How to Choose the Best Family Health Insurance in Australia

Let’s face it, life with a family in Australia is hectic! Between work, school runs, and the never-ending stream of activities, keeping everyone healthy can feel like a juggling act.

That’s where having the right family health insurance comes in – it’s a safety net that gives you peace of mind knowing you’re covered if someone needs medical attention.


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Health insurance can help you manage the costs of private hospital care, dental treatments, and other essential medical services.

But with so many different health funds and policies out there, finding the perfect fit for your crew can feel overwhelming.

Fear not, Aussie parents! This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to choose the best family health insurance for your situation.

We’ll break down the key factors to consider, help you compare plans, and give you some handy tips to make the whole process a breeze.

So grab a cuppa, get comfy, and let’s find the perfect health cover to keep your family happy and healthy!


All families are different, and before diving into the specifics, it’s essential to take a step back and understand your family’s unique needs.

This will help you prioritize the features and benefits that matter most when you are comparing policies.

Here are three key areas to consider:


Are you a new family with a bouncing bub, or a well-established team with teenagers on the scene? Maybe you’re planning on expanding the family soon.

Knowing where you’re at will help you choose a policy that covers what matters most right now, and can adapt as your family grows and changes.

  • Young Family: If you’re a young couple starting a family, you might prioritize plans with comprehensive maternity and newborn care coverage.
  • Established Family: Established families with older children may have different priorities, such as coverage for sports injuries or orthodontics.

It’s also important to consider your future plans. Do you anticipate having more children? This will affect the number of people you need to cover under the plan.


Does anyone in the family have ongoing health conditions that require regular treatment?

Figuring this out will help you choose a policy with the right level of cover for those specific needs.

  • Pre-existing Conditions: Do any family members have pre-existing medical conditions? If so, you’ll want to ensure the plan you choose offers adequate coverage for these conditions, with minimal waiting periods.
  • Potential Future Needs: Think about your family’s overall health and any potential future health concerns. Are there any specific treatments or specialists you might need access to?


Health insurance premiums can vary depending on the cover you choose, so it’s important to be realistic about what you can afford.

Excess payments are the out-of-pocket costs you’ll need to pay before your insurance kicks in.

Choosing a higher excess can lower your premium, but make sure it’s an amount you can manage in case of an unexpected medical event.

Out-of-pocket costs can include co-payments for services like doctor visits or medications.

Once you are familiar with these costs, it will help you determine the overall affordability of a plan.


Once you have a good grasp of your family’s needs, you can delve deeper into the specific features offered by different health insurance plans.

Here are some key factors to consider when comparing policies:


  • Hospital Cover: There are typically different tiers of hospital cover available, ranging from basic (covering public hospital stays) to more comprehensive options (covering private hospital stays with a wider choice of doctors and rooms).
  • Extras Cover: Extras cover helps pay for a range of services not covered by hospital insurance, such as dental, physiotherapy, massage, and glasses.


  • Discounts for Children: Many health funds offer discounts on premiums for children.
  • Pregnancy and Childbirth: Consider the waiting periods for maternity and newborn care coverage, especially if
  • you’re planning to start a family soon.


  • Hospitals: Check if the plan covers the hospitals you or your preferred doctors practice at.
  • Specialists: Does the plan offer access to a wide range of specialists within your area?
  • Choice of Doctor: Can you choose your own doctor, or are you limited to a network of providers?


  • Excess: Choosing a higher excess can lower your premium, but remember you’ll need to pay this amount upfront before your insurance kicks in.
  • Co-payments: Some plans require co-payments for certain services. Be sure to factor these costs into your overall budget.


Some health funds offer wellness programs that reward you for making healthy lifestyle choices, such as gym memberships or discounts on healthy food options.


Alright, so you’ve figured out your family’s needs, explored the different cover options, and considered the provider network and costs.

Now comes the (not-so-scary) part of actually comparing policies!

Here’s where some awesome tech tools come in to play:

  • Government Comparison Websites: The Australian Government Private Health Insurance Comparison website ( allows you to compare policies from different health funds based on your specific needs. Think of it like a giant online marketplace for health insurance!
  • Private Comparison Tools: Many private health funds also offer their own comparison tools on their websites. These can be handy for getting a more detailed look at the specific plans offered by each fund.
    But what if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by all this information? Don’t stress!


There’s another option for those who’d prefer some personalized guidance – a health insurance broker.

Think of them as your health cover guru!

Brokers can:

  • Ask you questions about your family’s needs and budget.
  • Search for policies that match your criteria.
  • Explain the different features and benefits of each policy.
  • Help you understand the excess and co-payment structures.
  • Negotiate with different health funds on your behalf.

While brokers sometimes charge a fee for their services, it can be a worthwhile investment if you want some expert advice to navigate the world of family health insurance.

So, whether you choose to tackle the comparison websites yourself or enlist the help of a broker, the key takeaway is this: there’s a perfect family health insurance policy out there for your family.


Now you’ve narrowed down your options to a few policies that tick all the boxes for your family.

Here’s how to make the final decision and ensure smooth sailing with your new health cover:

  • Prioritize your needs: Go back to that initial list you made about your family’s situation. Which policy best addresses those priorities within your budget? Don’t be afraid to revisit the comparison tools to double-check specific features.
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate: Remember, some health funds offer flexibility on premiums, especially if you’re bundling cover for multiple family members. Don’t hesitate to ask if there’s any room for movement on the price.
  • Read the fine print carefully: Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you understand the policy’s terms and conditions, including waiting periods for specific benefits and any exclusions.
    Remember, health insurance isn’t a set-and-forget thing.
  • Review your policy annually: Your family’s needs and budget might change over time, so it’s important to review your cover regularly to ensure it’s still the best fit.
  • Understand the claims process: Knowing how to make a claim and get reimbursed for treatment is crucial. Most health funds have easy-to-follow instructions online or over the phone.


Choosing the right family health insurance plan can feel overwhelming, but by following the steps outlined in this guide, you can feel confident you’re making the best decision for your loved ones.

Remember to prioritize your family’s needs, compare different plans carefully, and don’t hesitate to seek help from a broker if needed.

For your reference, we’ve also included a glossary of common health insurance terms used in Australia in the following section.

This glossary will help you navigate the terminology you might encounter when comparing plans.


Feeling a bit bogged down by all the technical terms? No worries! This quick glossary will have you speaking the lingo of Aussie health insurance like a pro:

  • Medicare: Australia’s universal healthcare system, which covers a large range of medical services in public hospitals.
  • Private Health Insurance: Provides additional cover for treatment in private hospitals and for services not covered by Medicare (like extras).
  • Hospital Cover: Covers your expenses if you need to be admitted to a private hospital. Different tiers (Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold) offer varying levels of cover.
  • Extras Cover: Covers things like dental, physio, glasses, and more.
  • Waiting Periods: The amount of time you need to wait after taking out a policy before you can claim for certain benefits (like pregnancy).
  • Excess: The set amount you pay upfront before your insurance kicks in for a hospital stay.
  • Co-payment: A smaller fee you might pay for things like seeing a doctor.
  • Network of Providers: The hospitals, specialists, and other healthcare professionals covered by your policy.
  • Premium: The regular cost of your health insurance policy.

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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