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Compare over 943 health insurance policies using our expert ratings. Find the best policy for you by viewing features, premiums, and more.

Health Insurance

Compare over 943 health insurance policies using our expert ratings.


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Latest News on Health Insurance

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Health insurance extras: will you be out of pocket?

Health insurance extras: will you be out of pocket?

May 29th, 2015

Every three months the Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC) publish their quarterly statistics, detailing how many people in Australia have private health insurance hospital covers, as well as extras coverage – and importantly, how much we claim. The top 10 health insurance extras we claim   As well as know what w...read more

The top 10 health insurance extras claims

The top 10 health insurance extras claims

Ancillary (or extras) health insurance policies are popular; according to the Private Health Insurance Adm...read more

Top tips to save a bundle on private health insurance

Top tips to save a bundle on private health insurance

Health insurance premiums went up by an average of 6.18% in April 2015, so it makes sense to ensure that the h...read more

Health insurance for students: our guide

Health insurance for students: our guide

Of all the insurance products you’ll need as a student, health insurance is probably the most important – and ...read more

About Private Health Insurance

About Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance is popular, with almost half of all Australians having hospital cover and more than half of all Australians having extras (or general treatment) cover. Trying to compare health insurance policies across hospital cover and extras cover can be difficult though, with Australians needing to consider pre-existing conditions, waiting periods, insurance excesses, family medical needs and of course cost.

It’s also important to understand the Medicare Levy Surcharge, Lifetime Health Cover benefits and penalties and Health Insurance Rebates that may apply. Sometime it could be tempting to simply choose a cheap health insurance policy and ignore the policy features.

Compare Health Insurance

With detailed analysis of more than 26,000 quotes from over 700 eligible health insurance products, canstar.com.au helps you to compare health insurance policies across hospital cover, extras cover and hospital and extras packages to find health insurance policies to suit your household needs and budget. Whether you’re looking for singles health insurance, couples health insurance, student health insurance, family cover or even overseas visitors health insurance, CANSTAR can help.

How do you Compare Health Insurance?

It’s about working out what health insurance issues are important to you. Some things to think about include:

  • What level of health insurance do you want?
  • What health insurance life stage are you? (for example single, couples, families)
  • What state do you live in?
  • What age range are you?

From there, CANSTAR can help you compare features and price of health insurance policies that could suit your needs.

Find out more about health insurance

We have plenty of fantastic resources to help you learn about and decide on what type of health insurance you want. Some useful general information includes:

HEALTH INSURANCE FAQs

HEALTH INSURANCE FAQs

Understanding private health insurance can be complex. As well as insurance policy inclusions, there are issues such as the Medicare Levy, the Medicare Levy Surcharge, the Private Health Insurance Rebate – and the means testing of the rebate and the Lifetime Healthcover Loading. Then there are the private health insurance policy conditions!

Fortunately CANSTAR can help you find that information. Here are a few health insurance FAQs you need.

Medicare Levy

The Medicare Levy is a levy charged to taxpayers who earn over a certain threshold. In July 2014 the Medicare Levy increased from 1.5% to 2%. The Australian Taxation Office has an excellent Medicare Levy Calculator you can use to estimate your costs.

Medicare Levy Calculator

Medicare Levy Surcharge

The Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) is an additional charge applied to Australian taxpayers who have an annual income over a certain amount and do not have private hospital cover. It is charged at a rate of up to 1.5%, depending on your level of taxable income.

Medicare Levy Surcharge explained

 Lifetime Health Cover

Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) is in place to encourage young people to take out health insurance and, in doing so, reduce the burden on the public health system.

The ‘encouragement’ comes in the form of a 2% increase in premiums per year for every year after your “base day” that you don’t take out private health insurance. In most cases, your Lifetime Health Cover base day is the later of 1 July 2000 or the 1st of July following your 31st birthday.

Lifetime Health Cover Loading explained

Health Insurance Rebate

In 1999, the federal government introduced a private health insurance rebate to help Australians with the cost of private health insurance premiums. In July 2012 this rebate began to be means-tested and the proportion of rebate that you receive is now dependent on your income threshold and your age. The range of rebate is from 0% to 40%.

Means testing of Private Health Insurance Rebate explained

More information

HEALTH INSURANCE FOR YOUR STAGE OF LIFE

HEALTH INSURANCE FOR YOUR STAGE OF LIFE

Health insurance policies are not a one-size-fits-all product. What you need from a health insurance fund can change according to your age and stage of life. For example, those who have completed their family are unlikely to still need obstetrics cover, or IVF treatment. Households with young children may need an extra focus on dental and optometry – just in case.

What are the main stages of life?

Canstar assesses the value of health insurance policies against 12 different stages of life. Click on the sections below for more information.

Young singles (male/female)

This profile caters to young to middle-aged singles (both male and female), no dependents and no immediate plans for children. While the average young singles do not consider themselves to be invincible, they are mostly concerned about having a safety net for hospital cover if they ever need it. Dental, optical, chiropractic and physiotherapy cover are also important areas of extras cover.

Young couples – non obstetrics

This profile covers young to middle-aged couples who don’t plan to have children or at least are postponing a family. They are looking for all-round cover from their health fund but don’t need to pay for obstetrics and IVF. A good hospital plan with extras like physiotherapy, dental, optical and chiropractic should provide all-round cover for this couple.

Couples/families with obstetrics

This profile covers young to middle-aged couples with a young child or children, as well as couples planning a family. This profile can be seen as growing families but like young singles, they are not yet concerned about cover for hip replacements and multi-focal lenses but are interested in cover for obstetrics and IVF, dental, optical, physiotherapy and chiropractic. Couples planning for children in the short-term should be taking out appropriate family cover now.

