Northern Territory Health Insurance

Published: September 11, 2017

Did you know your health insurance premiums are also influenced by the state you live in? For instance, if the residents in your area are generally unhealthy, and frequently claim from their health fund, you might pay higher premium rates than someone purchasing the same level of cover in another state of Australia.

Find out which health insurance company in NT offers you the right level of cover at a price you can afford.

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Finding affordable health insurance in NT

The cost of health insurance is influenced by a variety of factors, including your personal requirements, state demographics, the level of competition between health funds, and the health trends in your area.

Not all policies are created equal. Even when they seem similar, they can be drastically different in features and benefits, which is why it’s so important that you carefully review the terms and conditions of a policy before purchasing.

To make sure that you’re getting maximum value for your premium, it’s important that you compare apples to apples and decide which one offers you the most benefits for your buck.

Northern Territory health insurance compared

The below table shows 6 of Australia’s top health insurance companies available in Northern Territory. The premiums and policy type is based on a single adult, with no dependents, purchasing for a combined hospital and extras package.

Health Fund Policy Option Excess Average Monthly Premium What Stands Out
Australian Unity Smart Start $100 $144.50 Partial cover for ambulance services with no waiting period. You’ll also receive cover for general dental, optical and physiotherapy.
Bupa Healthlink essentials plus $500 $103.60 Top cover for inpatient hospital treatment with partial ambulance coverage. Remedial massage & acupuncture is also covered.
HCF Young Starter $250 $96.65 Free overseas travel insurance and comprehensive ambulance cover. You’ll also be covered for optical, chiropractic and physiotherapy.
Medibank Everyday Essentials $500 $96.45 Full benefits for the removal of wisdom teeth, tonsils and appendix & treatment of injuries sustained in an accident. You’re also covered for dental, optical, and acupuncture.
ACT Nurses and Midwives StarterPak $0 $76.25 Full benefits for hernias, knee and shoulder investigations and reconstructions and well as cover for dental, optical, physiotherapy and remedial massage.
Teachers Health Fund StarterPak $0 $76.25 Comprehensive ambulance cover with access to a national network of agreement private hospitals & day facilities. You’ll also receive cover for Non PBS Pharmaceuticals, chiropractic and physiotherapy.
Is Your Health Cover Sufficient?

Health insurance NT: Exclusions and waiting periods

If you were to become pregnant and your policy excludes maternity treatments and services, then you will have to pay entire cost pregnancy related services not covered by Medicare. The same applies if your policy includes a pregnancy waiting period of 12 months and you fall pregnant before this period has been served.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you are aware and understand all these details before purchasing your policy.


Exclusions refer to all treatments not covered by your policy, meaning you cannot claim for these specific services. For example, most insurers exclude cover for any claims you make if two years have passed since you received treatment – even if that treatment is covered by your policy.

Other common exclusions usually include:

  • Any claims that you make if your membership has been suspended.
  • Treatment received overseas.
  • Treatments not covered by your policy.
  • If you can get the treatment from the government for free.
  • Treatment received by a family member or business partner.

Waiting periods

A waiting period is the time you’ll have to wait before you can gain access to the services and treatments available on your policy. Waiting periods rarely get waived and is a general practice to protect the company against people taking out a policy just to receive treatment and then cancelling immediately afterwards.

Typical waiting periods might include:

  • 2 months: for some extras, like physio and general dental services, as well as psychiatric care, rehabilitation, and palliative care.
  • 2 months: for some major dental procedures, like crowns and bridges.
  • 6 months: for Optometry, like your glasses and contact lenses.
  • 12 months: for pregnancy and birth-related services, like obstetricians’ fees.
  • 12 months: for pre-existing conditions, like cancer.

Because waiting periods, in general, are almost never waived, it might be worth getting cover as soon as possible to avoid unexpected out-of-pocket costs.

Avoid levies and claim rebates

Private health insurance rebate

The Australian government encourages you to take our private health cover to help reduce the strain on the public health care system (Medicare) by giving you a rebate in the form of a percentage of the cost of your premiums.

You can receive to a maximum of 34.579% by either in reduced premiums or through your tax return at the Australian Tax Office (ATO).

MLS and LHC levies

If you get private cover before the 1st of July following your 31st birthday, then you can avoid the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading, which charges an additional 2% tax. While 2% may not sound like much, an additional 2% will be added every year until you purchase private health insurance, up to a maximum of 70%.

You can also save up to 1.5% in tax by avoiding the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS). The MLS is an additional tax amount that you pay if you don’t have private health cover and you earn an income over a certain amount.

NT health insurance FAQs

Are ambulance services covered in NT?

No, ambulance services are not covered by the Northern Territory Government. The cost of emergency ambulance services is charged per kilometre and includes a call out fee. To cover these costs, you either need to become a member of St John Ambulance or take out private health insurance that includes ambulance cover with your policy.

Are dental services free in the Northern Territory?

Yes, there are free public dental services for those living in the NT if:

  • You’re part of the Federal Government’s cleft lip and cleft palate scheme,
  • You have a Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card or a Centrelink Health Care Card, or
  • You’re under 18 years old, don’t work full-time, and are still in school.

You can also access free emergency dental care if you’re a remote resident (meaning more than a 100km from your nearest health service) and don’t have access to private dental.

The best way to find cover that suits your budget and requirements is to compare policies and premiums from various health funds.

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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?


  • Ros |

    Do you know anything about Territory Health Fund for QLD Country?

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hi Ros. You can find more information about private health insurance for Queensland residents here.

  • Ramy |

    Looking at the northern territory health insurance comparison table, what does EXCESS mean?

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hi Ramy.
      An Excess in private health insurance generally refers to the amount you agree to pay toward the cost of hospital treatment, in exchange for a lower premium.

  • Nihara De Silva |

    Dear Sir,

    My family and I are planning to migrate to the Northern Territory soon under the provincial 489 visas. My husband and I, together with our child need suitable health cover under any preferred health fund you recommend.

    Please advise us the instructions in detail regarding this.

      Anneke Van Aswegen |

      Hi Nihara,

      Generally, the health fund you choose should be dependent on your budget, how many doctor’s visits your family usually take every year, which prescriptions medications you use, if you have any chronic conditions or plan to have a surgery soon. There are many health funds offering cover for visas 489, including:

      I recommend you fill in the quote form above, so a specialist may give you a call and help you with your purchasing decision.