12 Best Health Insurance Companies in Australia

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  • Private health cover gives you more freedom of choice, access to additional low-cost care and services and potential tax savings.
  • The best private health insurance companies in Australia offer many plans and have a reputation for good customer service.
  • Consider waiting periods, network sizes and any special features when choosing an insurer.
  • Obtaining multiple quotes is the best way to find affordable coverage.
  • Buying private health cover before the age of 31 may allow you to pay less as you grow older.

Because of Medicare cover, many Australians believe they don’t need private health insurance, but there are advantages to paying for a policy out-of-pocket.1 Private plans may pay for medications, procedures, dental care, and optical services that Medicare doesn’t cover and give you the freedom to choose the hospital, doctors and specialists that treat you if you’re ever hospitalized. In addition, you may be able to avoid paying the Medicare surcharge levy or qualify for a tax rebate by using private insurance to pay for care.

Are you ready to find a health insurance plan that suits your budget and needs? First, you need to know which health insurance companies are the best. The following are just a few of Australia’s top health insurance providers. Obtaining quotes from multiple companies can help you secure private health insurance for the best possible price.

1. Medibank

Originally established as a government-run, not-for-profit insurance company in 1976, Medibank is one of the most well-known insurers in Australia.2 In 2009, the company shifted from public to private but has remained a trusted name in the industry and boasts the largest market share in the industry.3 With multiple hospitals and extras plans to choose from, Medibank offers solutions for nearly every budget. The company consistently earns high marks for its phone support and offers policies with no waiting periods. It also features one of the largest networks of participating health providers.

2. Bupa

Bupa ranks second in terms of market share in the private insurance industry and has more than four million members. Members gain access to a network of providers across many specialties. In addition, Bupa partners with dentists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, and podiatrists, making it more affordable to seek care from these health providers that some other plans don’t cover. The company offers a diverse assortment of hospital and extras plans and staffs a 24/7 multilingual medical helpline that subscribers can use to get advice about their healthcare needs.4

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3. AHM

AHM is a smaller health insurance company that has earned a reputation for making private cover more affordable and easier to obtain. The company’s rates are often lower than those of competitors and previously earned it the Canstar Outstanding Value Award for Health Insurance. Through AHM’s online application website, applicants can answer a few questions, get policy recommendations and apply for cover in less than five minutes. Plus, dental, optical and physiotherapy are included in most plans, and waiting periods tend to be short.5

4. Qantas

If the potential benefits of private health cover haven’t fully swayed you to apply, Qantas may provide that extra perk to convince you. For every dollar a subscriber spends on their monthly premiums, they earn one frequent flyer point on Qantas airlines. This benefit is included with every policy the private insurer offers, and many plans award a large Frequent Flyer point bonus upon enrollment. Signing up for hospitalization and extras at the same time can eliminate waiting periods to get cover in place more quickly.6

5. HBF

HBF ranks high in customer satisfaction with the lowest rate of complaints compared to its market share size. The not-for-profit health fund doesn’t answer to shareholders and is able to offer plans at a much lower cost than some competitors as a result. People can apply for cover online and get instant advice on which plans are most in line with their needs. Once they’re signed up, they can manage their account and file claims easily using the myHBF website and HBF Health mobile app.7

6. HCF

HCF is the largest not-for-profit health fund in Australia and stands out for paying out claims at a rate above the industry average. All its hospital plans provide more benefits than what the law requires, giving subscribers access to more benefits. The company offers cover for a wide range of mental health services not included with some other plans and provides up to 100 percent cover on dental, osteopathic, chiropractic and physiotherapy with many policies. Plus, the company rewards loyal members with discounts for groceries, travel and more.8

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7. nib

Private insurer nib makes managing health insurance simpler. In addition to offering a members’ website and mobile app, the company makes it possible for subscribers to connect their accounts to Alexa or Google Home. Once set up, this feature lets them receive health tips, ask health-related questions and check the status of their claims just by speaking. To make cover more affordable, nib offers discounts for those under 30 years of age and members who sign up for direct debit.9

8. Teachers Health

Education staff and their families can receive discounted private cover rates through Teachers Health. This not-for-profit health fund offers many hospital and extras policies, some of which have no waiting period for coverage to begin. All members gain access to dental and eye care through the plan’s six Teachers Health Centres. To manage their health insurance, subscribers can use the online portal or the member’s app. Those who wish to enquire about coverage can obtain a free quote in less than a minute.10

9. Defence Health Fund

Defence Health Fund is a not-for-profit fund that provides private health insurance cover to current members of the Australian Defence Force and their families as well as for people who previously served or are related to current or former service members. The company has received multiple customer satisfaction awards and pays out more in benefits than many competitors. Many plans give subscribers the flexibility to choose any health care provider they choose without having to worry about network participation.11

10. GMHBA

For those worried about choosing the wrong health plan, GMHBA is an excellent choice due to its money-back guarantee. If a subscriber finds within 60 days that their cover isn’t a good fit, and they have yet to file a claim, they can cancel their policy, and any money paid is refunded. The not-for-profit insurer makes switching cover simple as well. Once an applicant finds the right policy for their needs, the customer service department completes the paperwork necessary for switching and applies any accrued time toward the subscriber’s previous plan’s wait period to their new policy.12

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11. CBHS Health

Current and former employees of Commonwealth Bank can gain low-cost private health cover through CBHS Health. The insurer offers a Hospital in the Home program to help older adults remain in their residences for longer and Chronic Disease Management services to coordinate care for individuals who have complex medical conditions. Its customer service team handles switch paperwork and honours previous waiting period days to get a subscriber’s cover into effect more quickly. Plus, members gain access to discounts on contact lenses and eyeglasses.13

12. Australian Unity

Australian Unity gives members access to a large network of health providers, increasing freedom of choice when it comes to medical care. With any of the company’s hospitals and extra plans, subscribers can gain access to the No Gap Dental Network, which provides 100 percent rebates on all preventative dental care services. Members also earn Wellplan Rewards redeemable for groceries, movie tickets, petrol and more. If an applicant is switching from another company, Australian Unity honours their previous waiting period as some of its competitors do.14

Buying Private Health Insurance Early Can Help You Save

Many younger people believe that paying for private health insurance is a waste because they’re less likely to suffer from conditions that require hospitalization. While this may be true, getting private health insurance cover before the age of 31 can set subscribers up for big savings through the Lifetime Health Cover program.15 Under this scheme, anyone aged 30 or younger who continuously maintains health insurance coverage isn’t subject to LHC loading. As a result, their premium prices don’t increase due to their age.