CUA Health Insurance Review

Compare Club Contributor

Compare Club Contributor

Updated 14/03/2022

CUA merged with HBF in October 2021 and is closed to new members. We’ve kept our detailed review of CUA below.

CUA health insurance review


CUA merged with HBF in October 2021 and is no longer taking on new members.

HBF has said there are no changes to existing CUA health cover, premiums, and benefits.

Below are CUA’s policies at the time of the merger for reference, but you can no longer buy new policies from CUA.

CUA Health and HBF aren’t on our panel of health funds but we're confident we can get you a great deal on your health insurance.

Key Points

  • Merged with HBF in October 2021.

  • Not taking on new customers with CUA, but members can join HBF.

  • Kids covered until they’re 23.


Hospital cover

Nobody chooses to go to hospital.

But when you do, hospital cover will help you get the treatment you need, where and when you want it.

It also helps to pay the bills, as fees for hospital rooms and specialists can add up.

Think about what services you're likely to need from a health insurance policy and those that are in line with your budget.

If you earn over $90,000 individually or $180,000 as a couple, you could avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

CUA Health offers seven hospital plans.

There's basic plans that have a number of inclusions through to top tier cover for couples who are trying for a baby.

Excess values range from $0 to $750.

Basic Saver Plus Hospital

A no-frills policy with a large range of hospital services for a Basic plan, including dental surgery.

Comes with $500 excess. The inclusions make this an option for younger, healthy Australians.

Key inclusions:

  • Tonsils, adenoids and grommets

  • Joint reconstructions

  • Hernia and appendix

Bronze Plus Hospital

An affordable hospital plan designed for young singles, couples and families on a budget.

Comes with the option of $500 or $750 excess and includes a large number of items usually found in Silver policies.

Key inclusions:

  • Kidney and bladder

  • Chemo, radiotherapy and immunotherapy

  • Podiatric surgery

Standard Hospital (Silver Plus)

Mid-range cover for a broad range of common hospital procedures.

This policy doesn’t include pregnancy or several of the more expensive items, but still offers a high level of cover.

Option of $500 or $750 excess.

Key inclusions:

  • Rehabilitation

  • Palliative care

  • Insulin pumps

Premium Hospital Non-Obstetrics (Silver Plus)

CUA's Premium Hospital Plan has been designed with older Australians in mind. It includes almost everything except pregnancy services and weight loss surgery.

This means members can get top tier cover without paying for items they won't need. This has a $250, $500 and $750 excess. The $250 excess is currently closed to new members and existing members changing their cover.

Key inclusions:

  • Joint replacements

  • Dialysis for chronic kidney failure

  • Implantation of hearing devices

Premium Select Hospital (Silver Plus)

Mid-range cover for a broad range of common hospital procedures. Covers pregnancy and offers a high level of cover. You can also get a 2% to 10% discount on this policy if you’re between 18 and 29 years old.

Option of $500 or $750 excess.

Key inclusions:

  • Pregnancy and birth

  • Skin

  • Heart and vascular system

Ultimate Hospital (Gold)

CUA's top level of cover with no exclusions and the option of no excess, $250 excess, $500 excess or $750 excess.

Cover includes pregnancy and birth services, so this plan is suitable if you're starting or growing your family.

Key inclusions:

  • Pregnancy and birth

  • Assisted reproductive services

  • Weight loss surgery

Ambulance Cover

Emergency ambulance cover is included on all hospital policies after a one-day waiting period.

Extras cover

CUA’s extras reset on January 1 every year.

From dental, to optical, to chiro and more, extras insurance helps cover the bills for routine treatments with rebates of up to 100%.

While we've summarised the key points of each plan below, it's always worth digging a little deeper into any gap fees, how much you can claim back, and whether your preferred healthcare provider, such as your local dentist, has an agreement with the health fees

Take the time to work out what you need and what you're prepared to pay.

If this feels a bit overwhelming, our experts are here to help.

CUA Health offers six extra policies to suit a range of budgets and life stages.

Their highest package offers unlimited general dental, while their lowest package still gives you up to $350 back on some services.

50% Extras

A no-frills plan designed for the young and healthy, that only gives you 50% back on dental and physio. 

Key inclusions:

  • General dental

  • Physio (combined limits with general dental)

  • Emergency ambulance transport

Essential Extras

A budget option that offers a little more than the 50% extras package.

There's a wider range of services, including optical and alternative therapies, that allows you up to $200 per family back on remedial massage and acupuncture per family.

Key inclusions:

  • General dental

  • 100% back on optical up to $150

  • Chirotherapy and osteotherapy

60% Extras

A more comprehensive extras package that allows you to claim 60% back on dental, optical, physio, chiro, alternative therapies, and more. 

