Every year Canstar researches and rates extras only polices as part of its annual Health Insurance Star Ratings. To recognise health funds that deliver outstanding value for this type of cover, Canstar presents state awards to the top performing extras only providers in each state/territory.
State awards are based on a fund’s performance score (price and features) across different profiles (singles, couples and families) and varying levels of cover. Read Canstar’s Health Insurance Star Ratings Methodology for more information on how it rates and awards health insurance products.
Extras policies on Canstar
The table below displays a snapshot of extras only health insurance policies on Canstar’s database, with links to providers’ websites, sorted by monthly premium (lowest to highest). Please note the monthly premium estimates displayed are based on a couple in NSW.
These results only show a snapshot of the total market. To access policies tailored to your needs and circumstances, visit our health insurance policies with extras comparison table:
Extras State Award – 2017 Winners
Medibank – Queensland, Tasmania, Northern Territory
In 2017, Medibank was a Canstar State Award winner for Extras Cover in Queensland, Tasmania and Northern Territory.
The table below displays a snapshot of Medibank’s extras only health insurance policies on Canstar’s database, sorted by monthly premium (highest to lowest). Please note the monthly premium estimates displayed are based on couples in Queensland.
HCF – NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia
In 2017, HCF was a Canstar State Award winner for Extras Cover in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia.
The table below displays a snapshot of HCF’s extras only health insurance policies on Canstar’s database, sorted by monthly premium (highest to lowest). Please note the monthly premium estimates displayed are based on couples in NSW.
What extras are included in an Extras Cover policy?
For a brief summary of some of the different types of medical services and benefits offered by extras cover click here. Note that not all policies cover all benefits, and their levels of cover may not be the same. Read the relevant product disclosure statement (PDS) to find out what cover a particular policy includes.
What are the most popular extras policies?
According to a report by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), there were more than 6.5 million extras cover health insurance policies in force in Australia at the end of December 2016, covering more than 13.4 million people. Based on the amount paid out, the top four most popular types of extras claims in 2016 were:
- General & major dental
An analysis of the thousands of visitors to Canstar’s health insurance selector earlier this year shows our results are not all that different. Our top four types of extras cover are:
- General & major dental
Health insurance for general & major dental
Canstar has recently prepared a guide to our top health insurance policies that cover dental procedures. You can view the article here for more information.
Health insurance for massages
Likewise, you can also check out our guide for extras policies that cover massages.
How much does extras cover cost?
The cost of any extras policy will vary significantly depending on the inclusions you want and the provider you choose, but we can make an estimate. Canstar’s Health Insurance Star Ratings research in 2017 revealed the average annual costs of an extras only policy:
What are the waiting periods on extras cover?
The typical waiting periods for extras or ancillary cover, according to the Public Health Insurance Ombudsman, are the following:
- Two months for benefits for general dental services
- Six months for benefits for optical items (glasses or
- 12 months for benefits for major dental procedures
such as crowns or bridges
- One, two or three years for some high-cost procedures
such as orthodontics
Once waiting periods are served and you maintain that cover in your policy you do not have to serve the waiting period again. Even when you switch providers, you won’t need to re-serve waiting periods on the same level of cover. Certain health funds might also restrict the total amount you can claim by setting a claimable maximum each year or by applying individual service limits.
Is extras cover right for you?
APRA states that 55% of the population has some form of general or extras cover as of June 2017, which is actually a decrease of more than 19,000 people. However, many of these people may not actually need it. You could be paying more to your health insurance provider for the cover than you’re getting back in benefits. Around $400 on average is paid out in benefits per year, while some policies can cost upwards of $1,000.
Therefore, it is wise to make sure you only take out extras cover for things you need. For example, be careful of taking out acupuncture cover unless you feel like there’s a strong chance you’ll book in for an acupuncture treatment sometime in the future.
On the other hand, extras cover can be great value if you know you’ll require ongoing treatment for certain conditions. For example, remedial massages are a great remedy for people who suffer from chronic muscle pain, so you could take out an extras policy with remedial massage cover if this is you.
If you want to work out whether your extras policy is giving you good value for money, request an annual claims statement from your provider, which will show the total benefits received in that financial year. If you’re switching or want to open a new policy, then have a look at what’s available in Canstar’s comparison tables: