Top Private Health Insurance Companies Australia

Find out who the top private health insurance companies are in Australia and compare your options through Savvy.

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, updated on July 26th, 2023       

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We’ve partnered with Compare Club to bring you a range of health insurance policies to help you compare them side by side.

Australians have a great deal of choice when it comes to buying health insurance, but have you ever wondered who the top health insurance providers are in our country? If you’re in the market for a new health insurance policy, it’s worth taking a look at some of the top health insurance providers to see which one may be able to offer you the most suitable health cover for your needs.

Savvy can help you compare health insurance cover available through some of the top private health insurance companies in Australia. Get free quotes from our panel of trusted providers online in minutes and either buy your policy online or speak to a specialist on the phone to get assistance with any queries. Get your no-obligation quote here today with Savvy.

Who are the largest private health insurers in Australia?

Health insurance in Australia is dominated by two big players, who between them hold more than 52% of the market share of private health policies, according to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). The top ten health funds by market share in Australia are: 

  • Medibank Private and ahm:  27.4% market share 
  • Bupa: 24.7%  
  • HCF (including RT Health): 12.4% 
  • NIB Health: 9.4% 
  • HBF Health: 7.3% 
  • Teachers Health Fund: 2.6% 
  • Australian Unity: 2.4% 
  • GMHBA (including health.com.au): 2.3% 
  • Defence Health 2.0% 
  • CBHS: 1.5% 

These top 10 private health insurers between them hold 92% of all health insurance policies in Australia, according to the latest list of health insurers in a health insurance report by the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (Quarterly Update: 1 July to 30 September 2022). 

However, the size of the company you’re considering shouldn’t be a deciding factor when getting a quote or choosing private health insurance. The health coverage offered and the affordability of the health insurance policy are major factors that help most Australians decide which policy is right for them, rather than in what position one insurer may appear on a list of private health insurers. Let’s take a closer look at the top ten insurers:

Medibank Private and ahm

Medibank Private, better known simply as Medibank, started life as the Australian Government’s not-for-profit health insurer in 1976. It was privatised in 2014 and is now listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. In 2009, Medibank acquired Wollongong-based insurer ahm (Australian Health Management), which added more than 700,000 to Medibank’s existing 3.7 million customer base.

  • Medibank offers a broad range of health insurance policies including at least nine hospital cover policies, four extras cover policies and packaged products, while ahm offers nine hospital cover policies and seven extras policies
  • Offers a 24/7 health advice line, a mobile health app, an online health hub and a health and wellbeing program called Medibank Live Better, which offers rewards through the Live Better app
  • Also provides health insurance for overseas students and visitors, offering a level of cover for primary and specialist care and pharmaceuticals as well as hospital cover
  • Offers as much as 100% back on dental check-ups twice each year

BUPA

Bupa (the British United Provident Association) is the other large private health insurer operating in Australia, with more than four million Aussie customers. It was founded in the UK in 1947 and has since grown to be an international healthcare provider, with over 21 million health insurance customers worldwide.

  • Bupa also offers a wide range of health insurance policies including at least six hospital cover policies, four extras cover policies, including a flexible extras policy, plus eleven dual policy combinations.
  • Operates a Members First network of over 10,000 healthcare providers, with these providers offering cheaper services to Bupa customers
  • Through Bupa Health Link, it offers health and well-being tools through its mobile app and a phone-based health support service
  • Offers a rewards and recognition scheme including retail, entertainment and travel offers as well as eGift cards and dining discounts

HCF

The Hospital Contribution Fund of Australia was founded in 1932 and is based in Sydney, offering private health insurance and life insurance. It's the third largest health fund in Australia, but the largest not-for-profit fund, ploughing more than 90% of premiums received back in benefits to its 1.8 million members.

  • Has a ‘no-gap’ provider network, where customers can receive 100% of the cost of their dental check-ups and first visits to a physio, osteopath or chiropractor free of charge
  • Offers free preventative health check-ups for heart, skin and mental health concerns to eligible members
  • Offers eligible members access to health management services like quit-smoking programs
  • Provides a ‘gap minimiser tool’ to assist customers to find health providers offering their services with no gap costs charged

NIB Health

The NIB Health fund started life back in 1952, offering health insurance to steelworks workers in the NSW Hunter region. It has now grown to be an international provider offering health insurance to 1.5 million customers in Australia and New Zealand, including overseas visitor health cover.

