Comparing Family Health Insurance Policies in Australia: Which is Best for You?

It can be a challenge to find the perfect balance between work, family, and finances.

And let’s be honest, keeping our loved ones healthy and happy is always top priority.


Australia’s public healthcare system is fantastic, but sometimes a little extra support can go a long way.

That’s where private health insurance comes in – it can help you save on out-of-pocket expenses, give you more control over your treatment options, and even cover services that Medicare doesn’t.

But, with so many family health insurance options out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

This guide is designed to help you navigate the different types of cover, what to look for when comparing plans, and where to find the resources you need to make an informed decision.

The truth is this – when you understand what your family needs and compare policies effectively, you will be able to find the perfect cost-effective health insurance plan to keep your loved ones safe, happy, and healthy – without breaking the bank!


Let’s delve into the different “tiers” of family health insurance offered by providers in Australia.

These tiers essentially represent the level of cover you receive, impacting both the benefits and the cost.

  • Gold Cover: This top tier offers the most comprehensive coverage for hospital treatment, including private rooms, a wider choice of specialists, and potentially lower out-of-pocket expenses. However, it comes with the highest premium cost.
  • Silver Cover: Silver plans provide a good balance between coverage and affordability. They typically cover a range of hospital treatments in shared rooms, with some limitations on specialists.
  • Bronze Cover: Bronze policies offer a more basic level of hospital cover, often focusing on essential procedures. Premiums are generally lower, but out-of-pocket expenses might be higher.
  • Basic Cover: These plans may provide limited hospital cover or focus solely on extras cover, which we’ll discuss next.


Now that you understand the tiers of cover, let’s differentiate between the two main types of family health insurance in Australia:


Imagine being faced with a medical emergency or needing surgery – it’s stressful enough without worrying about the costs!

That’s where Hospital Cover comes in – your financial safety net in times of need.

This essential component of your health insurance helps cover the costs associated with:

  • Hospital admissions (including emergency department fees)
  • Surgery and theater fees
  • Accommodation costs (like a private room or ICU care)
  • Specialist fees (like anesthetists, surgeons, and other medical professionals)

With Hospital Cover, you can focus on getting better, not worrying about the bills.


Extras Cover is all about taking care of your health outside of the hospital.

It’s like having a partner in preventive care, helping you stay on top of your well-being with services like:

  • Dental check-ups and treatments (including orthodontics and dental implants)
  • Physiotherapy and rehabilitation (to get you moving and feeling great)
  • Optical care (including glasses, contacts, and eye exams)
  • Chiropractic care and osteopathy (for spinal health and alignment)
  • Massage therapy and natural therapies (for relaxation and stress relief)

And many more!

Extras Cover helps you maintain good health, detect potential issues early, and even enjoy some pampering and relaxation. It’s an investment in your overall wellness!

Many families choose to combine hospital and extras cover into a single policy for a more comprehensive healthcare safety net.


However, you can also opt for just one type of cover depending on your needs and budget.


Here’s some good news for families!

Many health insurers offer discounts when you cover multiple family members on the same policy.

These discounts can vary, but they can provide significant savings compared to purchasing individual plans.

Additionally, some insurers might offer bundled packages specifically designed for families, which can combine hospital and extras cover at a more attractive price point.


Choosing the right family health insurance plan goes beyond just the tier or the type of cover.

You will need to consider some factors.

Here are some key factors to consider when comparing policies:


  • Age and Health Status: If you have a younger family, you might prioritize basic hospital cover, while if yours is an older family or those with pre-existing conditions you might need a more comprehensive plan(s) with higher benefits. Remember, pre-existing conditions can sometimes impact premiums or even lead to exclusions on certain treatments.
  • Frequency of Healthcare Use: Consider how often your family utilizes specific services. If you regularly visit the dentist or chiropractor, extras cover with generous limits for those services might be a priority. Analyzing your family’s typical healthcare needs will help you identify the most valuable coverages.


  • Setting a Realistic Budget: Health insurance premiums are a recurring cost, so it’s crucial for you to set a realistic budget you can comfortably afford. Never get swayed by the allure of the most comprehensive plan if it strains your finances.
  • Understand How Premiums Works: Premiums are the regular payments you make to maintain your health insurance policy. They vary depending on the tier of cover, type of extras, your family’s age and health, and even your location. Comparing quotes from different providers will help you find the best value for your budget.


  • Excess Explained: The excess is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before your health insurance kicks in for certain covered services, particularly hospital admissions. If you choose a higher excess, it can lower your premium, but remember you’ll need to be prepared to pay that amount upfront if you need to use your cover.
  • Co-payments Explained: Co-payments are fixed amounts you might have to pay for specific services covered by your extras, like a set fee for a physiotherapy session.


Don’t overlook the importance of network coverage when comparing family health insurance policies. Networks refer to the hospitals and doctors that have agreements with your insurer. Choosing a plan with a network that includes your preferred hospitals and doctors ensures you can access your chosen providers without incurring additional costs.


Now that you’re armed with the knowledge to understand different cover options and key comparison factors, here are some resources to help you navigate the world of family health insurance in Australia:


Australia offers several reputable comparison websites like and that allows you to compare plans from different providers side-by-side.

These tools can help you filter by your desired cover options, budget, and even family size.


If you are seeking more personalized guidance, consulting a registered health insurance broker can be a valuable option.

Brokers can assess your family’s specific needs, recommend suitable plans, and even help negotiate with insurers on your behalf.


Finding the right family health insurance can feel like deciphering a secret code sometimes.

But don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many Aussie families go through this process, and with a little guidance, you can find a plan that fits your needs perfectly.

Think of it as picking out a superhero cape for your family – it should be strong enough to protect everyone from unexpected medical bills, but also comfortable and affordable for everyday wear.

By understanding the different cover options, considering your family’s healthcare habits, and utilizing the resources we mentioned, you can find the perfect balance.

Remember, taking the time to compare policies now can be a superhero move in itself, saving you money and giving you peace of mind knowing your loved ones are well looked after.

So, roll up your sleeves, grab your comparison tools, and get ready to find the perfect health insurance cape for your family!

Mfonobong Daniel

I am Daniel, a professional financial blogger, an insurance agent and financial adviser. Join me as I unravel and breakdown the mysteries behind insurance policies in Nigeria.

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