Important Disclosure

Our mission at ComparingExpert is to provide our users with free information and tools that empowers you to make decisions with confidence. We may be paid when readers visit links, purchase products or services from partners listed on this site.

You do not pay any extra for using our service.

While compensation arrangements may affect the order, position or placement of product information, it doesn’t influence our assessment of those products.

Please don’t interpret the order in which products appear on our site as any endorsement or recommendation from us. www.comparingexpert.com.au compares a select range of products, providers and services, but we don’t provide comparisons or information on all available products, providers or services. There may be other options available to you than the products, providers or services covered by our service.

or call 1300 795 560 to speak with a specialist

2021 Defence Health Guide

Megan Fraser
Megan Fraser Updated: 27 May 2021
Types of Health Insurance

As an Australian defence force member, you may have a host of unique health care requirements and would like cover tailored to your requirements. Alternatively, you may be seeking health insurance for the first time, you’d like to switch to the Defence Health Insurance Fund, or simply want to review your current health plan, this guide will help you find the best possible policy for your requirements.

Defence Health Fund offers seven different Hospitals plans and three separate Extras cover policies. You also have the option to combine plans to create the ideal policy for you and your family. Compare their policy options, find out how to claim and learn how to join this fund before deciding whether they’re the right fund for you.

Top 3 features of this insurer

  • Only those who belong to the ADF or their family members can become a member and purchase cover from the Defence Health Fund.
  • This fund has seven Hospitals plans and three Extras plans. You can also combine plans or pick from a pre-designed package.
  • While the company does cover ambulances, they do not offer an ambulance only cover.

ComparingExpert does not currently have access to this provider. Visit Defence Health Fund to request a quote and compare their price and benefits to the Australian private health insurance companies we have access to.

Can anyone join Defence Health?

No, if you’d like to join this fund you’ll need to be either a full-time or reservist ADF personnel member or their partner or child.  This includes anyone working in the Department of Defence and other Defence-related departments or working for a company or agency contracted to the Department of Defence or involved in the supply of goods or services to the Defence.

About this fund

The Defence Force Health Fund is a not-for-profit healthcare provider that has been offering healthcare cover since 1953. The company aims to support the families of those who defended Australia and care for those who once served and are currently serving. Today, the company has over 300 000 members.

How does military health insurance for family members work?

Current and ex-spouses/partners, children, grandchildren, siblings and parents of a serving or ex-serving ADF member or ADF supporter can join the Defence Health fund. Find out if you qualify by using the DVA Nominal Roles. Once your eligibility is confirmed, you can join by filling in the application form available on the DH website or call directly on1800 335 425.

What does the Defence Force Health fund cover?

The insurer offers seven Hospitals plans and three Extras policies. They also offer dental and optical care, provide access to health and wellness programmes, assist with ex-servers who wish to transition into their new lives smoothly, and have both a young adult support plan and pre and post-natal programmes.

Defence Health Hospital cover

NamePrice Per MonthBenefitsRestrictions
basic medal
Essentials Hospital Basic Plus 250
$109.72
  • Bone, joint and muscle
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Dental surgery
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Gastrointestinal endoscopy
  • Tonsils, adenoids and grommets
  • Hospital psychiatric services
  • Palliative care
  • Rehabilitation
bronze medal
Everyday Hospital Bronze Plus
$122.11
  • Miscarriage and termination of pregnancy
  • Blood Eye (not cataracts)
  • Podiatric surgery
  • Brain and nervous system
  • Gynaecology
  • Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy for cancer
  • Dental surgery Kidney and bladder
  • Diabetes management (excluding insulin pumps)
  • Lung and chest
  • Hospital psychiatric services
  • Palliative care
  • Rehabilitation
silver medal
Core Hospital Silver Plus
$145.77
  • Heart and vascular system
  • Insulin pumps
  • Palliative care
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery (medically necessary)
  • Podiatric surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Sleep studies
  • Hospital psychiatric services
silver medal
Advantage Hospital Silver Plus
$210.21
  • Brain and nervous system
  • Breast surgery (medically necessary)
  • Cataracts
  • Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy for cancer
  • Dialysis for chronic kidney failure
  • Gastrointestinal endoscopy
  • Palliative care
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Hospital psychiatric services
gold medal
Ultimate Hospital Gold 500
$247.56
  • Heart and vascular system
  • Palliative care
  • Brain and nervous system
  • Hospital psychiatric services
  • Cataracts
  • Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy for cancer
  • Insulin pumps
  • Rehabilitation
  • Diabetes management
  • Joint replacements
  • Sleep studies
  • Dialysis for chronic kidney failure
  • Weight loss surgery
  • No restrictions

