Private health insurance has become popular in Australia as it gives more choices in healthcare, faster treatment, government incentives, and tax rebates.
More than 30 insurers offer around 3,500 health insurance products in Australia. Depending on the circumstances, people can choose from more than 100 health insurance policies.
The various features and coverage benefits make it difficult for beginners to find the best policy that suits their needs. This comprehensive guide presents information and tips on choosing the best private health insurance in Australia.
1. What Is Private Health Insurance?
Private health insurances cover the full or partial cost of health treatments and services. In exchange for the coverage, one must pay policy premiums fortnightly, monthly, or annually to maintain their insurance coverage.
The insurance can provide coverage for health treatments in a public or private hospital, enable the insured to choose their choice of hospital and doctor, and provide coverage for health services not covered by Medicare.
Private Health insurance helps you avoid long waiting lists for treatments.
2. How Many Private Health Insurance Companies Are in Australia?
There are 37 private health insurance companies In Australia. Not all funds are available to the public, as a few are limited to a group of people. For example, the Doctors Health fund only covers members of the healthcare community and their family members.
Here is a list of restricted and open health insurance providers in Australia:
Open For All:
HCF Private Health Insurance
Bupa HI Pty Ltd
AHM health insurance
Latrobe Health Services
Medibank Private Health Insurance
Australian Unity Health
AIA Health Insurance Pty Limited
CBHS Corporate Health Pty Limited
Nib Health Funds
CDH Benefits Fund
Health Care Insurance
Health Insurance Fund of Australia
Mildura Health Fund
National Health Benefits Australia Pty Ltd
Peoplecare Health Insurance
Queensland Country Health Fund Ltd
Transport Health Pty Ltd
Phoenix Health Fund
Restricted Health Insurance Funds:
ACA Health Benefits Fund
Defence Health Limited
Reserve Bank Health Society Ltd
Doctors' Health Fund
CBHS Health Fund Limited
Nurses & Midwives Health
Railway and Transport Health Fund Limited
Navy Health Ltd
TUH Health Fund
3. What Are The Types Of Private Health Insurance In Australia?
There are two health insurance policies: Hospital Cover and Extras Cover. Where Hospital Cover pays for the treatment expenses you incur as an in-patient, Extras Cover pays for out-patient services such as ocular, dental, physiotherapy, and remedial massages.
You can buy them separately or as a combined product with your health provider and enjoy more coverage.
In some states, health insurers also provide a third type of policy called "Ambulance cover". It offers monetary compensation for ambulance services during an emergency or non-emergency case. Some covers include it in extras or under the hospital cover.
4. What Is A Waiting Period In A Health Insurance Policy?
A waiting period is a pre-determined time that covers you only for an illness or treatment after a specific period has passed. Check your policy document to find the exact waiting period.
You don't have to wait a second time if you have served the waiting period without terminating the policy cover.
5. What Are The Benefits Of Buying Health Insurance?
There are numerous benefits of having a health insurance policy. Some of these are:
Protect from financial loss due to health emergencies
Covered for both in-patient and out-patient expenses
Lessen out-of-pocket expenses
Convenient access to medical treatments
Free yearly medical checks ups to track your health
It covers individuals (children, teens, adults, and old) and families
6. What Are Health Insurance Extras?
"Extras cover" offers financial cover for out-of-hospital medical care that includes the following:
7. What Is The Best Private Health Insurance For Families In Australia?
Private health insurers present a range of health policies to match the needs of families at different stages.
It is vital to pay attention to the following key features that might benefit you and your family:
Based on your budget and life stage, find a suitable family health insurance policy to get financial protection and mental peace against any unexpected situation.
8. What Is The Cheapest Health Insurance In Australia?
The insurer and product level determine the health insurance premium. The best way to find a cheap health insurance policy is to compare premium quotes from different providers based on your coverage requirements.
Ensure that you get the necessary hospital/extras covered in the policy. Also, read the inclusions and exclusions for every insurance policy.
Most cheap health insurance options offer a Basic level hospital policy. It gives you less coverage than other health plans such as bronze, silver, or gold. Checking the cover limits and excess of the insurance policy is vital when making a decision.
Here are our top five picks for the cheapest health insurance policies in Australia:
|Policy Name||Hospital Tier||Excess per Hospital Admission||Approx. Monthly Premium||Hospital Inclusions
HCF Hospital Bronze Plus
HCF My Future
|HCF Hospital Bronze Plus (With Optical)||
|Basic Hospital Plus Excess & Basic Extras||
|Medibank Health Insurance Bronze every day & Essential Extras||
9. What Are The Best Health Insurances In Australia?
It is vital to compare health insurance in Australia on various parameters. These include market share, types of policies offered, features, sum guaranteed, premiums, and customer satisfaction ratings.
According to the best private health insurance reviews, the top five companies for market share are HCF, Bupa, Medibank, Nib, and HBF. The premiums for a Basic Hospital policy covering a single adult range between $101.35 and $129.94 monthly, depending on the insurer you choose.