Key inclusions:

  • Combined major and general dental 

  • 100% back on optical, up to $200

  • Allied health services available such as physio, chiro, and osteo (some sub limits apply).

Classic Extras

Mid-level cover with generous annual limits across a much wider range of extras.

Orthodontics has a $1500 lifetime limit while many other services increase their annual limits the longer you stay on the policy.

Key inclusions:

  • Orthodontics

  • Podiatry

  • Occupational therapy

75% Extras

A top tier comprehensive cover that gives you up to 75% back on everything from dental to podiatry.

Annual limits are combined on many services, such as major dental and orthodontics.

Key inclusions:

  • General dental and major dental

  • Exercise physiology

  • Psychology

Total Extras

CUA's most expensive and comprehensive level of cover with high annual limits.

Unlike the 75% Extras package, many items come with separate annual limits.

Key inclusions:

  • Unlimited general dental

  • $1,600 annual limit on major dental

  • $900 back on physiotherapy after 3 years

  • Up to 80% of cost back on health and hearing aids, and other appliances (sub limits apply).

Combined cover packages

Healthy Start Package (Basic Plus)

CUA's more expensive Basic package can only be taken out in combination with the corresponding extras policy.

It has a $50 a night co-payment for overnight hospital stays up to a maximum of $250 per admission, but it does include some items usually found in higher tiers of cover.

The extras package is no-frills but may offer better value than CUA's 50% Extras.

Key private hospital hospital inclusions:

  • Eyes (excluding cataracts)

  • Male reproductive system

  • Ear, nose and throat

  • Bone, joint and muscle

Key extras inclusions:

  • Up to $350 back on general and major dental combined

  • Up to $150 back on frames and lenses

  • Combined limits on physio, chiro, osteo, psychology, and remedial massage.

  • No annual limit on emergency ambulance transport.


Waiting periods

To stop people signing up, claiming, then cancelling their health insurance, all insurers apply waiting periods.

Generally, the more expensive the treatment, the longer you'll wait.

But keep an eye out for special deals with waiting periods reduced or waived.

Hospital waiting periods

  • 12 months for pre-existing conditions, pregnancy and birth

  • 2 months for hospital psychiatric services, rehabilitation and palliative care as well as all other services

  • Cover for an accident is immediate, including ambulance

Extra waiting periods

  • 12 months for major dental services, orthodontics, health appliances and health aids

  • 6 months for optical and wellness benefits

  • 2 months for all other services, including general dental, chiro, osteo and all other services

Member benefits

If you pay your combined hospital and extras premiums from an eligible CUA transaction account, and you'll get a 4% discount.

Members can also get optical discounts at selected providers, and access to a number of wellness programs, such as weight control.

CUA Health also offers money back on approved kids swimming lessons at selected swim schools.

How to claim

Claim on the spot through the HICAPS payment system at your provider.

You can also claim online through the CUA Health Mobile Claiming app or the online hub as well as  dropping your claim form into a CUA Branch.

Hospital agreements

CUA Health has agreements with most hospital and day surgery providers across Australia.

When comparing policies, it's worth checking if your local hospitals and clinics are covered.

Our specialists at Compare Club can do this for you.

Customer service

CUA Health received 0.8% of complaints in 2021, and has a market share of 0.6%^.



1. Is CUA a not-for-profit fund?

No, CUA is a for-profit fund.

2. Who can apply? Are there restrictions?

There are no restrictions as to who can apply to CUA Health.

3. Is it easy to switch to CUA?

CUA is not on Compare Club’s panel, but we’re confident we can find you a good deal from the other health insurers we compare.

4. Do I need to re-serve waiting periods?

If you switch to an equivalent or lower level of cover, you won’t have to serve new waiting periods. However, you may need to serve new waiting periods if your new policy includes additional services or higher benefits

5. Can I change my level of cover?

Yes, you can choose a lower or higher level of cover.

If you move to a higher level of cover, you will usually need to serve waiting periods on the extra services/higher benefits.

6. Do I get the government rebate?

For every dollar of private health insurance premiums, the Australian Government provides eligible Australians with a rebate of up to 33.4% (depending on your age and income). To learn what you’re entitled to, read our rebate guide.

7. Do I have to pay the Lifetime Health Cover loading?

If you’re 31 or over, you usually need to pay 2% loading for each year you’ve gone without hospital cover since the 1st July following your 31st birthday. You can find out more here.

8. Up to what age are children covered?

Generally, 23.

CUA Health allows children to stay on a family policy up to the age of 23.

If they’re studying full time, dependents can be covered as a student under a family policy up to the age of 25.


This guide is opinion only and should not be taken as medical or financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions

^Private Health Ombudsman, CUA Health, accessed 17 January 2022.