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


BUPA Australia

Melbourne, SA 3000

A member of BUPA, a global network providing private health insurance and health care services.
CBHS Health Fund Limited

CBHS Health Fund Limited

Parramatta, NSW 2124

CBHS is a not-for-profit, private health insurer, catering exclusively for current and former employees of the Commonwealth Bank Group, as well as their eligible family members.

Health Care Insurance Ltd

Burnie, TAS 7320

Health Care Insurance is a not-for-profit health insurer offering competitive rates.

Health Insurance Fund of WA

Perth, WA 6000

The funds' product range includes specific products to meet the needs of regional members.

IMAN Australian Health Plans Pty Ltd

Working Visa Health Plans

Newcastle, NSW 2300

IMAN has insured the healthcare of Temporary Residents Working in Australia (457 and other 400 series visas, including graduate 485 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

The Health Fund is the only one based in regional Queensland, and services over 65,000 Members. The Fund has six retail service centres in Townsville, Ayr, Mackay, Rockhampton, Cairns and Mount Isa, as well as a head office in Townsville.

The Fund provides excellent service to Members and offers affordable cover with marketing leading benefits for hospital and extras services.

Private Healthcare Australia

Sydney, ACT 2000

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.


Sydney, NSW 2001

HCF is Australia’s largest not-for-profit health insurer, established in 1932.
It also operates dental and eye care centres, and supports health technology startups through HCF Catalyst.

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