Not-for-profit health funds

As many as 36% of people are more likely to choose a not-for-profit health fund, but what are the advantages? Find out and compare your health insurance options below.

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What are not-for-profit health funds?

A not-for-profit health fund sells a health insurance product, but isn't trying to make money for owners or shareholders. Instead, any remaining profits are put toward improving the service reducing premiums. This is unlike a for-profit health fund, which is owned by outside interests and makes a profit out of members' premiums to provide a return to its owners and/or shareholders.

Many not-for-profit health funds are open to anyone - such funds include like HCF, Frank Health Insurance, HBF and Westfund. Others, however, restrict membership to people from a particular employment group or professional association - some restricted health funds include Teachers Health, Defence and Police Health.

Are not for profit health funds cheaper?

Not-for-profit health funds are sometimes cheaper than for-profit funds, but not always. While not-for-profit funds use profits to lower premiums, they tend to be smaller than for-profit funds. This means they may not have the scale to lower costs like larger funds can. Even so, not-for-profit funds are generally competitive on price.

List of not-for-profit health insurers

According to privatehealth.gov.au, these funds report as a mutual organisation that operates on a not-for-profit basis:

Health FundBronze Policies AvailableSilver Policies AvailableGold Policies AvailableExtras Policies AvailableApply
HCFHCF14110Get quote
Peoplecare Health Insurance logoPeoplecare Health Insurance1214More info
HBF LogoHBF1215Get quote
GMHBA health fund logoGMHBA2426More info
ACA logoACA1None22More info
CBHS logo
CBHS Health Fund
1113More info
Cessnock District Health FundCDH1314More info
Defence_Health_Logo_100Defence Health1113More info
Emergency Services Health logoEmergency Services HealthNoneNone11More info
Frank Health Insurance logoFrank22None7Get quote
Health Care Insurance logo

Health Care Insurance

1113More info
Health Partners logoHealth Partners1214Get quote
HIF health insurance logo

HIF

2216More info
Latrobe Health Services logoLatrobe Health Services2217More info
Mildura logoMildura Health FundNoneNone14More info
Navy Health Logo
Navy Health
1113More info
Nurses & Midwives Health logoNurses & Midwives HealthNone212More info
Phoenix health fund logoPhoenix Health Fund33None3More info
Police health logoPolice HealthNoneNone11More info
RT Health Fund logoRT Health Fund2113More info
RBHS logoRBHSNoneNone11More info
St.lukes health logoSt.Lukes Health2311More info
Teachers Health logo

Teachers Health

None113More info
TUH logo

TUH

1216More info
UniHealth logo

UniHealth

None112More info
Westfund Health Insurance logo

Westfund

1215More info

The list of restricted not-for-profit funds which limit membership to certain groups includes:

Note: Doctors' Health is a for-profit fund that is owned by the Avant Mutual Group, a group that operates on a not-for-profit basis.

Source: http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/publications/state-of-the-health-funds-report/2017-state-of-the-health-funds-report#sec6

What are the differences?

There are several differences between not-for-profit and for-profit health funds.

  • They have different business structures – a not-for-profit is a mutual organisation, while a for-profit is often a corporation with owners and shareholders.
  • Not-for-profit funds sometimes have lower premiums. Because they exist solely to benefit members, they return a higher percentage of funds to their members in the form of cheaper premiums. However, smaller not-for-profit funds may not have the scale to compete with larger funds on price.
  • Not-for-profit funds often have better benefits – because all monies are returned to the fund, any surplus is spent on improving member benefits.
  • Not-for-profit funds can have more flexible terms – conditions such as excesses, waiting periods and pre-existing conditions are sometimes reduced or waived altogether.

Is a not-for-profit fund right for you?

In a recent Finder survey, participants were asked if they would be more likely to choose a not-for-profit health insurer over a for-profit one. Not surprisingly 36.4% said yes, but more interestingly, 27.4% said they didn't know there were not-for-profit health insurers out there.

Before you rush out and look for a not-for-profit health fund to join, you should keep the following things in mind:

    • While most restricted funds are open to family members, this may be limited to immediate family only (ie, spouse and dependent children).
    • Previous employment in an industry can go back a number of years, so you may be eligible to join a restricted fund even if you haven’t worked in an industry for some time.
    • Membership of a restricted health fund can sometimes also give you access to other member benefits like industry super and life insurance.
    • Cheaper premiums should only be one consideration when looking at not-for-profit health funds. You also need to ensure the level of cover on offer is adequate for your needs.

Compare more health insurance options

In 5 clicks you can compare health cover available from Australian funds. To search for a not-for-profit fund, simply select funds and choose your provider on the results screen.

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