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Not-for-Profit Health Funds in Australia

When searching for private health insurance, you might have noticed that there are two types of health funds; not-for-profit and for-profit.
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Updated: 27 May 2024

Unlike a for-profit health fund, a not-for-profit health insurance company doesn’t operate to make a profit for its shareholders. Its primary goal is to benefit its members by using any surplus earnings to decrease premiums or to create and improve benefits.

However, your choice of health insurance company should be based on your requirements and budget, not its business structure.

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What is not-for-profit health insurance?

A not-for-profit health insurance company uses the premiums it receives to operate the business (pay employees and utility bills) and provide benefits to its members. It is a mutual organisation without any shareholders, so any extra profits made are returned to members in the form of lower premiums or new benefits.

Benefits generally expected from a not-for-profit health insurance provider, include:

How does a not-for-profit health fund work?

There’s generally no real difference between how a non-profit vs for-profit health insurance company works. Both require you to pay a premium in exchange for coverage: Hospital, Extras or a Combination of both. However, the surplus profits generated from the premiums you pay will be spent differently.

For-profit health funds use surplus earnings to provide stakeholders with dividends. Not-for-profit companies use it to improve the quality of their services and possibly reduce premiums for the coming year.

Can anyone join?

It depends. Some non-profit health funds are open to anybody, while others are restricted to a specific industry. For example, the Nurses & Midwives Health fund is generally only accessible to people with the nursing and midwifery union. However, in most cases, restricted funds will be available to the specific group and their families.

Some health insurance companies are not available in all states and territories, so it’s essential to provide the state you live in when requesting a quote.

List of not-for-profit health insurance companies in Australia

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Unrestricted

Restricted

Information was gathered from privatehealth.gov.au (August 2019).

Take note: Restricted funds are generally available to its specific members and their families. Most unrestricted not-for-profit health funds operate in all states and territories, except GMHBA that is limited to ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, SA, Tasmania, Vic and WA.

Where can you find health insurance quotes from not-for-profit funds?

You can get quotes from health insurance companies that don’t operate for a profit by visiting their website and applying online. Alternatively, you can use a comparison website to find a non-profit private health insurance company that’s available in your state or territory. You might want to compare major health funds available in Australia.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Members Own Health Funds is a grouping of 19 not-for-profit health insurance companies in Australia, which joined forces in 2014. Together, they aim to always put their members first by investing surplus earning into improving services and products and making premiums more affordable. Members Own is run for the benefit of its members and not for shareholders.

Not necessarily. Although non-profit private health company’s aim to provide its members with affordable premiums, some funds are just too small or new to generate the amount of extra earning needed to reduce premiums.

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Specialist

Megan has extensive experience writing about health and life insurance in Australia. Megan has a special interest in health and wellness. She relies on her background in counselling psychology to convey the latest findings in a manner that is most beneficial to ComparingExperts readers. In every article she writes, Megan aims to uphold the standards of the Private Health Insurance Intermediaries Association (PHIAA) which ComparingExpert is part of.

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