Which is the best health insurer for extras?

Richard Laycock 8 March 2018 NEWS

Optical getting better value

Looking for a new health fund in March 2018? Compare which health insurers offer the most back on extras.

It's March, which means chances are you're considering moving to a new health fund before prices rise by an industry average of 3.95% on 1 April 2018. But how will you know if the fund you're moving to is any better than your current provider?

Each year the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO) releases the State of the Health Funds Report (SOHFR), which looks at an array of indicators for the performance and service of all health funds including complaints, benefits returned to members and the amount covered for various extras treatments.

If you, like most people, use your private health insurance to claim more on extras than hospital, this article may help you with your decision about which health fund to switch to.

The report looks at the average amount of costs covered by each fund for dental, optical, physiotherapy, chiropractic, pharmacy, podiatry, natural therapies, ambulance, acupuncture, psychology/group therapy, preventative health, hearing aids and audiology, and occupational therapy.

Out of the open membership funds GU Corporate covered the most on average, covering 71.67% of costs, followed by Health.com.au (58.94%) and nib (54.95%). Out of the restricted funds, it was Reserve Bank (74.58%), Police Health (69.19%) and Emergency Services (64.26%).

Fund% of average costs covered
GU Corporate71.67%
Health.com.au58.94%
nib54.95%
HBF54.05%
St.Lukes53.12%
HCI52.29%
GMHBA52.15%
CBHS Corporate51.81%
Medibank51.56%
Phoenix51.17%
Australian Unity50.56%
Onemedifund50.41%
Average costs covered by open membership funds50.22%
Peoplecare50.02%
CUA Health49.41%
Westfund49.09%
Transport Health48.16%
Health Partners48.15%
QCH47.97%
HCF46.92%
BUPA46.00%
MDHF44.81%
CDH42.83%
HIF41.81%
Latrobe36.90%
Fund% of average costs covered
Reserve Bank74.58%
Police Health69.19%
Emergency Services64.26%
Average costs covered by restricted membership funds57.02%
ACA56.45%
Navy Health56.20%
Nurses and Midwives54.38%
Defence Health53.60%
TUH53.01%
Teachers Health51.74%
CBHS49.66%
RT Health Fund49.65%
Doctors' Health45.83%

Source: State of the Health Funds Report 2017

The above is just the overall average of 13 extras benefits, so let's get specific. If you want to claim for dental your best bet might be GU Corporate, which covers on average 74.80%, followed by St.Lukes (64.30%) and MDHF (62.30%). If it's optical you're after, the top three funds were St.Lukes (67.80%), Medibank (67.70%) and GU Corporate (67.10%).

To check out how each fund performed for each of the 13 sections, use the interactive graph below.

If you're eligible to join a restricted fund, here's how they all fared:

Not sure you're with the right fund for your extras needs? Rather than ditch your cover, compare your options and find the fund that's right for you.

Find out which health fund has the extras you want

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Picture: Shutterstock

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