Australian Health Directory

Health insurance

Australians enjoy universal public health insurance, Medicare, financed through progressive personal income tax and an income-related levy. They also have the option to take out privately funded health insurance to cover the costs of becoming a private patient in a private or public hospital, medical costs in hospital, and costs associated with services not covered under Medicare (such as ambulance, natural therapies and private dental care).

Health insurance funds offer hospital covers and ancillary covers and a combination of these.

Private health insurance is provided through organisations registered under the Private Health Insurance Act 2007. There are two types of private health funds: restricted membership organisations (such as employees of a particular firm or industry) and funds open to the general public.

Private health insurance funds are registered with and monitored by the Private Health Insurance Administration Council , a statutory authority. Most private health insurance providers adhere to the Private Health Insurance Code of Conduct, a voluntary, self-regulatory industry code.

The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman deals with inquiries and complaints about any aspect of private health insurance. The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO) is an Australian Government agency but acts independently in dealing with complaints and is independent of the private health funds and health service providers.

Australians under 65 years of age, eligible for full Medicare benefits, enjoy the Federal Government's 30% rebate on private health insurance premiums. The rebate is 35% for people aged between 65 and 69 and 40% for those aged 70 and over.

Australians who took out hospital cover before 1 July 2000 and maintain it, only pay a base rate regardless of their age, pursuant to the Federal Government's Lifetime Health Cover initiative. We recommend perusal of a website developed by the Department of Health and Ageing and maintained by PHIO, for information and comparison of policies.

Private health insurance organisations are regulated by the Federal Government to ensure affordable access to private health insurance for all through the principle of community rating. Pursuant to this principle, the insurance premium is the same regardless of the health status or claims history of a member or new member. Reinsurance supports the principle of community rating by sharing between health insurers the hospital and medical costs of high risk members admitted to hospital. Funds with a greater proportion of low risk members contribute into a reinsurance pool and those with a greater proportion of high risk members receive transfers from it.

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Ambulance Victoria

Emergency medical transport services insurance

Doncaster, VIC 3108


International Medical Assistance Network (IMAN)

Australian Health Plans
Working Visa Health Plans

Newcastle, NSW 2300

IMAN has insured the healthcare of Temporary Residents Working in Australia (457 and other 400 series visas) and Overseas Visitors since 1981. It offers a range of covers from budget to executive level.

Medibank Private Limited

Melbourne, VIC 3000

Medibank Private Limited markets two private health insurance brands Medibank and ahm, and also offers health insurance for overseas students and visitors. It is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX: MPL).
Queensland Country Health Fund Ltd

Queensland Country Health Fund Ltd

Aitkenvale, QLD 4814

Service centres in Townsville, Mount Isa, Burdekin, Mackay and Gladstone.

Publisher of the Living Healthy magazine.

St Luke's Health Insurance

Launceston, TAS 7250

St.LukesHealth has been providing private health insurance to Australians since 1952.
Membership is open across all States of Australia.

Private Healthcare Australia

Deakin, ACT 2600

Private Healthcare Australia represents health funds from the Australian private health insurance industry. Its main objective is to advance the interests of its members and their contributors in their dealings with governments, the media and other organisations in health care.

Commonwealth Ombudsman

Canberra City, ACT 2601

The Commonwealth Ombudsman deals with inquiries and complaints about any aspect of private health insurance.

The organisation provides independent health insurance comparison on its website.

The Private Health Insurance Code of Conduct - consumer information brochure

Australian Health Insurance Association

The Private Health Insurance Code of Conduct brochure was produced for consumers to generate awareness and advise them of the benefits of the Code.
The code was developed by the Australian Health Insurance Association (AHIA) and the Health Insurance Restricted Membership Association of Australia (HIRMAA).
nib health funds

nib health funds

Newcastle, NSW 2300

Please visit the website for your nearest branch office or call 13 16 42.
Defence Health Limited

Defence Health Limited

Melbourne, VIC 3004

Defence Health is a registered not-for-profit private health insurer which has served the Defence community since 1953. As a restricted fund, we aim to provide the best possible value for money for all our members from the Defence Community. These include serving and ex-serving members of the ADF, Reservists and Defence Department public servants and contractors, and their extended families.

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