Evaluating Budget Direct Health Insurance

Published: October 5, 2017

Our Budget Direct Health Insurance review gives you the opportunity to compare features and benefits available on their Hospital and Extras cover options.

Packages available

  • Single
  • Family
  • Over 55’s

Compare hospital cover

  • Top hospital
  • Mid hospital
  • Public hospital

Important info

  • Waiting periods
  • Membership rewards
  • How to claim

With health insurance from Budget Direct you choose your doctor, surgeon or specialist. Not only that, but their Hospital and Extras mix-and-match packages help you choose the right cover for your current stage of life while minimising out-of-pocket-expenses.

You’ll also get to choose between 50% and 85% back on your consultation or treatment cover, depending on the policy you choose.

ComparingExpert does not currently have access to this provider. Visit www.budgetdirect.com.au to request a quote and compare their price and benefits to the Australian private health insurance companies we have access to.

An active, healthy lifestyle has far-reaching benefits. Not only does it help you face the future with confidence, it enables you to continue to provide for yourself and your family. Having the right health cover helps you maintain financial control during times of ill health or injury.

Budget Direct Health Insurance wants to help you feel in control of your life, despite unexpected situations, like medical emergencies, derailing your plans.

They’ve been awarded the 2017 Winning Insurer by Money Magazine, Australia’s highest selling, longest-running and most-read personal finance magazine.

Brought to you by GMHBA Ltd

Budget Direct Health is owned by GMHBA Health Insurance, a member-based, non-profit health fund which has been in operation since 1934. GMHBA is one of Australia’s top health insurance providers.

Budget Direct Health Insurance Review

With cover options like Budget Direct’s Family Value Package and Single Parent Membership you, your partner and anyone under the age of 21 living with you, including adopted and permanent foster children, can receive proper health insurance.

Student dependents remain covered until they turn 25 years old, at which point they will need to decide whether they want to be transferred to an equivalent or lower level of health insurance. A waiting period will not need to be served if they opt for transferring within the Budget Direct range of offerings.

Packages available at all stages of life

Budget Direct Australia has a variety of packages you can choose from. You can opt for an existing pre-packaged Hospital and Extras bundle or you can create your own unique mix-n-match cover.

If you prefer to create your own mix, simply:

  1. Select one of the three levels of hospital cover: Public, Mid or Top Hospital.
  2. Choose your Extras Cover: Basic or Top.

Pre-packaged options

Package Benefits Average monthly premium Excess
Starter Package
  • Basic hospital cover
  • No out-of-pocket expenses for 7 out of 10 medical services paid for in NSW & ACT
  • Hospital treatments that resulted from an accident
  • Partial cover for ambulance services
  • Covers removal of wisdom teeth, tonsils, adenoids and appendix
  • Joint reconstruction and investigations and minor gynaecological procedures
  • Covers physiotherapy and chiropractic
$121.11 $500
Starter Package Plus Same as Starter Package, but includes Extras for:
  • General dental
  • Optical
  • Acupuncture and Naturopathy
$151.64 $500
New Family Package
  • Hospital treatment & accommodation as a private patient in a private or public hospital
  • Partial cover for ambulance
  • Includes pregnancy cover
  • 60% back on popular Extras
  • General and major dental and orthodontics
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy, podiatry, and chiropractic
  • Psychological services
  • Acupuncture, naturopathy, and remedial massage
  • Hearing Aids
  • Blood glucose monitors
$489.90 $500 per person to max $1,000
Direct Family Value Package
  • Basic hospital cover with pregnancy at public hospitals only
  • Ambulance cover for emergencies only
  • 60% back on popular Extras
  • Covers all dental services, as well as orthodontics
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy, podiatry, chiropractic and psychological services
  • Acupuncture, naturopathy, remedial massage
  • Hearing Aids
  • Blood glucose monitors
$372.12 $500 per person to max $1,000
Established Family Package Basically the same as the Value Package, except:
  • Excludes pregnancy services
  • Higher limits for orthodontics, general dental and physiotherapy
  • Partial cover for cataract and eye lens procedures and psychiatric services
$463.17 $500 per person to max $1,000
Freedom Package
  • Designed for people over the age of 55
  • Coverage for joint replacement and cataracts
  • General and major dental, including dentures
  • Optical
  • Remedial massage, hydrotherapy and homoeopathy
  • Home nursing
  • Hearing aids, orthopaedic appliance and pressure garments
$229.10 $500

