CUA Private Health Insurance Review

Credit Union Australia Health (known as CUA) was founded in 1976. According to CHOICE, the fund has around 80,200 members.

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by Gary Andrews

Last update 15 Apr 2021


It's part of CUA Credit Union, which is based in Brisbane and provides financial and insurance products to 500,000 Australians.

While CUA isn't non-profit, it doesn't have shareholders.

That means profits are reinvested into the fund to benefit members.

CUA offers six hospital plans, starting with an accident-only policy through to a premium Gold plan with everything included.

Six extras policies are also available.

If you pay for your cover through an eligible CUA transaction account, you can get a discount on your premiums.

They also have special offers from time to time and a range of programs and support for members.

Key Points

4% discount on premiums when you pay for your health cover from an eligible CUA transaction account.
Access Gap cover scheme to reduce out-of-pocket expenses.
No excess if your kids are admitted to hospital.

CUA Health isn't on our panel but we're confident we can get you a great deal on your health insurance.


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, 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 five stand-alone hospital plans and one combined package that are designed for a range of life stages and budgets.

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 inclusions for a Basic plan, including dental surgery.

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

Key private hospital inclusions:

  • Tonsils, adenoids and grommets
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Dental surgery

Bronze Plus Hospital

An affordable hospital plan designed for younger 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 private hospital inclusions:

  • Kidney and bladder
  • Chemo, radiotherapy and immunotherapy
  • Podiatric surgery
  • Lung and chesty

Standard Hospital (Silver Plus)

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

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 private hospital inclusions:

  • Rehabilitation
  • Palliative care
  • Heart and vascular system
  • 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.

Key private hospital inclusions:

  • Joint replacements
  • Cataracts
  • Dialysis for chronic kidney failure
  • Implantation of hearing devices

Premium Hospital (Gold)

CUA's top level of cover with no exclusions and the option of no excess.

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

Key private hospital inclusions:

  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Assisted reproductive services
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Hospital psychiatric services

Ambulance Cover

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

Extras cover

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 fund.

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

If this feels a bit overwhelming, you can speak to one of our experts who can talk you through what's included in each extras policy.

CUA Health offers six extras 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:

  • $400 annual general dental limit
  • 100% back on optical up to $150
  • $250 physio limit
  • $200 combined chiro and osteo limit.

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:

  • $700 combined major and general dental annual limit
  • 100% back on optical, up to $200
  • $500 combined annual limit for allied health services 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:

  • $500 annual limit on orthodontics
  • $700 general dental limit in the first year
  • $210 annual podiatry limit
  • 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:

  • $1,500 annual limit on general dental
  • 100% back on optical up to $225
  • 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
  • $1,500 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

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, chrio, 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.

Healthy Start Package (Basic Plus) Basic Plus Hospital Standard Hospital (Silver Plus) Premium Hospital Non-Obstetrics (Silver Plus)

  • 2 months -- rehabilitation, psychiatric and palliative care (including where the condition is pre-existing)
  • 2 months -- All other benefits, excluding accidents
  • 12 months -- all other pre-existing conditions

Premium Hospital (Gold)

  • 2 months -- rehabilitation, psychiatric and palliative care (including where the condition is pre-existing)
  • 2 months -- all other hospital treatments
  • 12 months -- all other pre-existing conditions
  • 12 months -- pregnancy and birth


  • 2 months -- general dental, physio, chiro, osteo
  • 2 months -- all other extras items not listed below
  • 6 months -- optical, wellness benefits
  • 12 months -- major dental, orthodontics, orthotics, health aids and appliances

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 through the CUA Health Mobile Claiming app or the online hub.

Or drop your claim form into a CUA Branch.

Hospital agreements

CUA Health has agreements with most private hospitals and day clinics 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.

Find a hospital or clinic near you

Customer service

CUA Health received 4 complaints from 1 July to 30 September 2020.

That's 0.5% of total complaints vs 0.6% market share, indicating customer service may be above average.

Source: Private Health Ombudsman



Is CUA a not-for-profit fund?

No, although CUA doesn’t have shareholders.

Who can apply? Are there any restrictions?

There are no restrictions on applying to CUA Health.

Is it easy to switch to CUA?

CUA Health isn’t on our panel but we’re confident we can find you a great deal on your health insurance.

You’ll need to contact CUA Health directly if you’re interested in switching to one of their policies.

Do I need to re-serve waiting periods?

You can switch to an equivalent or lower level of cover without re-serving waiting periods providing you transfer to CUA Health within 60 days of leaving your old fund.

You will only be required to serve waiting periods if you have upgraded to a higher level of cover.

Can I change my level of cover?

Yes, you can choose a lower or higher level of cover to suit your different life stages.

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

Do I get the government rebate?

Most Australians are eligible to receive a rebate from the government.

This will depend on your age and income. To learn what you're entitled to, see this rebate guide.

Do I have to pay the Lifetime Health Cover loading?

If you're joining for the first time and you're 31 or over, you usually need to pay 2% loading for each year you've gone without health cover since your 31st birthday.

You can find out more here.

When do extras reset?

Extras reset on 1 January each year.

What age are children covered up to?

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.

Children must not be married or living in a de facto relationship. 

Read our guide to learn more.

How do I contact CUA?

Visit or call 1300 499 260

Who underwrites the health policies?

CUA Health is a registered private health insurer.


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