Union Health Insurance Review

Updated 14/02/2023

Read our detailed review of Union Health, including their variety of hospital and extras cover options, benefits, fund performance and more.

Union health insurance review

Overview

Union Health is a not-for-profit health fund that was formed to support Australian union members and their families.

Powered by TUH, this private health fund was established in 2018 and is 100% member owned. It serves the health needs of Australian union members from a wide range of industries, as well as their immediate family members.

Key Points

  • Everyday savings with Union Health’s handpicked Mates Rates exclusives.

  • Members are free to choose any Australian extras provider.

  • Online portal and downloadable Smart Claiming App to process claims.

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Union Health is not on our panel, but we can help you compare and get a great deal from a range of Australia's leading insurers.

Hospital cover

Between specialist doctor’s fees, hospital room fees, and the bills for medications and operating theatres, the cost of hospital stays can really add up. This is when hospital cover can make a difference.

Hospital cover is designed to meet the costs of your treatment in the hospital you want, with the doctor you want, and usually the accommodations you want.

For example, treatment in a private hospital, in a private or shared room, as opposed to a public hospital ward.

It’s also the easiest way to avoid having to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge. This is an additional fee most Australians have to pay, if they earn over $90,000 as a single person, or $180,000 as a couple.

Taking out hospital cover is one of the most cost-effective ways to avoid this charge.

Union Health has a wide selection of hospital-only cover options, from Basic+ to Gold, designed to suit a range of budgets and healthcare needs.

Their excess options range from $400 to $750 per calendar year.

Basic+ Hospital

This basic policy provides restricted cover on a few popular services, and is typically taken up by healthy singles and couples on a budget.

Key inclusions:

  • Covers dental surgery, joint reconstructions, hernia and appendix, and tonsils, adenoids and grommets.

  • Restricted cover for rehabilitation, hospital psychiatric services, and palliative care.

Bronze+ Hospital

This entry-level policy covers a wide range of typical treatments, with only a handful of services not covered or included as a restricted service.

This cover is usually taken up by healthy singles and couples on a budget.

Key inclusions:

  • Dental surgery

  • Ears, nose and throat

  • Gynaecology

  • Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy for cancer

Silver+ No Pregnancy Hospital

Get covered for everything except pregnancy, reproductive services and weight-loss surgery.

This mid-level hospital cover is suitable for established families and couples who aren’t planning on having children in the near future.

Key inclusions:

  • Implantation of hearing devices

  • Cataracts

  • Joint replacements

  • Heart and vascular procedures

Silver+ Family Hospital

Higher-level hospital cover for families looking for cover across a wide selection of services.

Key inclusions:

  • Pregnancy and birth

  • Assisted reproductive services

  • Dialysis for chronic kidney failure

  • Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy for cancer

Gold Hospital

As Union Health’s most comprehensive hospital cover, there are no exclusions or restrictions with a $500 excess across the board. Popular for those wanting complete hospital cover.

Key inclusions:

  • Weight-loss surgery

  • Pregnancy and birth

  • Assisted reproductive services

  • Cataracts

Ambulance Cover

At Union Health, you're entitled to cover for emergency ambulance transportation or attendance if you have both hospital and extras cover.

Members residing in South Australia, Northern Territory, Victoria or regional Western Australia who have an eligible stand-alone general/extras treatment cover may purchase an ambulance subscription with their ambulance service provider and claim the cost of that subscription from Union Health.

Note: Emergency ambulance costs for Queensland and Tasmanian residents are covered by their respective state schemes. Find out more about Ambulance Cover here.

Extras cover

Union Health’s extras cover resets on January 1 every year.

Extras insurance can help take care of expenses for routine treatments – from dental and optical to chiropractic and more.

Below, we’ve summarised the key points for each of Union Health’s extras plans. However, make sure you look for any gap fees, find out how much you can claim back, and investigate whether your preferred healthcare provider, such as your local optometrist, has an agreement with Union Health.

Take 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 is, and isn't, included in each extras policy.

Union Health offers six tiers of extras cover.

You can purchase a policy on its own or combine it with hospital cover.

Basic Extras

The most basic extras cover for those on a budget. Suitable for healthy young singles, couples and families.