Compare Health Insurers

Request your quote today
Need help? Call us on 1300 795 560

Budget Direct Private Hospital Cover

There are three Hospital Cover options for you to choose from:

  • Top Hospital: Covers all medical services, giving you private privileges in public and participating private hospitals.
  • Mid Hospital: Offers good coverage but with limited services.
  • Public Hospital: The most affordable and most basic level of cover, offering only the essentials.

Hospital cover benefits compared

Benefits Top Hospital Mid Hospital Public Hospital
Emergency Ambulance
Cardiac surgery and coronary care
Intensive care
Eye surgery
Joint reconstruction
Palliative care
Medically required plastic surgery
Same-day treatment
Cataract surgery
Joint replacement
Dental implants done while in hospital
Delivery suite
Obstetrics (childbirth and midwifery)
Note: Services are covered as private patient in a public hospital.

Extras Cover

You can choose between two levels of Extras Cover:

  • Basic Extras Cover: Some of the Extras you’ll receive cover for includes chiropractic, physiotherapy, dental, and optical.
  • Top Extras Cover: Similar to Basic Extras but with higher annual limits and it includes more services like podiatry, occupational therapy, psychology and speech therapy.

Take note: Both options allow you to choose how much you’ll get back from the provider: 55% OR 85%

Waiting Periods

A waiting period is simply a period of time that must pass before you can claim. Meaning you will only be able to start claiming for services and treatments once you’ve served your specific waiting period. This applies to both Hospital and Extras Cover.

Alternatively, if you already have private health insurance and want to switch to Budget Direct you may not have to re-serve the waiting periods you’ve already served with your previous insurer.

Take note: Should your new Budget Direct Insurance have higher benefits than your previous cover, you will only be able to claim on those higher benefits once you have completed the standard waiting period.

General waiting periods include:

  • 12 months for major dental procedures (including root canal treatment).
  • 6 months for optical services.
  • 12 months for obstetrics, maternity care and pre-existing conditions.
  • 1 day for ambulance transport and accidents.

Membership Rewards

As a Budget Direct Health Insurance Policy Holder, you are rewarded you will receive a Rewards card and unique number or passcode. This gives you access to the Rewards Program and will be mailed to you within 15 – 25 days after your membership joining date.

Once you have your Rewards card, you can look forward to the following discounts:

  • 15% on Car Insurance
  • 30% on Home and Contents Insurance
  • 15% on Home insurance
  • 15% on Contents Insurance
  • 10% on Life Insurance
  • 10% on Travel Insurance

How to submit a Budget Direct Health insurance claim?

Making a claim on your Budget Direct Health insurance can be done online or by post. Alternatively, you simply need to present your membership card when you are admitted to hospital, and they will take care of the rest. For Extras cover you can swipe your membership card through the health care provider’s electronic claims terminal.

Should your service provider not have electronic facilities, you will need to pay upfront, then claim online. It is important that you keep your receipt for two years, in case of an audit.

Once your claim has been authorised, you only need to pay for the difference between the full amount and the amount Budget Direct has agreed to pay.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I’m a member, do I automatically receive ambulance cover?

Yes, Budget Direct members do automatically receive ambulance cover, as disclosed under your hospital benefits. In fact, you’ll receive cover for all clinically necessary emergency ambulance services. However, it is recommended that you also check with your state’s ambulance authority to ensure you are properly covered for non-emergency ambulance transportation.

Does Budget Direct cover my child during their studies?

