Couple comparing online health insurance

Online Health Insurance

Buying health insurance online? Learn more about how to compare policies on the web.

If you are looking for health insurance for yourself or your entire family, it’s easy to compare a wide range of policies online and choose one that matches your needs. Buying online is also becoming an increasingly popular way to obtain cover, with Roy Morgan Research revealing that the popularity of purchasing health insurance online rose from 18.8% in March 2013 to 22.9% in December 2013.

But what are the benefits of buying cover online and how can you find the right policy for you? Let’s take a closer look.

Health insurance policies currently offered by leading health funds


Why look for health insurance online?

There are plenty of reasons why it makes sense to shop for health insurance online, including:

  • Convenience. Shopping online allows you to compare your health insurance options whenever and wherever it’s convenient for you to do so.
  • Information at your fingertips. You can quickly and easily access the product disclosure statements of many different health insurance policies, allowing you to work out what each policy does and does not cover.
  • Choice. When you shop for health insurance online, you can quickly and easily compare policy options from a wide range of Australian health insurance providers. This allows you to research the market and choose the policy that is the best fit for you.
  • Discounts. Some health funds offer premium discounts when you purchase cover online.
  • Transparent quotes. Buying health insurance online allows you to compare quotes from a variety of health funds. This ensures transparency and allows you to determine which policy offers the best value for money.
  • Access to assistance. Need help finding the right health fund? You can access online live chat or email help from insurance comparison websites, insurance brokers or the insurers themselves.

What are the pros and cons of getting a policy online?

  • The upsides of purchasing your health insurance online include:
    • Convenience. Buying health insurance online allows you to compare cover features and options, obtain quotes and research insurers all without leaving your couch.
    • Ability to compare multiple providers. When you shop for cover online, you can quickly and easily compare the policies offered by multiple private health funds around Australia.
    • Obtain quotes easily. Shopping online provides a simple way to obtain quotes from several health funds and see how they stack up against one another.
    • Customise your cover. Many health funds offer user-friendly websites with tools that help you choose a policy based on your budget, the type of cover you want or the level of protection you need.
  • However, there are downsides to be aware such as:
    • Being less personalised. Some people prefer the personalised service and assistance that is only available when you shop for health insurance in person.
    • More likely to be confusing. Buying cover online can be confusing if you don’t understand how private health insurance and Australia’s health care system work.

How can finder.com.au help me compare health insurance online?

Here at finder.com.au, we’ve joined forces with some of Australia’s leading health funds so that you can compare a wide range of cover options all in the one place. There are three ways you can compare cover:

  • Using the adviser form.
  • Comparing online and then going to the provider’s website.
  • Receiving a direct quote from the health insurer.

These three methods are explained in more detail below. Simply select an option to learn more.

Using the adviser form

This form allows you to get in touch with an insurance consultant for an obligation-free discussion about your health insurance options. All you have to do is provide a few simple details and hit “Enquire now” and you will be contacted by a consultant who can help you compare a range of health insurance providers.

To fill out the form you will need to provide:

  • Your full name
  • Your email address and phone number
  • Your state or territory
  • Your age
  • Whether or not you are currently insured

Comparing online and then going to the provider’s website

If you choose this second option, available with insurers such as HIF, you can review and compare information about a health fund’s policies at finder.com.au. We’ve gathered a range of information on the cover options available, what each policy covers, who the policy is designed for and any excesses that apply.

Once you’ve compared your options and found a policy that you would like more information about, click on the relevant “Get Quote” link for that policy. You will be redirected to the health fund’s website where you can find more details about the policy and also request a quote.

Reviewing the policy and using the direct contact form

This third option, available with insurers such as health.com.au, allows you to contact the insurer directly for more information. Once you’ve browsed the details we’ve provided about the fund’s policy options, including what each policy covers and the type of member they’re designed for, you can send an enquiry form direct from finder.com.au to the insurer.

All you have to do is provide the following details and then click “Enquire Now”:

  • Your full name
  • Your email address and phone number
  • Your state or territory
  • Your age
  • Your lifestage (single, couple, family or single parent)

Tips for buying health insurance online

Keep the following tips in mind to ensure that you find the right health insurance policy online:

  • Understand how health insurance works. Finding private health insurance can be confusing. Check out our database of articles for details on how private health insurance works in Australia, what the difference is between hospital and extras cover and how private health insurance complements the subsidised medical services available under Medicare.
  • Consider your cover needs. Before you start hunting around for a policy, take the time to think about exactly what you want your health insurance cover to provide. Are you looking for the lowest level of cover available that will allow you to take advantage of tax breaks? Do you want a policy that provides cover for specific services, for example, pregnancy or assisted reproductive treatments? Or do you want high-level cover that provides complete peace of mind?
  • Consider your budget. Think about how much you can comfortably afford to pay for private health insurance. Once you know your budget, you can start comparing policies and get a clearer picture of what you can purchase with the money.
  • Compare multiple policies. Don’t just settle for the first policy you come across. Instead, compare the features and exclusions of multiple policies to see which one offers the cover you need at the right price.
  • Read the fine print. Look past the promotional material and marketing gimmicks to get down to the nitty gritty of each policy. Check out the product disclosure statement for in-depth information about what’s covered and to what level, as well as what services and treatments are restricted or excluded. Also make sure that you’re aware of any excesses or co-payments that apply.
  • Compare quotes. Obtain quotes from several insurers and see how they compare. However, remember that cost should never be your only consideration when choosing a policy; you must also consider the features and exclusions of each policy.
  • Look for ways to save. From online discounts to family discounts and even special offers from a health fund’s retail partners, look for ways that you can save money on private health insurance. For example, you could enjoy substantial savings simply by purchasing a hospital cover policy and extras cover from separate health funds.
  • Review cover regularly. Your cover needs change regularly and health funds are improving their policies all the time. That’s why it makes sense to review your cover once every 12 months and make sure you still have an adequate level of protection in place.

Ready to dive into online health insurance? Compare and get policy help from an adviser

Picture: Shutterstock

Richard Laycock

Richard is the Insurance Editor at finder, and has been wrangling insurance Product Disclosure Statements for the last 4 years. When he’s not helping Aussies make sense of the fine print, he can be found testing the quality of Aperol Spritzes in his new found home of New York. Richard studied Journalism at Macquarie University and The Missouri School of Journalism, and has a Tier 1 certification in General Advice for Life Insurance. He has also been published in CSO Australia and Dynamic Business.

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