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Cheapest Health Insurance Policies for Tax Minimisation: Frank - NSW/ACT | ahm - NT/SA/TAS/VIC/WA | Westfund - QLD | HCF - NT


Was looking online for the cheapest health insurance policies for tax reduction and came across this article from Choice which went through the cheapest (not best coverage) policies available for tax minimisation.

These policies are good for avoiding tax and loadings, but they provide very little health cover, and are NOT recommended by CHOICE.

These policies are essentially only useful for tax minimisation purposes but have essentially minimal to no cover outside of what you are already covered for by Medicare.
Only go for these policies if you have no intention of using your private health insurance coverage AND only want a policy for tax minimisation only.

For those that are unaware, anyone earning over $90k/year is subject to the Medicare Levy Surcharge
This is an additional 1-1.5% tax loading on your total taxable income. So if you earn $90,001, you will have to pay an additional $900 in taxes. As almost all of the policies below are under $900 for people earning $90-105k (except for (Vic and Tas), you would be better off paying for a useless health insurance policy rather than paying the additional tax.

Medicare Levy Surcharge
A 1% tax applies on your income if you don't have hospital insurance and you earn more than $90k as a single (double that for couples and families). If you earn more than $105k you pay 1.25% and if you earn more than $140k you pay 1.5%. If you take out hospital insurance, you're exempt from the tax, and in many cases it's cheaper to pay for hospital insurance than to pay the tax.

These prices are current until the next price increase on the 1st April 2020.

NSW/ACT - Frank (GMHBA) Basic 500 ($500 excess)

Annual Income Annual Premium
<$90k $781
$90-105k $868
$105-140k $955
>$140k $1042

QLD - Westfund $750 Basic

Annual Income Annual Premium
<$90k $658
$90-105k $731
$105-140k $805
>$140k $878

Victoria - AHM (Medibank) Starter Basic

Annual Income Annual Premium
<$90k $839
$90-105k $993
$105-140k $1027
>$140k $1120

South Australia - AHM (Medibank) Starter Basic

Annual Income Annual Premium
<$90k $794
$90-105k $882
$105-140k $971
>$140k $1059

Western Australia - AHM (Medibank) Starter Basic

Annual Income Annual Premium
<$90k $660
$90-105k $700
$105-140k $771
>$140k $841

Tasmania - AHM (Medibank) Starter Basic

Annual Income Annual Premium
<$90k $817
$90-105k $908
$105-140k $999
>$140k $1090

Northern Territory - HCF Accident Only

Annual Income Annual Premium
<$90k $330
$90-105k $367
$105-140k $404
>$140k $440

Related Stores

amh Health Insurance
amh Health Insurance



    How much will these policies increase come April 1?

  • +239 votes

    you would be better off paying for a useless health insurance policy rather than paying the additional tax

    While it may save you a few bucks, it could, you know, be better to pay a few bucks more in tax, than essentially giving a health insurance company money for nothing.

    Unpopular opinion, but if you have to pay the excess, and it's a marginal difference, it might be more beneficial to pay it towards actual public health than the pretty much 100 percent useless private health cover that provides no cover.

    I'm sure this might be a neg magnet though ;)


      And your kicks for free

      On topic, while I agree with your point doesn't the government keep increasing the tax% every year you don't have phi?

      • +10 votes

        The MLS doesn't increase, but if you get PHI in the future your premiums increase if you have been uncovered after a certain age. But even so, it's not worth getting it just to avoid that…https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/private-health-insurance-is-a-con-job-20180213-h0vzv1.html

        • +20 votes

          Agreed. I looked into this when I turned 31 and the evidence was overwhelmingly in favour of me not getting PHI. Partly because I'm self-employed with a lot of deductible expenses, partly because I would simply choose to work less and spend less if I was about to head above $90k taxable income, and partly because there are so many ways for these companies to weasel out of their moral obligations because they have limits for common claims, and build in loopholes for themselves to get out of paying a single cent on many common situations. They pay people millions to analyse the stats to create these terms and conditions in order to save themselves billions. PHI does not exist for your benefit as a customer any more than any other for-profit company exists for your benefit as a customer.

