lower benefit limits. Value Extras Cover, as the name suggests, is designed to be more affordable and covers ambulance, dental, optical, physio and chiropractic.
Platinum Overseas, Gold Overseas and Hospital Overseas Cover are all available from Westfund Health. If you’re travelling overseas on a working visa, the Platinum option covers your hospital costs, outpatient GP costs, medical dental and optical costs that are incurred overseas. There are also no co-payments or excess to worry about. Gold covers the same things but to lower benefit levels, while Hospital Overseas only covers your hospital treatment and does not include extras cover.
This policy provides basic cover for the cost of emergency transport received by road or air ambulance. Medically necessary emergency transport is covered Australia wide.
Are there any additional benefits?
Westfund Health offers its Member Advantages program to help its customers get more out of their membership. As part of the program, families get an extra $150 of benefits each year to spend on things like braces, CPAP masks and podiatric surgery. This applies up to a maximum $450 benefit for couples and families. Other benefits also accrue, including:
- After serving your waiting period: Receive up to an additional $200 per night if you are hospitalised following an accident.
- After 1 year: Receive $75 towards sunglasses from any Westfund branch, and receive cover for travel expenses to the Lithgow Dental Care Practice.
- After 2 years: Get $150 per night accommodation expenses up to $600 per year. In addition, get an additional $400 per-night benefit for advanced surgical procedures.
- After 3 years: Enjoy the flexibility of being able to suspend your premiums for up to six months if you’re made redundant.
- After 5 years: Get up to $1,000 for hearing aids and enjoy eligibility for any special premium discounts that may arise.
General exclusions and waiting periods
There are certain circumstances under which Westfund Health will not pay your claim, including if:
- It is for a procedure or treatment excluded from your policy
- It is for services rendered by a provider who is not recognised by Westfund or not in private practice
- It is for services received more than 24 months prior to you lodging your claim
- You have received treatment from your business partner, spouse, de facto or relative
- It is for services received by the dependents of your dependents
- It is for benefits that are claimable from another source, for example Medicare or workers’ compensation insurance
- It is for services or health care goods provided outside Australia
- It is for a service for which Medicare does not pay a benefit, for example cosmetic surgery.
Just as with any other health fund, you’ll also need to consider the waiting periods you will need to serve when you join Westfund Health. For example, you’ll only have to serve a one-day waiting period for accident and ambulance cover, while all other hospitalisations (excluding obstetrics and pre-existing conditions) require you to serve a two-month waiting period. Other treatments, for example major dental work and obstetrics, require you to sit out a 12-month waiting period.
Westfund Health Insurance excess
Many health insurers require you to pay an excess when you are admitted to hospital. This is the amount that you contribute to the cost of your hospital treatment and is typically paid when you are admitted. Whether or not you need to pay an excess depends on the Westfund policy and level of cover you choose. You may also be required to pay an excess if you have transferred from another health fund that requires you to pay an excess, and if a waiting period still applies to your policy.
Claim amounts per medical treatment
When you lodge a claim with Westfund Health Insurance, the amount of benefit payable to you will be determined by the specific type of medical treatment you received. As can be expected, more severe conditions and complex surgeries or procedures will merit a larger payment.
Here you can find 22 of the most commonly claimed for medical services and the corresponding benefit that Westfund Health Insurance members are eligible for. Also listed are the equivalent Medicare (MBS) benefits for comparison.
Please note that Westfund Health Insurance falls under the title AHSA, due to them being a member of that organisation. More information on the AHSA can be found at the bottom of the table:
|Basal Cell Carcinoma or Squamous Cell Carcinoma removal from nose, eyelid, lip, ear, digit or genetalia||$221.35||$366.10|
|Breast, benign lesion surgical biopsy of excision||$260.05||$356.40|
|Carpal Tunnel Release||$276.80||$440.20|
|Complicated Delivery (of baby)||$1,629.35||$1,855.90|
|Coronary Artery Bypass||$2,200.00||$3,783.30|
|Femoral on Inguinal Hernia||$464.50||$909.70|
|Overnight investigation for sleep apnoea||$588.00||$682.20|
|Tonsils or Tonsils and Adenoid||$295.70||$513.90|
|Uncomplicated Delivery (of baby)||$693.95||$1,484.50|
I recognise most of these funds except for the AHSA, what is that?
The funds represented by the ASHA are:
- ACA Health Benefits Fund
- Australian Unity Health Limited
- CBHS Health Fund Limited
- CUA Health Limited
- Defence Health
- GMF Health
- Budget Direct Health Insurance
- Frank Health Insurance
- GU Health
- HBF Health Ltd
- Health Care Insurance Limited
- Health Insurance Fund of Australia Limited
- Health Partners
- Navy Health
- Peoplecare Health Insurance
- Phoenix Health Fund
- Police Health Limited
- Queensland Country Health Fund Limited
- Reserve Bank Health Society Ltd
- rt health fund
- Teachers Health Fund > UniHealth Insurance
- Teachers Union Health
- The Doctors' Health Fund Pty Ltd
- Transport Health
Making a claim
If you need to make an extras claim, you can simply swipe your Westfund membership card at any provider that offers on-the-spot electronic claiming. Where this is not an option, you can download a claim form from the Westfund website, fill it out, sign it and return it to the health fund via email, mail or fax. A handy online claims portal is also available through the members area of the Westfund Health website.
In terms of hospital claims, most hospitals will send the bill directly to your health fund. However, in other cases you can lodge a claim via the Westfund website.
Frequently asked questions about Westfund
Question: Does Westfund Health have any branches I can visit?
- Answer: Yes, Westfund operates branches in Lithgow, Mudgee, Bathurst, Orange, Dubbo, Wollongong, Moranbah, Emerald, Maroochydore, Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton.
Question: How can I join Westfund Health?
- Answer: It’s simple to sign up for a Westfund Health membership online, however you can also phone or email Westfund to run through your cover options before you make your final decision.
Question: Does a waiting period apply to pre-existing conditions?
- Answer: Yes, you’ll need to serve a 12-month waiting period before you can receive any benefits related to the treatment of pre-existing conditions.
Question: Am I eligible for the private health insurance rebate?
- Answer: Whether or not you are entitled to the Australian Government Rebate on private health insurance is determined by your income level. To find out whether you qualify you can examine the income tiers on the ATO website.
Compare health insurance policies online and find the right cover
Westfund Health offers an extensive range of benefits to its members, so consider the cover it offers when you’re looking for a private health fund. Just make sure to compare Westfund Health with other private health funds before you make the all-important decision of where to get cover.