Young families – non obstetrics

This profile covers young to middle-aged couples with a young child or children, and who will not be extending the family. They are confident that they will not be needing obstetrics or IVF cover. These young families still have a distinct need for a range of hospital and extras cover for both the parents and the growing children.

Young single parents

This profile covers mostly young to middle-aged singles with a young child or children. The young parent is starting to think about cover they might need for their growing kids such as orthodontics but they are also thinking about other areas of cover they might have ignored when they were younger such as cardio-thoracic surgery. Dental, optical, physiotherapy and chiropractic cover are also important areas of extras cover.

Established single parents

This profile covers mostly middle-aged to mature singles with an older but still dependent child or children. These families have stopped growing so no longer need cover for obstetrics and IVF. The parent is starting to think about cover they might need for their growing kids such as orthodontics but they are also thinking about other areas of cover they might have ignored when they were younger such as cardio-thoracic surgery. Dental, optical, physiotherapy and chiropractic cover are also important areas of extras cover.

Established couples

This profile covers mostly middle-aged to mature couples who don’t plan to have children or at least are postponing a family. The couple have started to think about cover they might have ignored when they were younger such as cardio-thoracic surgery. Dental, optical, physiotherapy and chiropractic cover are also important areas of extras cover.

Established families

This profile covers mostly middle-aged to mature couples with an older but still dependent child or children. These families have stopped growing so no longer need cover for obstetrics and IVF. The parents are starting to think about cover they might need for growing kids such as orthodontics but are also thinking about other areas of cover they might have ignored when they were younger such as cardio-thoracic surgery. Dental, physiotherapy, optical and chiropractic cover are also important areas of extras cover.

Established singles (male/female)

This profile covers mostly middle-aged to mature singles (both male and female) with no dependents and no immediate plans for children. This profile has started to think about other areas of cover they might have ignored when they were younger such as cardio-thoracic surgery. Dental, optical, physiotherapy and chiropractic cover are also important areas of extras cover.

Mature Singles

This profile caters to mature singles (both male and female) that no longer have or never had dependent children. We did not wish to draw a finite line as far as the age where maturity begins but this profile is now more concerned with areas of cover such as cardio-thoracic surgery, hip replacements or multi-focal lenses. Due to the natural processes of aging, their health insurance requirements differ from that of young singles. Dental, optical, chiropractic and physiotherapy are also important areas of extras cover.

Mature couples

This profile caters to mature couples that no longer have or never had dependent children. This profile is more concerned with areas of cover such as cardio-thoracic surgery, hip replacements or multi-focal lenses. Due to the natural processes of aging their health insurance requirements differ from that of young singles. Dental, optical, chiropractic and physiotherapy are also important areas of extras cover.

Tax profile

This profile caters to singles looking for health insurance primarily to avoid tax implications associated with the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) and the lifetime loading. These individuals are not as concerned with the benefits of health insurance compared to those in the other profiles, however would prefer a low-cost hospital plan.

PRODUCTS WE RESEARCH AND RATE

Hospital cover

For a Hospital policy to be considered in CANSTAR’s ratings it needs to meet the following criteria:

  • Not be restricted to certain groups or a corporate policy
  • Not be a public hospital or public shared policy
  • Exempt the policy holder of Medicare Levy Surcharge
  • Available for new policy holders
  • Be approved by PHIO.

Hospital cover products will be rated across seven states/territories and 14 profiles so that consumers from any demographic will be able to identify a shortlist of five-star products that are best suited to their individual needs. Eligibility for each of the 98 state/territory-profile combinations will depend on product availability for the state/territory and whether the insurance cover is for singles, single parents or couples and families. Products nominated for families are also eligible to be compared in the single parent profile in accordance with sales practices of the private health insurance industry.

Extras cover

For an Extras policy to be considered in CANSTAR ratings it needs to meet the following criteria:

  • Not be restricted to certain groups or a corporate policy
  • Available for new policy holders
  • Be approved by PHIO.

Extras cover products will be rated across seven states/ territories and 13 profiles so that consumers from any demographic will be able to identify a shortlist of five-star products that are best suited to their individual needs. Eligibility for each of the 91 state-profile combinations will depend on product availability for the state and whether the insurance cover is for singles, single parents or couples and families. Products nominated for families are also eligible to be compared in the single parent profile in accordance with sales practices of the private health insurance industry.

Package Cover

To be included in a states/territory star ratings a health fund (fund) is required to have a minimum market share of 0.4% in that particular state/territory or have a minimum of 5% of its total policies in that particular state/territory. Should a fund not meet either criterion, it will be entered into its “home state” only.

Packaged hospital and extras cover products are rated across seven states/territories and 13 profiles so that consumers from any demographic will be able to identify a shortlist of five-star products that are best suited for their individual needs. Eligibility for each of the 91 state-profile combinations depends on product availability for the state and whether the insurance cover is for singles, single parents or couples and families. Products nominated for families are also eligible to be compared in the single parent profile in accordance with sales practices of the private health insurance industry.

Providers we compare

  • ahm Health Insurance
  • APIA
  • Australian Unity Health Limited
  • Budget Direct
  • Bupa
  • CDH Benefits Fund
  • CUA Health Limited
  • Central West Health Cover
  • Frank Health Insurance
  • GMF Health
  • GMHBA Health Insurance
  • HBF Health Limited
  • HCF (The Hospitals Contribution Fund of Australia Limited)
  • HIF
  • Peoplecare Health Insurance
  • Latrobe Health Services
  • Medibank
  • MILDURA DISTRICT HOSPITAL FUND LTD
  • NIB Health Insurance
  • Queensland Country Health Fund Ltd
  • RACT Health Insurance
  • St.Lukes Health
  • Health Partners
  • Westfund Health