          • -5 votes

            @bohdud: So you're negging just because it doesn't suit your situation as you're earning below 90k? And you're forgetting to factor in the money you'd save by having the policy to reduce your tax

          • +1 vote

            @bohdud: "any more than any other for-profit company exists for your benefit as a customer"

            Free trade, ie 'for-profit' benefits both parties. That's what trade is.
            You exchange something you have for something you want, the other does exactly the same thing.

            • -2 votes

              @Bangbus: Correct. I didn’t say PHI has zero benefits to the customer. And further using economics, by subsidising PHI, only part of the discount benefits customers, while part of it actually pushes up prices. Just as the first homeowners grant also inflates prices a bit.

        • +2 votes

          You will pay a 2% lifetime loading for every year you don't have PHI over the age of 31. The loading caps out at 70% but if you take it out, the loading remains for up to 10 years which feels like a lifetime

          • +13 votes

            @Wongman: You’re forgetting to factor in the money saved over those 10 years you didn’t have a policy and didn’t need to claim.

            • +2 votes

              @bohdud: Finally took out PHI recently in my late 30s as with my wife starting to work a little agiain it was likely to throw us over the family threshold. Saved many 000s by not having it, don't regret the decision at all in spite of a little loading now.

        • -3 votes

          But if you get it early it saves you money when you get it in the future. Cos it goes up each year past 31. So just get it and you save on the levy. Like the levy at 90k is 900 and you can get plenty of insurance for tax under that. Its a no brainer.

          • +5 votes

            @Bryanalves: The levy goes up each year but is capped at 10 years. If your policy is say for example $4000 a year (on the higher scale and assuming you sign up when you're 50 at a loading of 50% that's an extra $2k a year for 10 years.

            At the very high end of the scale that's a top up of $20,000 in total over 10 years.

            But, by not having any insurance the last 20 years you didn't need to fork out say $80,000. No considering anything else you still save $60,000.

            However, the nature of 'insurance' is not to save money (think fire insurance) you buy for a peace of mind. So who knows if you're better off or not. The people who probably are better off are people who encounter serious health issues (the more significant end of the scale which may cost hundreads of thousands who will likely 'win' with insurance)

            Even if you had cover, you'd still pay quite a bit for most procedures on top (read up on all the media articles about this) so unless you're getting private insurance for tax purposes (which are the plans OP is ultimately posting up here) one would have to carefully weigh up if it's worth it.

            When considering solely for tax purposes it's a lot easier to weigh up if you should get it and thanks to OP he's listed the cheapest plans available for those wondering just that.

          • +3 votes

            @Bryanalves: If you get it early it will save you money on the LHC (lifetime health cover) later, but it will almost certainly cost you far more than you save when you have unnecessary health insurance.

            When you hit the point that the MLS (medicare levy surcharge) kicks in then the numbers change and you'll want to get something because it will likely be cheaper than not having something.

            It's a no brainer… if you do the maths. Your no brainer is only a no brainer in the sense that you'd do it if you didn't have a brain.

        • +1 vote

          This 1000 times. The economics of avoiding higher fees by paying now doesn't add up.

    • +36 votes

      Thank you for speaking some sense!

      (profanity) the private health ponzi scheme.

      • +19 votes

        Haha, it's not even a ponzi scheme. At least ponzi schemes rob Peter to pay Paul. PHI just robs Peter and Paul. And they don't even use lube first.


        I would like to see this from a different angle.
        The society has got its rules.
        Rules that are designed by good brains.
        Rules designed by these good brains that are designed in a way to benefit these good brains.
        These rules will always "hide" terms and conditions that are hard to comprehend.
        Good brains play with and take advantage of these rules - taxation, super, pension, private health insurance, etc - all purposely designed by good brains in a way that is hard to comprehend and full of traps to take moneys from silly billy.

        Now think about good brains around you, doctors, lawyers, CPAs. Do they have private health insurance?
        If all you do is whinging about inconvenience and avoid thinking, you will be forced to pay a lot more in your whole life.

