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Barefoot investor health insurance

Should you join Health Partners based on the Barefoot Investor’s health insurance advice?
barefoot investor health insurance

Scott Pape recommended that Australians take out private hospital cover with Health Partners. Health Partners is a South Australian based private health insurer that operates as a not-for-profit. We have access to Health Partners and can get you a quote with them within minutes, alongside some other great health funds that may suit you better. We can help you compare your current policy to Health Partners and other funds side-by-side with detail and confidence.

The recommendation for Health Partners was for private hospital cover only on a Gold (Top) level of cover. Let’s start by saying that this is a great policy with a great health insurance fund. That being said, it may not be the best policy for your health needs.

Why did the Barefoot Investor recommend Health Partners health insurance?

When it was written, Health Partners at that time offered one of the most competitive Gold (Top) levels of private hospital cover in the industry. This doesn’t mean that it is the best value policy for every Australian, and caution needs to be applied before signing up for a Gold Hospital cover with any health fund.

The following tables are a comparison of top Gold hospital and top Silver Plus hospital between Health Partners, BUPA and Medibank- Australia’s two largest health funds. Each comparison is made with a standard $500 excess and for a Couple/Family policy (excluding extended family cover for dependents over the age of 25 who are not studying full-time). We also limited the comparison to South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales/ACT due to limited space available on the page. If you would like a quote for a $750, $250 or Nil excess, and/or in Western Australia, Northern Territory or Tasmania, please contact us directly.

It’s essential to understand that the following prices do not include the federal government rebate for health insurance, so for most readers the prices would be significantly cheaper. That being said, the price difference between funds are relative with or without the rebate. The following hospital cover prices are up-to-date as of 1st of January 2020 and are subject to change on April 1st 2020.

  Important! The prices in the following tables do not include any LHC loading penalties or the health insurance rebate. Please contact us if you would like an accurate price tailored to your situation.  

Silver Hospital Plus $500 Excess$378.99$397.97 $397.97 $386.62Pregnancy, IVF
Gold Hospital $500 Excess$394.07$413.75 $413.75 $401.96 None

Silver Hospital Plus $500 Excess¹$380.00 $450.60 $435.20 $411.90 Pregnancy/IVF
Weight Loss
Gold Hospital $500 Excess²$387.60 $459.60 $443.90 $420.10 None

Silver Hospital Plus $500 Excess³$397.60 $432.70 $428.10 $393.20 Pregnancy/IVF
Weight Loss
Psych (R)
Pain Management
Gold Hospital $500 Excess⁴$411.80 $448.00 $442.30 $413.10 None

¹ Official BUPA policy name is Top Hospital No Pregnancy with $500 Excess – Silver Plus
² Official BUPA policy name is Top Hospital with Pregnancy $500 Excess – Gold
³ Official Medibank policy name is Silver Plus Security
⁴ Official Medibank policy name is Gold Complete Hospital

In the tables above, we can see that Health Partners is in fact the lower costing policy in all but one category. BUPA has a slightly lower costing Gold Hospital $500 excess in South Australia. For the Australian states we compared, Health Partners Silver Plus $500 excess hospital was not only lower costing (especially in Victoria and Queensland) but has fewer exclusions than BUPA (also excludes Weight Loss surgery) and Medibank (also excludes Weight Loss surgery, Pain Management and Psychiatric is restricted).

This certainly justifies the claim made by the Barefoot Investor that Health Partners is a great value health fund for hospital cover. Are they the best value compared to the other 37 odd health insurers in Australia? Some funds are more competitive in certain states, on certain levels of cover and with different combinations of exclusions and extras. It really is much too general and presumptuous to make a blanket statement about health insurance like the Barefoot Investor did.



Don’t re-serve waiting periods when you switch to a new health fund or policy *

“John was immediately covered for a hip replacement in private hospital because he had already served his waiting periods for joint replacements on his old policy”

* Read more about how portability works.

Why should I get health insurance advice before signing up to a policy recommended by the Barefoot Investor?

Every person has different health needs in relation to private hospital cover. There is no one-size-fits-all policy and there never will be. Gold hospital covers every single clinical category, including pregnancy. Many people don’t need pregnancy covered, so they may benefit more on a Silver Plus level of cover.

Let’s not exclude the fact that we have completely disregarded Basic, Bronze and Silver levels of hospital cover, policies that are designed for a younger demographic that don’t need pregnancy. The Barefoot Investor specifically recommended Health Partners Gold level of health insurance, but what about the readers who don’t need premium hospital cover? When comparing health funds, it’s really important to get a holistic view of your health requirements and looking at the bigger picture. With all things considered, it’s unlikely that Health Partners will always be your most competitive option with the best value to match your claims and peace-of-mind.

Also, health funds rarely remain in the top position for cost VS value for too many years running. As more and more people join up onto the policy, it increases how many claims are made, the risk and therefore puts compounding pressure on the fund to increase the premiums on that policy.

Should I join Health Partners based on the Barefoot Investor’s health insurance advice?

There’s no short answer to this. Health Partners is a great, non-profit health fund with great value hospital cover as it stands now. However, Health Partners extras benefits may not suit your health needs, especially if you reside outside of South Australia.  As a transparent health insurance comparison service, we can get you access to a Health Partners quote alongside some other great Australian health funds too

There are over 40 health funds in Australia, all with different policies to match different health shapes and sizes. It’s a golden truth in this industry that there is no such thing as a “best health fund”.

Here is a link to another of our articles that explains that asking “Who is the best health insurance fund?” is the wrong question to ask.

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