Source: PrivateHealth.gov.au (May 2021; Hospital only premium estimates for a single Adult with no dependents in NSW)

Defence Health Extras Cover

NamePrice Per MonthWaiting PeriodsAnnual Limits
Essential Extras$30.38
  • 2 Months: General dental, Optical, Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Remedial massage, Exercise physiology, Osteopathy, Vaccinations
  • General dental: $500 per policy
  • Optical: $170 per policy
  • Physiotherapy, Chiropractic: $450 per policy
  • Acupuncture: $200 per policy
Value Extras$70.29
  • 12 Months: Major dental, Endodontic, Orthodontic, Hearing aids
  • 2 Months: General dental, Optical, Non PBS pharmaceuticals, Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Podiatry, Acupuncture, Remedial massage, Audiology, Ante-natal/Post-natal classes, Dietetics/dietary advice, Eye therapy, Health management, Occupational therapy, Osteopathy, Speech therapy, Vaccinations
  • General dental: $900 per policy
  • Major dental, Endodontic: $900.00
  • Orthodontic: $800 per policy
  • Optical: $255 per policy
  • Non PBS pharmaceuticals, Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Podiatry, Psychology: $900 per policy
  • Acupuncture: $300 per policy
  • Hearing aids: $1,000 per policy
Premier Extras$117.13
  • 12 Months: Major dental, Endodontic, Orthodontic, Hearing aids, Blood glucose monitors, Orthotics
  • 2 Months: General dental, Optical, Non PBS pharmaceuticals, Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Podiatry, Psychology, Acupuncture, Remedial massage, Audiology, Ante-natal/Post-natal classes, Dietetics/dietary advice, Exercise physiology, Eye therapy, Health management, Occupational therapy, Osteopathy, Speech therapy, Vaccinations
  • Major dental, Endodontic: $1,100 per policy
  • Orthodontic: $1,000 per policy
  • Optical: $300 per policy
  • Non PBS pharmaceuticals, Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, Podiatry, Psychology: $1,300 per policy
  • Acupuncture, Remedial massage: $400 per policy
  • Hearing aids, Blood glucose monitors: $1,500 per policy

Source: PrivateHealth.gov.au (May 2021; Extras only premium estimates for a single Adult with no dependents in NSW)

Defence Health waiting periods

How to claim from Defence health

Call the insurer before going into the hospital, so they can make it easy for you to claim. To claim on your Extras cover, you have four options:

  • Claim on the spot by swiping your member card on the terminal.
  • Download and complete a Defence Health claim form, available through their website, and fax, post or email it to them.
  • Claim online by registering on their website and logging in.
  • Download their Mobile Claiming App available from the Google Play store and App store.

Frequently asked questions and answers

  • If I switch to Defence Health cover, how long must I wait before I can claim benefits?

    There is generally no need to re-serve waiting periods when switching to a Defence Health insurance policy, similar to the level and type cover you had before, within 2 months after leaving your current fund. However, you’ll continue to serve the remainder of the waiting periods that you’ve not completed on your former fund. If you apply for a higher level of cover, you’ll have to serve the waiting period for the additional or increased benefits.
  • Does Defence health cover prescriptions?

    Yes, the insurance company covers most optical and eye care products and procedures, depending on your level of cover. When it comes to optical benefits, the benefits are paid only where sight correcting prescriptions accompany the claim.
  • Is Defence health any good?

    This typically depends on your requirements. So, it’s best to compare all of the facts before making a decision. The company has been running since 1953. Today, it has over three hundred thousand members and is the leading health insurance fund for those working in the Australian Defence Force. In 2020, the insurance company covered 90.6% of all hospital treatments requested by members.
  • Who is eligible for Defence health?

    You’ll typically be able to become a member and take out if you’ve worked for the Australian Defence Force either part-time of full-time. You may also be able to buy cover if you’re related to a current or former employer and anyone who has worked or is working in the Department of Defence or defence supplier.
  • Does Defence health cover laser eye surgery?

    Depending on your level of Extras cover, you may be eligible for laser eye surgery cover. Cover for laser eye surgery is only applicable to Defence Health fund members who hold a certain level of Extras coverage. If so, the insurance company provides up to $1500 per person to cover laser eye surgery at one of their recognised day surgery centres every two years.

Health Insurance Quotes

  • Reduce out-of-pocket expenses
  • Keep you family healthy
  • Easy and convenient
  • Free to use

Want to talk to a specialist? Call 1300 795 560

Other topics

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.

Have a question? Ask a specialist.