    • +15 votes

      I'm with you in terms of what you said. The problem is that the tax you pay goes to a pool then a percentage gets assigned to public health. I'd happily pay the Medicare levy surcharge if I knew that it was going to public health.

      • +3 votes

        This. Anyone but the govt. Using my tax money to commit war crimes overseas or funding dodgy politician…(Profanity) that

        • +35 votes

          Yeah, fund the private health insurance ceo instead.

          He will definitely spend it more wisely to assist our country the most.

          While I agree that some of the tax income is spent on stuff it shouldn't, clearly a decent chunk goes somewhere useful (roads, hospitals, education, public infrastructure, etc etc)

          • -22 votes

            @SBOB: I'd still rather that than funding crooked politicians. It's just bad vs worse

            • +22 votes

              @M1lad: If you say so….

              But I assume you also -
              don't drive on roads;
              don't want police/fire/ambulance to be available for you in an emergency;
              Want a safety net of health or basic income should the need arise;
              Funding for things like disability support;
              Public education;
              use public infrastructure like parks, sporting fields or stadiums;
              Etc etc etc

              But sure, having a defence force expenditure (of which some you don't agree with), that's definitely the greater evil.

              • -2 votes

                @SBOB: You missed the point mate. We're only talking about the surcharge tax here. We're already paying way too much tax to cover all those things you have called out.


          Can’t blame anyone else for that. You voted for em

        • +2 votes

          Approx 50% of the government's expenditure already goes to healthcare. While politicians are not the most trustworthy, they are bound by public sentiment and can be changed. They are also, even if marginally, beholden to you as the primary stakeholder.

          This is not the case with private enterprises - the primary stakeholder are the shareholders, and their incentives very rarely have to line up with yours, sometimes even if you are their customer.

          Remember, you can hate politicians, but you can also change them. You can also run to be one, if you believe you can do a better job

      • -6 votes

        I'm the same.

        F paying for corporate welfare to billion dollar mining companies or for MPs to hire strippers or take their family travelling in business on the tax payer.



        • +13 votes

          F paying for corporate welfare

          So cut out the middle man and give it direct as corporate welfare to the health fund of your choice?
          Got ya…

        • +1 vote

          WTF? Must b truely be the wild west over there haha.

          In most other countries that guy would be in jail but given he is essentially a white collar crim and politician it makes you above the law in AU.

    • +21 votes

      Private health insurance = American style insurance

      We do not want this f**ked up system here. Just came from over there and seeing my niece rack up a USD65K bill for being in 3 nights of ICU.

      I am so grateful for being in Australia but seeing how the Liberals are running the country I will not be surprised they will give our free healthcare a shank if given the chance.

      • +6 votes

        I bet the Liberals are frothing at the mouth of a US healthcare system.

        It's a road to ruin.


      • -1 vote

        You can thank Queensland for getting them into power.

      • +1 vote

        It's not free. What you really mean is that you would like to continue to have other people pay for your expenses.

        • +2 votes

          Are using the roads free? Are you upset that you are currently paying for a road you are never going to use?


          • +1 vote

            @AlanHB: The roads aren't free either. Is this a concept you are struggling with?


              @Bangbus: No - it's a concept I prefer over wearing an increased cost for my personal use of each road. Do you feel the same?

              • -2 votes

                @AlanHB: For some people it will be an increase or others it will be a decrease. Why do you think you should force other people to pay for your preferences?

                These types of problems have clumsy solutions today (ie universal taxation) because there was no other practical way of recouping cost of public infrastructure.
                But we now have the technology to solve this properly. Eg using a simple GPS device along with vehicle rego you could make all roads user pays. Every metre on every road you use could come at a cost related to the real world cost of using that road. That would be fairer and would allow each individual, rather than the government to have a better choice in how they spend their money.

                • +2 votes

                  @Bangbus: Then should people who live in rural or remote locations be forced to pay exorbitant costs for roads as not as many people use the road in lower density areas?

                  With that same reasoning, the person born with cancer or congenital defect should pay for the services required which would usually mean they wouldn't be able to afford healthcare.

                  Many public services and infrastructure needs to be funded collectively because if it was user pays, a large proportion of the population wouldn't have access to basic services and infrastructure.

