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Best extras health insurance policies for under $15 a month

The best cheap health insurance policies to help you save money on dental and physio appointments.

woman trying on optical glasses in store
Last updated: 26 June 2024


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Our experts have reviewed health insurance extras policies from more than 40 insurers to find the best policies for people on a budget. 

Budget extras are worth considering if you're only after a couple of dentist visits a year and some physio. If you also need cover for glasses, you might be better off looking at the recommended extras cover for singles and couples.

The policies we've selected below offer the best level of cover for general dental and physio for less than $15 a month, including the full 25% government rebate for a single person. 

But as we often say, if you're trying to save money, think about whether you need extras health insurance at all. 

A warning about extras insurance at tax time

Health insurers are on the advertising war path ahead of 30 June. That's because you can save money on tax if you take out hospital insurance

And if you've turned 31 since 1 July last year and you don't have hospital insurance, you could end up paying a lifetime health cover loading if you do eventually take up hospital insurance.

However, what the health insurers and other comparison sites won't tell you, is that you only need hospital insurance to save money, not extras insurance. But the insurers usually try to bundle extras with hospital to suck more money from your wallet.

What is extras health insurance?

Extras health insurance covers costs for health services outside of going to hospital. It may help to pay for things like dental, physio, chiro, and optical. But how much the insurers pay is capped, which means the insurer pays a bit, and you pay a bit.

This is on top of you paying the insurer a lot in premiums over time.

Do you need extras health insurance?

The short answer is maybe not. Health insurers will try to sell you a health insurance policy that bundles hospital and extras cover into the same policy. But if you only want health insurance to go to a private hospital, then you don't need extras health insurance. You only need hospital insurance for that. 

And if you only need health insurance to save money on tax, then you want a basic hospital insurance policy. Extras health insurance won't save you tax dollars.

Don't buy extras insurance if you aren't prepared to put the effort in to claim

Extras insurance is to help manage out-of-hospital healthcare costs. If you claim back more than you spend on the policy, then you've got your money's worth.

Don't buy extras insurance 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. 

What dental treatments are covered?

These basic extras policies cover general and preventative dental treatments.

General dental includes all the basic, routine dental treatment you know and love, like X-rays, fillings and simple extractions.

Preventative dental refers to regular check-ups and cleans. It falls under general dental but sometimes insurers won't count those items towards your annual limit.

What's not covered are the big ticket dental items like:

  • major dental, which includes bigger jobs like surgical tooth extractions and crowns. 
  • endodontic (root canals), which 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), which almost always has separate limits.

We've listed the cover offered by each of the recommended policies for a regular check-up, 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.

If you'd like more from your extras policies, visit our health insurance comparison or our recommended extras policies for families, seniors, singles and couples. You'll need to be a CHOICE member to see those recommendations. Unlike other sites, we don't get paid by the health insurers, so we only recommend the best policies for you.

Best budget extras cover

Best extras health insurance policies for $15 or less
Insurer and policy Recommended in these states

AHM Black 50 Saver

All states

Frank Basic Extras

All states

HCF Starter Extras


HCF Starter Extras (with optical)

NT, Tas

HBF Basic Extras

NT, Tas

Bupa Freedom 50


Note: Health insurance prices differ per state, which is why some of these policies aren't recommended in all states. Extras policies are complex, so we've only listed a few of the policy details below, and the limits stated often have overall limits or sub-limits for specific items. Check the fund's website for full details.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.