  • Has at least five hospital cover policies and four extras policies for Australian residents to choose from
  • Offers a wide range of other health insurance products, including dental care centres offering 100% cover for check-ups
  • Offers generous discounts for health insurance customers who also require travel insurance
  • Provides health insurance to more than 180,000 overseas students and foreign visitors to Australia, including a health insurance policy for overseas workers

HBF Health

Headquartered in Western Australia, HBF started life in 1941 as the Metropolitan Hospitals Benefit Fund of Western Australia. It is now our fifth largest health insurer, having bought Brisbane-based CUA Health in 2021. It's a not-for-profit fund which ploughs all income back to its members through medical benefits and health programs as well as administration costs.

  • Offers around six hospital cover policies and five extras cover policies
  • Offers a telephone health coaching service, and other free preventative health programs including the Healthy Living program offered with Extras Cover and Health Support programs offered with hospital cover
  • Ability to get a reduced-price gym membership and claim 100% of the cost back for some health programs, such as the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Program
  • Offers tailored fitness and wellbeing programs free of charge to eligible members, including the Osteoarthritis Healthy Weight For Life program and the online Mental Health hub

Teachers Health Fund

As its name suggests, the Teachers Health Fund was established in 1954 by the New South Wales Teachers Federation to provide health insurance services to its members employed in the education sector. It’s a restricted membership health fund, offering membership only to education students, teachers and academics who are also union members. It’s not-for-profit and Australia’s largest industry-based health fund, with over 360,000 teachers, education staff and their families on board as members.  

  • Offers around five hospital cover policies and three extras cover policies, plus a combined hospital and extras policy 
  • Offers ambulance cover either with a hospital or extras policy or as a standalone policy 
  • Those with a specific health condition may qualify for a Healthy Lifestyle Benefits program, which includes weight management programs such as Jenny Craig and the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet 
  • Also offers the HEAL (Healthy Eating Activity and Lifestyle) program to reduce the health risks of those suffering specific conditions such as heart disease and diabetes

Australian Unity

Founded in 1840, Australian Unity describes itself as a member-owned wellbeing company. It can trace its roots back to amalgamations between various mutual friendly societies in Victoria and has now grown to offer what it calls health, wealth and care services which include private health cover, other insurance products such as travel, car and home insurance, plus banking and wealth and investment services. 

  • Offers a range of health insurance products for singles, couples, families and overseas visitors 
  • Offers a provider network offering no-gap dental treatment 
  • Members can participate in several health programs including mental health support, parenting preparation and healthy lifestyle support 
  • Its Wellplan Rewards program offers discounts on groceries, petrol and movie tickets among other special deals for members

GMHBA

This not-for-profit mutual private health insurance company was founded in Geelong in 1934 and adopted the name Geelong Medical and Hospital Benefits Association in 1958. It now has more than 370,000 members mainly centred around Geelong and describes itself as Australia’s leading regionally-based health insurer. It also owns the Frank Health Insurance brand. 

  • Health policies on offer include a range of hospital cover policies and extras cover policies 
  • Provides members with dental care at two locations, Geelong and Portland, offering 100% back on the cost of selected dental health check-ups 
  • Ambulance cover is automatically included in all policies with no waiting period

Defence Health

Formed in 1953, Defence Health is a restricted-membership not-for-profit health fund formed to provide members of Australia’s defence forces and their families with health insurance. Membership is open to all ADF members, their partners, children and grandchildren, parents and ex-partners, plus past ADF members and their families, and anyone who works or has worked for the Department of Defence and defence suppliers or contractors. It covers more than 300,000 Australians.

  • Offers a range of hospital and extras cover health insurance policies
  • Some policies are geared towards the needs of defence force personnel, including cover for kids only, the ability to suspend your cover if you’re posted overseas and no excess charged when kids are treated in hospital
  • It also offers additional flexibility with extras policies through its flexi-limits program. This allows customers flexibility on their extras limits and the ability to choose how to spend their total extras benefit allocation
  • Their Top Extras cover includes unlimited preventative dental treatment, while the Value Extra policy offers 100% back on the price of selected glasses through the fund’s optical network.

CBHS

CBHS was founded in 1951 by the Commonwealth Bank to provide health insurance to its employees. It is a restricted not-for-profit fund which now has approximately 230,000 members of the Commonwealth Bank community (present and past employees and their families).

  • Offers members a range of health insurance options including hospital cover, extras cover, and packages of cover which can include ambulance cover
  • It offers the Choice Network of dental and optical service providers across Australia, frequently offering no gap treatment for standard check-ups
  • Membership of the fund entitles you to discounts on eyewear and contact lenses from Choice Network optometrists
  • A CBHS mobile app allows members to check their insurance details, claim benefits and find Choice Network providers on the run

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