                  • -4 votes

                    @jon: If people choose to live in remote areas then they should bear the cost of that decision. Why should you pay for decisions that I make?

    • +9 votes

      These policies cover you to be admitted as a private patient in a public hospital. If you elect to use your cover when admitted to a public hospital, your health insurance company will be footing the bill instead of the government so it does offset the governments health care expenditure of people that have this cover.

      In Qld the public hospital will cover your excess if you elect to use your private cover in a public hospital as they get more funding that way.

    • +1 vote

      Is this the first thread, comment got more ++++ than post?

    • +1 vote

      It's either funding the crooked politicians or dodgy health insurance companies. So I'm happy to just save a few hundred bucks

    • +3 votes

      Problem is that you'd be seen faster in private for "semi-elective" operations.

      Public is amazing for emergencies and that's about it. Some of the fken clinic wait times are 1 year, and that's before being waitlisted (which could be again years to come).

      It's a complicated system, but the two systems definitely isn't great, but I think probably provide the best middle ground - if you have money you pay to get it done earlier than everyone else. It's a shitty system when doctors only do private (cough ophthalmologists) but of course there are some reasons why some doctors would just do that. I wouldn't. And I don't want the system to change any further as those above me have said - not keen on making it like the US.


        Private health insurance doesn't shorten clinic wait times, it only helps you bypass elective surgery wait times. PHI is for inpatient admissions, so clinic appointments with specialists in their private rooms are paid out of pocket and not covered by PHI.

        • +1 vote

          Yes but having that admission to a hospital being covered and accelerated through the waitlist is something I'm sure many would wish to pay for. I would.
          The amount of patients my consultant has been like "cat 3 dont worry about them" and I've been like ???


          Your idea of “elective” probably includes quality of life like not being doubled over in pain and losing a kidney.

          Public health’s idea of elective is anything that doesn’t kill you. You’ve got two kidneys so one is expendable and your quality of life isn’t even a thing.

          I was on a four month wait list for something the ER said was an emergency. Thankfully my work’s private health insurance coincidentally kicked in a few weeks later and I was rushed to surgery in a private hospital in DAYS. I’ll never go without private health again.

          This doesn’t exonerate private health but Jesus when it works it works. Public health SHOULD be the same.

          For the record, I had asked the surgeon if I could pay up front to get there even faster. He said it was literally not an option. It’s so expensive hospitals have no way to even take the money. People have such an idealised view of Australian public health system until you have to use it for something serious but not life threatening. It’s in dire straights.


        but the two systems definitely isn't great, but I think probably provide the best middle ground

        Running a private system concurrently with a public system is a terrible option.

        What happens is the private system attempts to insure everyone that doesn't require insurance and attempts to not insure everyone who does.

        Then when the public system collapses because it's taking on the majority of the burden the private system points at it and claims it's a failure because it wasn't private.

        The CEOs have already been writing articles in the news for idiots claiming that this is the case.


          You're right it's horrible and especially when they blame each other.

          But I see no better solution. I know many would be willing to pay thier way to accelerate themselves through ridicious wait times. It's a half broken system as it is, but what do you do when you feel like you need an operation (i.e. symptoms are unbearable with little to no medication available) but medically you're not at risk if death, losing a limb, etc.? and they tell you to wait years and years? Just today I had a patient who's operation was cancelled after being on the waitlist for 1 year due to an emergency case, and then still hasn't been rescheduled (op was cancelled in Aug 2019).

          BTW I don't claim to know all the sides to the story, I just interact with patients in the public system all the time and hear thier complaints. I have private insurance knowing what the patients tell me. Thankfully have never needed to use it.


          What is you alternative solution?

    • +2 votes

      I used to think that too but here in Vic, we have to pay for ambulance. Therefore, if i choose to pay the medicare surcharge i wont get any ambulance cover but if i go for basic private which is essentially the same amount, i get ambulance cover on top of that. No brainer for me.


        Not all provide ambulance.

      • -1 vote

        Spot on. Same in NSW which is another reason why paying this rather than the levy is a no brainer

        • +1 vote

          You can get ambulance only cover in NSW for very little a year

          That's definitely not much of a contributing factor to take out private cover.


