Which health insurers offer outstanding value in 2021?

ALASDAIR DUNCAN
If you’re looking for a health insurance policy that can offer you value for money but doesn’t sacrifice the quality of your coverage, Canstar’s Health Insurance Star Ratings and Awards could be a good place to start.

The price that Aussie consumers pay for health insurance has been steadily increasing for some time. In fact, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) recently noted that premiums have increased more rapidly than incomes over the past decade.

Many Aussies will have seen their private health premiums go up twice in the space of six months, after the regular price increase in April 2021, and an earlier one in October 2020, with insurers delaying 2020 price increases due to COVID-19.

With the price of premiums on the way up, you may well be considering whether it’s time to switch health insurance providers, and trying to find a policy that can offer you a competitive price without compromising on inclusions and features.

Canstar has analysed 2,735 hospital policies, 2,822 extras policies and 12,106 package policy combinations from 26 health insurers to find the ones that offer Aussie consumers the best value for money in 2021.

Canstar’s Health Insurance Awards recognise up to three insurers nationally and one insurer in each individual state or territory per policy type, and are based on overall performance across a range of consumer profiles.

How were health insurance policies assessed?

Canstar Research analyses and compares both the price and features of health insurance products across three separate product types – hospital cover, extras cover and combined hospital and extras packages.

When calculating the Price Score, Canstar looks at the net cost of each policy – that is, the policy’s premium (less any age-based discounts or government rebate applicable), plus any excess or out-of-pocket costs payable under the scenarios defined in the methodology.

The Feature Score considers the ‘journey’ of a potential customer signing up with a health fund, taking into account the application and payment process, coverage, the customer service availability and accessibility, and claims and cancellation processes.

The Feature Score considers the number of services that are included with a policy, as well as the health fund’s agreement network, or the number of private hospitals and day surgeries who have agreed not to charge a gap fee.

Canstar recognises that consumers have different needs when it comes to choosing their health insurance policy. Because of this, our methodology takes into account a range of needs based on a consumer’s life stage, family structure, gender and level of coverage (known as profiles).

For more information on how Canstar’s Health Insurance Awards are determined, view the methodology report.

Health Insurance Award Winners – National

The following providers (listed in alphabetical order) have received Canstar’s National Outstanding Value Health Insurance Award for 2021.

ahm

ahm joins the winners of the national Health Insurance Award this year, having performed particularly strongly in the extras category.

HCF

HFC has won the national Award for the sixth consecutive year, and performed particularly strongly in the area of hospital cover, where it picked up awards in almost every state and territory.

Medibank

Medibank has won the national Health Insurance Award for the 14th year in a row, and was a strong performer this year in the area of combined hospital and extras coverage.

Health Insurance Award Winners – State/Territory

The following insurers received Canstar’s state- and territory-based Outstanding Value Health Insurance Awards for 2021 for their hospital, extras or packaged hospital and extras policies.

New South Wales

  • HCF (Hospital)
  • HCF (Extras)
  • HCF (Package)

Northern Territory

  • HCF (Hospital)
  • HCF (Extras)
  • HCF (Package)

Queensland

  • HCF (Hospital)
  • ahm (Extras)
  • Medibank (Package)

South Australia

  • HCF (Hospital)
  • ahm (Extras)
  • HCF (Package)

Tasmania

  • HCF (Hospital)
  • HCF (Extras)
  • HCF (Package)

Victoria

  • Latrobe (Hospital)
  • ahm (Extras)
  • Latrobe (Package)

Western Australia

  • HCF (Hospital)
  • HCF (Extras)
  • HCF (Package)

If you are comparing health insurance, you might also want to read about our 2021 Most Satisfied Customers – Health Insurer Award. Canstar’s Customer Satisfaction Awards are based on how content customers are with their provider and complement the Star Ratings and Awards calculated by our expert researchers.

Cover image source: TimeImage Production/Shutterstock.com


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This content was reviewed by Sub Editor Jacqueline Belesky and Finance and Lifestyle Editor Shay Waraker as part of our fact-checking process.


Alasdair has more than 15 years of experience as a journalist, and he specialises in property and lifestyle topics for Canstar. He has a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Queensland and has lectured at QUT. His work has appeared in outlets including Pedestrian.TV, the ABC and Junkee.

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