Below is a comparison of top health insurance companies in Australia to make it easier to find the best one:
Medibank Health Insurance
26.9% market share
The best private health insurance in NSW, Nine Hospital, plans an estimated starting premium of $101.80 per month.
21 Extras policies with an estimated starting premium of approx. $26.50
Waiting periods: 0 days to 36 months based on the type of illness
Type of products: Medibank Silver Plus Assured, Medibank Healthy Start Extras, and Medibank Bronze Plus Progress + Essential Extras
Bupa Private Health Insurance
25.4% market share
Trusted by over 4 million customers in Australia
The best private health insurance in Western Australia
Six different Hospital Cover plans with premiums starting from $101.35 monthly and 21 Extras policies with starting premiums at $26.70 per month.
Two months to three years waiting period depending on the type and condition of your coverage
HCF Health Insurance
11.7% market share
The best private health insurance near Sydney NSW
The largest not-for-profit private health insurance provider in Australia
100% back on dental services
According to APRA statistics, it consistently reimburses more benefits than the industry average.
Bronze plus policy covers 26 treatments, and Silver plus covers 30 treatments.
Seven Hospital policies with starting monthly premiums of $102.30 and 5 Extras cover options with premiums starting at $12.70 per month.
Between 2 to 12 months waiting period
Types of Health Insurance Products offered: HCF Starter Extras starting from $12.70 per month, HCF Mid Extras starting from $32.00 per month, and HCF Hospital Standard Silver Plus starting from $116.15 per month.
Nib Private Health Insurer
9.2% market share
Five Hospital policies with premiums starting from $107.55 monthly and 4 Extras options available at a monthly premium of $43.97
Offers Rewards programme that gives discounts at leading retail stores and access to exclusive programs for those who live healthy lifestyles
One day to 12 months waiting period
HBF Private Health Insurance
7.3% market share
One of the most significant not-for-profit funds in Australia
The Commonwealth Ombudsman's State of the Health Funds Report 2020 recorded the lowest number of complaints in comparison to the market share of any significant health fund.
Seven different Hospital policies with starting premiums of $102.45 each month and 13 various Extras cover with premiums starting at $22.95 per month.
Seven days to 12 months Waiting periods
Great value hospital policies: HBF Basic Hospital Plus: From $76.52 per month, HBF Bronze Hospital Plus: From $90.13 per month, and HBF Gold Hospital: From $176.57 per month
10. How To Choose The Best Private Health Insurance In Australia?
Finding the right private health insurance may be a complicated and challenging process. With some research and planning, you can choose a cover that works for you.
Here are the four essential steps to finding the right insurance:
Step 1: Understand The Type Of Plan
There are plenty of private health insurance funds competing for your business. Before buying any health funds, you must be clear about how much coverage you need and what you can afford.
Pay attention to important factors. These include an existing health condition, being prone to a genetic health condition, planning to extend your family, or nearing an age where you need more health assistance.
Once you have evaluated your needs, understand the type of plans available in the market:
Step 2: Find The Right Product Tier
Find insurance that offers services that are of use to you. You may find services offered in the basic or bronze hospital cover and don't necessarily need expensive higher-tiered products.
Gold and Silver products are comprehensively designed and meet almost all health requirements. Also, a combined policy that includes extra and hospital cover can be a good option for those seeking peace of mind.
Take time to evaluate Extras covers to find the ones you need, such as physiotherapy and dental check-ups. It will prevent you from wasting money on cash services you would not need. Consult a doctor to find the essential services you should look for in an insurance plan.
Here are some of the top-rated plans under different categories:
Best Gold Health Insurance
Bupa Gold Hospital's $500 excess
HCF Gold Hospital $500 excess
Phoenix Health Fund Gold Complete $500 excess
Best Silver health insurance
Bupa Mid Hospital $500 Excess – Silver Plus
CUA Standard Hospital Silver Plus $500 Excess
NIB Silver Hospital $500 excess
Best Bronze health Insurance
Health.com.au Base Hospital (Bronze +) $500 excess
HBF Health Limited Bronze Hospital Plus $500 excess
HCF Hospital Bronze Pus $500 Excess
Step 3: Learn About Discounts And Rebates
The Federal Government provides several incentives to attract people to buy private medical coverage. Some of these include:
Step 4: Don't Buy And Forget
Evaluate your insurance needs from time to time. Consider choosing an additional cover or feature if you need it.
Suppose your existing policy is expensive or offers fewer benefits than other competitive plans in the market. In that case, you can even consider switching to a better insurance provider.
Insurance terms and conditions can change with time. Assess the policy documents to stay updated with benefits and service changes in the existing policy, such as exclusions and restrictions, waiting periods, gaps, and other charges when accessing benefits.
There is no single health insurance that is appropriate for everyone. As health requirements, family size, and budget of everyone are different, policy cover varies. The best private health insurance is the one you can afford and offers the required coverage.
We hope the above information has helped you learn how to compare private health insurance on many factors and find the best plan that meets your needs.
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