        Just sign up to Ambulance Vic if you just want free ambulance cover.

        • +2 votes

          I don't think that's what free means.

          • -2 votes

            @chickenface: Well when you sign up to Ambulance Vic you are supporting the organisation, in exchange for which you get free ambulance cover.

            Appreciate it doesn't gel with the expectation that many OzBargainers seem to have that they be given everything for free or for a loss to the provider.


              @xyron: Im assuming these private healthcare companies also have some deals with the ambos, so it doesnt really matter who you are paying. What does matter is the $$$ im paying each year.


        Ambulance cover is like $50 a year

  • +61 votes

    These policies exist because of bad policy at a federal level, and I don't necessarily blame individuals for exploiting a loophole. But I think it's worth thinking twice about the ethics of this.

    Yes, you can benefit by saving a small amount. But it also results in a shift of money from government revenue into the pockets of a private health insurance company. While few people like the cost of tax, we all like the benefits of taxation and government revenue. I think it would be more ethical to just pay the damn tax.

    That said the solution is for the govt. to stop subsidising private health insurance companies which are probably not at all economic without a government subsidy.

    • -1 vote

      These policies exist because of bad policy at a federal level

      Those policies exist because of Liberal and Labor voters.

      • +7 votes

        Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

      • +4 votes

        Labor introduced Medicare, could you please show the bad health policies you speak of where Labor is responsible.

        Liberals are fully responsible for gutting medicare and continued corporate welfare

      • +1 vote

        Thankfully, due to Liberal and Labor voters we have one of the best health systems in the world! It's not perfect, but if it wasn't for centrist governments being elected I don't think we would be so lucky.

        • -1 vote

          Good to see someone who gets it.
          It's easy to be an entitled whinger, take a look at most of the comments in here :)
          But look around the world and we have it pretty good. And we have it pretty good because both Liberal and Labor governments have done a reasonable job running the country.

          • +2 votes

            @Bangbus: I lived and worked in a third/majority world country for about a year, after I took an injured local worker to the hospital there, I decided I wasn't going to whinge about our health system again.

            I think it's safe to say we have it better than pretty good, I was lucky enough to live in a totally different culture for about a year which helps to broaden the mind significantly, I think it's safe to say many others haven't had such an opportunity.

      • +1 vote

        BS, Labor introduced Medicare. Liberals are destroying it based on my experience and many medical professionals.


      This. Support public health for all and do not support private health scammers/cronyism: pay the 1%.

      • -3 votes

        Dont think 1% will make much difference to public health. Looking at Sweden, you'll need to pay 10-20% extra tax to fund full public healthcare. So even low incomes pay 29% and high incomes pay 60% in tax in Scandinavian countries. The trade off is they dont need to worry bout getting old.

        Wage of $80k will need to pay $8-10k extra per year in tax. But we have single ppl complain about $3-5k in health cover.

    • +6 votes

      People who "minimize tax" are thieves; they are stealing from the community just as much as a politician charging the state for a private holiday.

      Our 2 tier health system is a disgrace; a cash strapped public system for the poor and a cashed up elite private system for the rich. If the rich were forced to use public hospitals along with the proletariat, their budgets would be greatly increased and everyone would be able to access quality care.

      • -6 votes

        Spoken like a true communist.
        Tell me which is better, a person who earns $50k and pays all their tax, or a billionaire who pays no tax but employs 100,000 people who all earn $50k?

      • +1 vote

        Eh if you want this issue to go away, push for the elimination of private health.


      I dunno man, saving $700/year isn't really a "small" amount.

  • +2 votes

    Great info, thanks OP. Can't agree more although best to always check the govt comparison website to see what's cheapest based on your circumstances. For me, Health.com.au was actually cheaper than Frank when I joined them recently.


      They seem to have made the gov comparison site worse than it used to be. The for-profit sites must have done some lobbying.

  • +18 votes

    Jesus. As someone who works in the industry, I’d really suggest you avoid these policies all together and pay a little bit more for piece of mind.

