New to Health Insurance?

If you’re looking at getting health insurance for the first time, we know it can be a little overwhelming. We’ve put together a handy guide to help you make the best decision for your circumstances.

Step 1

What is Health Insurance?

Private health insurance lets you have more control over your treatment if you need to go to hospital or use other medical services. While Medicare covers you for treatment in a public hospital, private health insurance lets you choose to be treated in a private hospital, what doctor you see and when you are treated. It also helps reduce the cost for many of those services not fully covered by Medicare like dental, optical and physio.

There are two parts to health insurance: Hospital cover and Extras cover. At CUA Health you can choose Hospital cover, Extras cover, or a combination of both.

The benefits of having private health insurance include:

  • Shorter wait times for surgeries
  • Your choice of doctor and hospital
  • Financial peace of mind
  • Tax benefits
Quick questions
Medicare is part of the Australian public health care system that ensures all Australians have access to basic medical care should they need. If you fall sick or are injured, you can be treated in a public hospital paid for or subsidised by Medicare. The waiting lists for treatment in public hospitals can be quite long and people requiring non-life threatening surgeries may have to wait weeks or even months depending on the treatment.
Public hospitals are government owned and operated, and service the public through Medicare. Because of the demand on public hospitals, there can be lengthy waiting lists for surgeries and patients generally have to share a room with others. Private hospitals are run by independent organisations and give you control over who treats you and when.
If you don’t have a suitable level of hospital cover and earn above the income threshold, you may have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge of an additional 1% to 1.5% of your income. This is on top of the mandatory 2% you already pay as the ‘Medicare Levy. The good news is, all CUA Health Hospital cover options satisfy the government requirements to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge as well as Lifetime Health Cover Loading.

Step 2

How does it work?

When you take out health insurance for the first time, you’ll choose whether you want Hospital cover, Extras cover or a combination of both. You’ll select how much of an excess you’re willing to pay for Hospital cover and what level of Extras cover you’d like. Some waiting periods will then apply before you can make a claim.

When it comes to receiving medical treatment, it’s always a good idea to ask exactly what fees you may have to pay for yourself up front.

Joining and membership

Once you’ve taken out a CUA Health policy, we’ll send out your CUA Health card. While you’re waiting for your card, register for Online Services and download the CUA Health Mobile Claiming app for fast claiming.

Going to hospital

If you ever need to have surgery or are admitted to hospital, provide them with your CUA Health policy details and we take care of everything directly with the hospital – so you just need to focus on getting better.

All you’ll need to do is sign your claim form and pay your excess payment to the hospital.

Claiming on Extras

When it comes to payment, if they use HICAPS you can claim on the spot by swiping your CUA Health card. All you’ll have to do is pay the difference.

Otherwise, pay your bill then make a claim online, on your mobile, in a branch or by mail. Online and mobile claims under $300 are assessed immediately and the funds transferred to your bank account.

Fast FAQ
HICAPS is an on the spot claims system offered by many practitioners. HICAPS allows you to simply swipe your CUA Health card and your claim will be processed immediately, meaning you only need to pay the difference.
If you have private Hospital cover and you suffer injuries as a result of an accident, no waiting periods will apply to the treatment you need.
For both Hospital cover and Extras cover, you must wait a certain period of time before you can claim some services if this is your first health insurance policy. If you're transferring from another fund (within 2 months of leaving your previous fund) or upgrading your level of cover (including previously being covered on your parent's policy), any waiting period you previously served will be recognised by CUA Health so you can claim straight away.

Step 3

What cover is right for me?

It really comes down to how healthy you are, what you’ll use and what’s important to you. If you are over 31 or earn more than $90,000 a year as a single or $180,00 as a couple or family, you should consider Hospital cover to avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge and the Lifetime Health Cover Loading.

If you use health services like optical, dental or physio, have a look at the full list of services covered by Extras and consider if it’s right for you.

What’s what?
An excess is an upfront amount that you agree to pay towards the cost of hospital treatment, in exchange for lower premium costs. The excess does not apply to day surgery or dependant children.
Important information Important information Show content

**Get 4% discount on your CUA Health premium when you register to pay your premium by direct debit from a Great Southern Bank transaction account. CUA Health reserves the right to amend or remove the discount and any qualifying criteria at any time. We will always provide you with reasonable notice before exercising this right. Full terms and conditions available at

Health insurance is provided by CUA Health Ltd ABN 98 098 685 459 (CUA Health) which is not an authorised deposit-taking institution. Great Southern Bank, a business name of Credit Union Australia Ltd ABN 44 087 650 959 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 238317 does not guarantee or support CUA Health.

Click here to see the full CUA Health Terms and Conditions.