Winner: Best Basic Cover
- Winner: Best Basic Cover 2023
- hbf's Basic Hospital Plus Elevate covers 19 treatment categories
*Prices are based on a single person living in Sydney earning less than $90,000 per year.
Here you can find some of the cheapest Basic hospital options from Finder partners. They cover emergency ambulance and would make you exempt from the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) at tax time. All prices are based on a single individual with less than $90,000 income and living in Sydney.
Why compare health insurance with Finder?
We don't ask for your phone or email to see prices.
With 1 click, you can open your results to nearly every fund in Australia.
You pay the same price as going direct – we charge no fees.
Bupa's Basic Plus Starter Hospital policy came in second place for our basic category. It costs around $19 per week and covers treatments including tonsils, adenoids and grommets, joint reconstructions and miscarriage and termination of pregnancy.
nib's Basic Essential Hospital Plus policy came in third place for our basic category. It costs around $18 per week and covers treatments including tonsils, adenoids and grommets, hernia and appendix, and miscarriage and termination of pregnancy.
Gold-tier hospital insurance covers all 38 treatments outlined by the Australian government. This includes treatments like joint replacements, pregnancy and insulin pumps, as well as all services covered by Silver-tier policies.
Silver-tier hospital insurance covers at least 26 treatments outlined by the Australian government. This includes treatments like dental surgery, lung and chest, and podiatric surgery, as well as all services covered by Bronze-tier policies.
Basic-tier hospital insurance isn't required to fully cover any treatments outlined by the Australian government, but it does need to have restricted cover for rehabilitation, hospital psychiatric services and palliative care. Generally, Basic cover is primarily used to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge and Lifetime Health Cover loading.
*Average prices are updated monthly, in line with Finder's database of health insurance policies. Prices are based on a single individual with less than $90,000 income and living in Sydney with a $750 excess.If a policy is described as a 'plus' policy, then it will cover the minimum number of treatments for its tier, plus at least 1 treatment from the next tier up. For a full list of the treatments covered by Basic policies, click the link below.
If you earn more than $90,000, you'll be subject to the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) on your income tax. The MLS is a tax of up to 1.5%, and can quickly get into the thousands of dollars. Having a hospital health insurance policy is the only way to be exempt from the MLS. Fortunately, the cost of a Basic-tier policy can sometimes be less than the amount the MLS would cost you, meaning that getting a Basic policy would actually save you money.
Getting Basic health insurance will help you avoid the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading, which can make health insurance more expensive after a certain age. For every year you don't have hospital coverage after your 31st birthday, the LHC will add 2% onto the cost of a health insurance policy if you decide to get cover later. This only caps out after 35 years, at 70%.
If you never get hospital cover in your whole life, you'll never need to pay the LHC. However, if you think you might want hospital cover eventually, getting a Basic policy now can prevent you from ever being charged the LHC.
While Basic policies don't offer cover for many treatments, they often include ambulance cover, which can be very useful if you need ambulance transportation – even to a public hospital. Not all hospital policies automatically include ambulance, so you'll need to check the product details.
Find out how to claim vasectomies and tubal ligation with Medicare or private health funds, and the things you should know before going in.
Doing a medical costs comparison could save you a lot of money. Here's how to reduce your out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Compare public and private health insurance for brain treatment.
Find out the pros and cons of cataract surgery with both public and private healthcare.
Want to get health cover for grommets? Find out how private health insurance and Medicare costs compare and what you'll be covered for. Choose the option that suits you best.
Gold hospital insurance is the most comprehensive hospital cover that money can buy – starting from around $53 per week.
Wondering whether appendicitis will be covered by your health insurer? Your guide to private health insurance and appendicitis here.
Palliative care is the practice of easing the pain of a patient with a terminal illness and making them as comfortable as possible before death.
While private health insurance does not cover plastic surgery that is elective and performed for cosmetic purposes, it does provide cover for a wide range of reconstructive plastic surgeries.
If your doctor has recommended that you receive an insulin pump, check with your private health fund to find out whether the cost will be covered under your policy.