- Australia has 38 insurance providers, with 23 of them being members of Private Healthcare Australia. Each insurer offers different coverage at different prices.
- As every individual has specific requirements, it is difficult to predict which private health insurer is the best.
- Some of the most popular private health insurance companies in Australia are Bupa, Medibank (ahm), Australian Unity, HCF, and NIB.
Australia has 38 private health insurance players, so it comes as no surprise that some residents find it challenging to decide on an insurer in an instant.
What would be the best insurance provider? Which insurer covers for most medical expenses? – These are a few questions that individuals grapple with while opting for an insurance plan.
It would be safe to say there is no universal private insurer that can be the best choice for all. However, some insurers have done well over the years with a range of products and impressive customer experience. We would look at five such players in this article.
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Bupa is an international company that opened its doors to Australia in 2002. Since then, Bupa has become the biggest private insurance company, with around four million customers in both Australia and New Zealand.
Since 2005, the Company has invested over A$32 million in more than 110 partners across the continent through Bupa Health Foundation. The insurer’s primary value is allowing individuals to live a long and healthy life.
Bupa offers a range of insurances, including life insurance, overseas health cover, pet plans, home packages, alongside health services for seniors and everyone else. From as little as A$20.65 a week, singles could be ensured at Bupa for a low price. However, cheaper the subscription, more expensive the out-of-pocket expense.
According to a survey conducted in 2017, customer satisfaction for Bupa stood at 68.3 per cent.
As a way of welcoming new customers, Bupa introduced a six weeks-for-free product, which offers a temporary free service after new customers have paid for 30 days’ worth of insurance. Further terms and conditions apply.
Medibank and ahm
Medibank Private Limited (ASX:MBL) is the second-largest insurance provider in Australia and is also the parent company for ahm, a private health insurer. The Company has existed for over 40 years and currently counts more than 3.7 million clients (together with ahm that has 700,000 users).
Medibank is headquartered in Melbourne and is listed on the ASX.
As a private insurance giant, Medicare offers numerous products so its clients would not need to have multiple accounts with different insurance providers. With the basic policy starting at A$19.68, singles could join Medibank and have limited covered fees.
Medibank takes pride in sustainability and transparency, as it offers regular annual reports for anyone to see on their webpage.
HCF, or Hospital Contribution Fund of Australia, was founded in 1932 under the name of Metropolitan Hospitals Fund. Today, HCF is one of the biggest and most popular insurance companies nationwide with more than 1.5 million clients trusting the insurer.
The most economical policy, HCF Bronze Plus, starts at A$21.25 per week, without any added extras. According to the 2017 survey, customer satisfaction for HCF was 70.2 per cent.
Once people join HCF, they get extra benefits outside their health insurance, such as rewards with partnered retailers (Priceline, Rebel, JB Hi-Fi, Myer, and others).
As compared to Bupa and Medibank, HCF is a not-for-profit organisation that does not divide their income between shareholders.
HCF is also famous for its HCF Research Foundation – the initiative which helps Australian health organisations to do more research about improving overall wellbeing. Another successful project created by HCF is HCF Catalyst, which boosts start-up businesses connected to health technology.
Australian Unity has existed since 1840, which means the Company has 180 years of experience within the healthcare insurance space.
Australian Unity members enjoy a monthly subscription of A$99.45 for the Basic Plus policy for singles, which includes both hospital and extras cover. Customers are highly satisfied with the Company, with the 2017 survey indicating a customer satisfaction of 73.7%.
The insurer is proud to be a member-owned company and invests back to bring better products for their community.
Australian Unity Wellbeing Index is a nationwide known project that the insurer had started. The Index uses seven components to measure the overall life quality in Australia, and the Company claims to have transformed it into one of the most reliable sources for measuring wellbeing.
nib Holdings Limited
nib Holdings Limited (ASX:NHF) has been supporting over 1.6 million clients in Australia and New Zealand for more than 65 years. Nib is the third-largest travel insurance provider in Australia, and it also ensures more than 190,000 international students and foreigners that reside on the continent.
The Company’s purpose is to maintain better health for every individual, and visitors more reassured while travelling in Australia and abroad. For nib, customer satisfaction stood at 68.3%.
NIB offers its most economical policy for A$17.09 a week with basic coverage and no annual limits.