    These are all horrendous and even if they offset your tax liability, you’d still rather paying a few dollars extra and being covered for things with a long wait period (think knee reco etc).

    • +7 votes

      This. I actually had a knee reconstruction late last month. The operation was two weeks after the injury. With a specialist of my choosing at a private hospital. Total cost of everything including an overnight stay in hospital was around $10,000. I was left $1500 out of pocket. I have decent insurance and it was definitely worth it.
      I'd be on the public waiting list for maybe another year.
      I'm 36.
      Tax minimisation is great. So is having decent insurance when you need it.

    • +7 votes

      still rather paying a few dollars extra and being covered for things with a long wait period (think knee reco etc).

      Maybe a few dollars with a zero or two tacked on for it to be any actual benefit.
      My relo went has mid-tier insurance and the amount she got back was pathetic.

      PHI is the biggest scam in this country and after seeing that happened to them I'm likely to downgrade my cover to a "useless" policy cos obviously next one up is about the same.

    • +1 vote

      Agreed. The comments on here slamming health insurance as "junk" are misleading. There are good value insurance and poor value insurance. The ones suggested seem to mostly be medibank offshoot AHM, which I looked at Medibank last year and found if you got admitted to hospital, they were going to clock you for $2200 per year regardless of whether you paid a higher exccess or not.

      There are treatments and medications with a track record of positive outcomes that the government declines to publicly fund; not just to skip a waiting list but to actually have a shot at getting access to a treatment. Policy isn't the only driver in medicine unfortunately, there are some treatments that government thinks it's better to put on the public purse and then those which get ignored and underfunded due to politics etc

  • +1 vote

    Some good info OP.

    As a side note, if you are truely concerned about a cost of something you feel will likely be used in the future, but unsure about going thru the complexity of a different policies, I’d suggest using iselect and speaking to someone about the particular concern. They are actually knowledgeable about the policies, they don’t compare all funds, but at least when you buy you know your concern is met. The complexity with different funds inclusion and exclusions is horrendous. Also, if you continue to receive calls, unwanted, you just need to politely ask to be on the do no call list afterwards.

  • +16 votes

    Private health insurance is the biggest sham. Taking out specific cover for what you think you may be afflicted with? That's not how medical issues and accidents happen. Unless you're paying for the absolute top cover at an absolutely eyewatering monthly fee that goes up like clockwork every single year, you could well have zero private cover when an issue does arise and be forced into the public system anyway.

    Our useless and corrupt politicians are to blame.


      I agree, but this post is purely for tax minimisation, not intent to use the cover, so I'm unsure if it warrants a neg.

  • +31 votes

    You know that this system is so messed up when it allows useless policies to exist and be used simply for tax reduction, with no direct benefit to the customer.
    It's basically transferring government funds straight into lobbying companies pocket, as it was precisely created with this intention.

  • +7 votes

    I am normally a fan of Choice but in this case it looks like it not comparing all providers so is misleading.
    I thought my provider (health.com.au) was the cheapest for me (NSW) but Choice said it was Frank so I compared again and health.com.au IS cheaper (by around $30pa) so in this case Choice are wrong. (and I am sure health.com.au has always been cheaper than Frank so its unlikely it changed after their write up)

  • +11 votes

    I pay about $100 more with NIB than you've listed ahm in Vic, but I get $200 to claim on dental each year (like an 'extras lite' policy attached). Still effing disgusting that we are forced to pay for junk insurance.

    • +1 vote

      Yep. This is often the better deal if you are happy with junk hospital. Junk hospital + basic extras that can cover a dental visit or two for free and even 100% (no gap) optical in some cases if you need it. I have some Medibank policy I think called Everyday Starter.


      Also with NIB, and agree with the policy being "better" in the sense that you can claim dental, and still avoid the tax surcharge.. If you are going to get private health insurance, rather than getting these completely useless insurance covers, you better consider spending some more $$ and find a policy that actually does something for you.. In my case that was NIB (still junk cover overall). If you are earning way more than 150k a year, you will also find that having private health cover for say $1200-$1500 a year would be cheaper than paying the govt surcharge..

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