01.Open and closed health insurance
The biggest downside to restricted health funds is that you may not be able to become a member - aside from that, they offer some of the best health insurance deals on the market. While anyone can join the open health funds we surveyed in our health insurance survey, restricted funds cater to a specific industry or group. Membership is usually restricted to people who work in that industry and their families, but can also include former employees.
Even if your situation changes and you stop fulfilling the normal eligibility criteria for a restricted health insurance fund – you may change jobs or no longer qualify as a dependent – once you’ve joined a restricted health fund, you can usually retain your membership.
We’ve looked at five restricted membership health insurance funds, including three of the largest restricted membership funds – Teachers Health, Defence Health and CBHS (Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) group employees) – and their direct competitors Teachers Union Health (TUH) and Navy Health.
We found they hold up well against our Best Buys for open funds. With premium policies, restricted funds provide the same cover for a lot less money.