01.Open and closed health insurance
Restricted health funds are open to former and current employees (and their families) working in many industries, from police, soldiers, reservists and defence contractors to transport employees, forestry, electricity and steel workers. Bank employees, health practitioners, teachers and workers of associated industries are also covered.
Matthew Koce, CEO of Hirmaa, an organisation that represents restricted and other not-for-profit community-based health funds says, "Most people through family ties would be able to qualify for at least one restricted fund".
Member-based health funds record high satisfaction
Hirmaa represents funds that provide health insurance to about one million Australians. These include some open funds that have featured prominently in CHOICE health insurance Best Buys in recent years, such as Peoplecare, Health Partners, St Lukes and Westfund, as well as restricted funds like Defence Health, Navy Health, Teachers Health Fund and TUH.
Hirmaa customer satisfaction levels are impressive, with 98% of their funds' members satisfied, according to a survey they commissioned. And in past CHOICE satisfaction surveys, restricted funds have recorded better results than open funds.
We've looked at five restricted membership health insurance funds, including three of the largest:
- Teachers Health
- Defence Health
- CBHS (Commonwealth Bank of Australia group employees)
and their competitors:
- Teachers Union Health (TUH)
- Navy Health.
Our results show that if you're eligible to join a restricted health fund, it's worth comparing your current policy against their offer. For example, for a family with top hospital insurance without an excess in NSW, CBHS's premium is $492 per year less (before the rebate) than this year's cheapest open fund top cover policy with $0 excess in the CHOICE health insurance open fund Best Buys.
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