Yes, student dependants are covered under their parents’ family or single parent membership policy until they turn 25 years old, after which they are given two months to organise new health insurance for themselves.

Find out more about which health insurance policy will fit your needs and budget by comparing policies online.

Compare Health Insurers

Request your quote today
Need help? Call us on 1300 795 560

Thanks for reaching out!

We will review your comment and get back to you as soon as possible. If your inquiry is urgent, please use the phone number listed at the top of this page.

Talk to you soon.

Ask an Expert?


  • Natalie Mace |

    I’d like to see if you can get cover for a purchase of a breast pump on your policies. I currently already have a policy not sure if it’s covered or not and if not what would be an extra cost?

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hey Natalie,
      Great question, thanks for posting.

      Whether your private health insurer would give a rebate on breast pumps depends on the type and level of coverage you have and the health insurer you chose. Be sure to check your health insurance documents.

      Depending on whether you’re starting a family or are a new family you might want to compare the best health insurance companies for pregnancy or determine which companies offer the best cover for young families.

  • My name is Bethne Robertson acting for Mohinder Singh |

    I am looking for Hospital and General Extras with a $250 Hospital excess per year for a pensioner named Mohinder. He is 75 years old and lives in South Australia and has never had private health insurance before.

    At present, his health is good except for a knee problem which may need to be replaced in the future. He has only one lung but does not seem to experience any difficulties. I am assisting him because of a language issue.

    He is an Australian resident (naturalized Australian). His teeth are in good condition at present. Hearing Aids going through the government system and he may need spectacles in the future.
    Please, could we have a quote?

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hello Bethne.
      It’s is very kind of you to help Mohinder.

      Let me start by addressing his health. Private health insurers must cover treatment for pre-existing medical conditions. However, most health funds will impose a 12-month waiting period before you can claim any benefits regarding a medical condition that existed prior to applying for the policy.

      Private health insurance for seniors can range anywhere from $1767.48 per year, depending on the insurer you choose.

      My main concern is the lifetime health cover loading, which might increase Mohinder’s premiums by as much a 70%. I would urge you to please fill in the quote form above or call directly on 1300 786 328 so a specialist can assist you.

  • Margaret A South |

    I already have extras cover and am enquiring about adding basic hospital cover.

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hi Margaret,

      To better assist you, we need a bit more information, like the state you live in and whether the cover is only for you or for you and your family.

      Kindly fill in the quote form above and a specialist will help you.

  • Neil henry Rogers |

    Hi, expert my name is Neil Rogers membership no 331***. Can I claim for a nebuliser as I need it for acute asthma? I have top hospital only policy.

    Thank you

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hello Neil.

      A nebuliser generally falls under health appliances and are usually covered under Extras policies. So, if you have a hospital plan only you might not be covered. However, it’s best to contact your insurer directly. You can call Budget Direct health insurance on 1300 665 623.

  • Vic Vella |

    My Wife and I have separate health policy with CUA. We do not pay an excess and have the top policy. We are a very healthy 78-year-olds. Could you please advice and quote? Thanks.

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hello Vic,

      To provide you with a quote we need a bit more information, including the state you live in, whether you want a Hospital only, Extras only or Combined policy and whether you’re looking to pay less in premiums or need cover more suited to your specific requirements. Please give our specialists a call on 1300 786 328 or fill in the quote form above.

  • Justine Kennedy |

    I have been a member of Budget Direct Health Insurance and Budget Direct Car Insurance for the past 3 years. As I was reviewing my policy today, I noticed as a BDHI member I should be receiving 15% off my Budget Direct Car Insurance payment each year. I don’t believe I have received this over the years and was wondering how I claim this discount before I pay my next annual fee.

    I do have a Members Card, but I don’t have a Rewards Card.
    Could you please let me know what I have to do to use this discount, please.
    Thank you.

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hello Justine.
      Concerning company rewards and discounts, it’s best to contact the insurer directly. You might want to visit their website and navigate to their existing customers’ page for more information.