Extras include general and preventative dental, optical, physio and more.

Mid Range Extras

Mid-level cover with competitive benefits and higher annual limits compared to Basic Extras.

Both general and major dental are covered, as well as alternative therapies like acupuncture, dietetics, and podiatry.

Healthy Options Extras

Helping you take the guesswork out of extras cover, Healthy Options offers 60% back on a wide range of treatments up to your annual limits.

Coverage includes general and major dental, optical, physiotherapy and a wide selection of other therapies.

Everyday Extras

Practical extras cover, that includes dental, optical, massage, physiotherapy and psychology.

Designed for singles, couples and families who want the main extras without needing a variety of therapy inclusions.

Family Extras

Designed specifically with families in mind, the Family Extras option makes things like optical, speech therapy, orthotics and massage more affordable – with limitless preventative dental.

Comprehensive Extras

The highest level of extras cover at Union Health, Comprehensive Extras has generous benefits on a comprehensive range of services, with no annual limits on general and preventative dental.

Suitable for those who want complete cover across dental, optical, physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage and so much more.

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Combined hospital and extras

Union Health offers a single hospital and extras package. The Bronze+ Young Choice includes:

Wide hospital cover suitable for young and healthy individuals – only excluding services like pregnancy, cataracts, joint replacement, weight-loss surgery and other major issues. Excess of $250 Generous benefits and annual limits on extras cover, including dental, optical and a variety of therapies.

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 and extras waiting periods

  • 2 months for all hospital services, extras services, and home care programs unless specified otherwise.

  • 6 months for Active Health Bonus, outpatient midwife services and optical (Family Extras, Everyday Extras, Healthy Options Extras and Mid Range Extras only).

  • 12 months for pre-existing ailments or conditions (excluding palliative care, hospital psychiatric services and rehabilitation), pregnancy and birth-related treatment, and prostheses.

  • 12 months for major dental, orthodontics, orthotics, hearing aids and mechanical/health appliances.

  • 2 years for refractive laser eye surgery.

If you've transferred to Union Health from another fund on a comparable policy and have already served the waiting period, you’ll be able to make a claim straight away.

There are no waiting periods for accidents that happen to you after joining Union Health.

Member benefits

Union Health members receive:

  • Mates Rates exclusives, including discounted e-gift cards, pet insurance and shopping discounts.

  • Tricks of the Trade to help you unlock the value of your membership based on your life stage.

  • Active Health Bonus pays out-of-pocket costs for members with Comprehensive Extras combined with Gold Hospital (up to the annual limit).

  • Emergency ambulance transport is covered when you have combined hospital and extras cover (in states where this isn’t provided by the government).

  • Health management benefit for health screenings, wellness programs, weight management and fitness programs – available for all extras members except those with Basic Extras.

How to claim:

Claim through the Union Health smartphone app or online member portal. You can also claim on-the-spot at participating HICAPS or HealthPoint terminals.

Hospital agreements

Union Health has contracts with an extensive network of private hospitals across Australia. The fund provides a handy search function to help you find a contracted hospital near you.

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

Union Health accounted for 0.2% of all complaints to the Private Health Ombudsman relative to a market share of 0.6%, suggesting their customer service may be good. Source: Ombudsman.gov

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FAQs

1. Is Union Health a not-for-profit fund?

Yes, Union Health is a non-for-profit insurer.

2. Who can apply? Are there restrictions?

Union Health is open to all current or former Australian union members, as well as their families.

3. Is it easy to switch to Union Health?

Union Health isn’t on our panel so you will need to contact them directly if you wish to make a switch. However, we’re confident our Compare Club experts can find you a great deal from the exceptional insurers on our panel.

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

If you switch to a comparable or lower level of cover with Union Health, you won’t have to serve new waiting periods as long as you have already served them with your previous fund.

5. Can I change my level of cover?

Yes, you can change your level of cover directly with Union Health. Remember, though, that if you take out a higher level of cover, you may need to re-serve new waiting periods on any extra services or 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 32.812% (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?

At Union Health, a policyholder’s adult child can be covered so long as they are under 21 years of age, are not married and are not in a de facto relationship.

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


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*average savings based on 136,746 customers between 1 Jan 2018 - 23 December 2022