Our experts have reviewed health insurance extras policies from 36 health funds to find the best ones. We've found the best extras on a budget, the best balance of cover and price, and the best cover for seniors.
Jump straight to our recommended extras policies (members-only content) to find the best policy for you.
Who should buy extras
Extras insurance is for people who want help managing predictable healthcare costs. If you know how much you're likely to spend on things like dental checkups, physio sessions and glasses, you can use extras to reduce your out-of-pocket costs. If you claim back more than you spend on the policy, then you've got your money's worth.
Don't buy extras if you aren't prepared to put the effort in to claim. If you keep paying your premium and don't claim it back, it's the same as that gym membership you never use: a waste of money.
How health insurance extras works
Extras policies give you discounts on health services that aren't covered by Medicare. These include dental costs, glasses, and allied health care like physiotherapy, chiropractic and podiatry. You can also claim for appliances like hearing aids, orthoses and blood glucose monitors.
Extras isn't insurance in the traditional sense of the word, where you buy it "just in case". Think of it as more of a book of discount vouchers. By paying a monthly premium you can use it to spread your expenses more evenly over the course of the year. Used correctly it can even reduce your health costs.
Don't buy extras if you aren't prepared to put the effort in to claim
Most people bundle an extras policy with their private hospital cover. This isn't necessary: you can buy hospital cover on its own, and you don't need extras to avoid the tax penalties the government imposes on people without health insurance.
General, major and preventative dental
When is dental care not just dental care? When it's covered by your extras policy. Depending on your policy you might be covered for just the basic services, or the whole range of out-of-hospital dental treatments. Many insurers will have different annual limits for simple and complex treatment.
- General dental is covered by just about every extras policy on the market. It includes all the basic, routine dental treatment you know and love, like x-rays, fillings and simple extractions.
- Preventative dental refers to regular checkups and cleans. It falls under general dental but sometimes insurers won't count those items toward your annual limit.
- Major dental includes bigger jobs like surgical tooth extractions and crowns.
- Endodontic (root canals) is often bundled with major dental but is its own category, meaning insurers can have a separate limit for it, or exclude it entirely.
- Orthodontic (braces) almost always has separate limits.
We've listed the cover each recommended policy offers for a regular checkup, which consists of periodic oral exam, scale and clean, and fluoride treatment. These are itemised separately on your bill, and your policy will have individual benefits for each. We've summed the three amounts to make it easier to compare.
Ready to find the best extras cover?
Log in to see our pick for the best extras on a budget, the best balance of cover and price, and the best cover for seniors. These results are for members only.
Non-members can see our extras insurance buying guide for more information on choosing extras cover.
Our buying guide will explain how to work out if your current extras insurance policy is right for you, what level of extras cover you need, and how much you can claim.
Unlock this article and more
- Information you can trust
- See the best brands
- Avoid the worst performers
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.