When shopping for a product as complex as health insurance it can be easy to get so overwhelmed by the details that you neglect to consider every available option. Many people might not even be aware that they qualify for one or more restricted membership health funds. These smaller funds provide products that often compare favourably to the big open funds in cost, level of cover, or both.
So who can qualify for a restricted fund?
Restricted funds cater to customers in specific industry groups, such as teachers, police, the military, or medicine. The Commonwealth Bank
Group also has a fund for its staff. Depending on the fund, you can become a customer even if you're no longer a member of the relevant profession.
Some of these funds are also generous with family memberships. For most funds, if you qualify for membership, then so do your parents, partner, children
(even if they're grown), children's partners, grandchildren, siblings, and siblings' partners and children.
Once you sign up, you're allowed to stay a member if your circumstances change. This means that the fund won't boot you even if your sibling quits being a
teacher, or your relationship with your doctor partner ends.
Restricted fund premiums – how do they compare?
If you can access a restricted fund, it's at least worth considering. Especially if you're interested in a Gold policy as the restricted fund policies we recommend offer the same level of
cover as open funds, often at a lower premium.
To learn more about your health insurance options, check out our private health insurance buying guide. Our hospital insurance buying guide and extras health insurance buying guide will give you more detail.
The restricted membership health funds
- ACA Health Benefits Fund: Current or former Seventh-day Adventist Church employees (including SDA-affiliated companies)
- CBHS Health Fund: Current or former employees, contractors and franchisees of Commonwealth Bank Group
- Defence Health: Current or former members of the ADF, reservists, civilian employees of Department of Defence (or related departments), employees of Defence contractors
- Doctors' Health Fund: Current or former doctors and health practitioners, their employees, and medical students
- Emergency Services Health: Current or former employees or volunteers in fire, ambulance, medical, water, state emergency response and recovery services, and their related unions or associations.
- Navy Health: Current or former Australian Defence Force service personnel, civilian employees and contractors
- Nurses & Midwives Health: Current or former people in nursing and midwifery professions, including students and assistants, with membership in a nurses union.
- Police Health: Current or former federal, state and territory police or police union employees, and police employees who retired after 2000
- Reserve Bank Health Society: Current or former employees of the Reserve Bank of Australia or Note Printing Australia. (This fund declined to participate in our survey).
- RT Health: Current or former employees in the transport or energy sectors (including businesses that supply services to the sector)
- Teachers Health Fund and Unihealth: Current or former teachers and academics (primary to tertiary), teacher aides or non-teaching support staff, with membership in their relevant union
- TUH Health Fund: Current or former members of any union