Given the significant variations in what health funds offer for similar premiums, this has always been a challenging question. However, the https://www.privatehealth.gov.au/ website has made it much easier to compare and contrast fund policies.
At https://www.privatehealth.gov.au/dynamic/search, after a simple process of clicking the button for each treatment category you want covered, you can then open a page which lists several policies offering cover responding to your choices. The list shows the monthly premium and importantly the policy’s ranking on how closely it accords with the services you selected as important, as well as other listed services, relative to all the other policies in your results.
You can prompt the site to show more policies that may restrict cover on one or more of your important hospital services, resulting in large out of pocket expenses on hospital admissions as a private patient, or requiring you to join public hospital waiting lists for those services. You can click to show more policies which will list policies that may have below average benefits or limits for one or more of your important General treatment (extras) services and limited cover for other services.
You can also select a few policies and click on Compare to see more details of how well listed services are covered.
By holding your cursor over an item on the page you can see additional information about specific policies.
The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman which administers the privatehealth.gov.au site will also have a role in strengthening consumer protections. It has expanded resources and powers to resolve complaints or issues raised by consumers about private health funds.