Basic hospital cover

Basic hospital cover can help you save on tax from around $75 per month. 'Basic plus' policies can also offer cover for a range of common treatments.

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Good value Basic health insurance

Below you'll find a range of good value Basic policies. They're all 'Basic plus' policies, which means they include cover for more than the standard Basic treatments. They're by no means the only or best Basic policies on the market, but they all offer great value.


*Quotes are based on a single individual with less than $90,000 income, $500 excess and living in Sydney.

Pros and cons of Basic health insurance

Pros

  • Cheap cover that exempts you from the Medicare Levy Surcharge and the Lifetime Health Cover loading.
  • Lots of 'Basic plus' policies are available that give you affordable access to some Bronze-tier treatments.
  • Most Basic policies also include ambulance coverage – however, you will need to check the policy details.

Cons

  • Only required to offer restricted cover for rehabilitation, hospital psychiatric services and palliative care.
  • Many Basic policies won't cover treatment in private hospitals. Instead, they will cover you as a private patient in a public hospital.
  • Doesn't include coverage for common treatments like ear, nose and throat, bone, joint and muscle, and joint reconstructions.

Compare more Basic health insurance policies

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.

Name Product Tier Excess Price Per Month Hide CompareBox Apply
HBF Basic Hospital Plus
Basic
$750
$74.15
ahm starter basic
Basic
$750
$75.10
Medibank Basic Accident and Ambulance
Basic
$750
$76.70
Frank Entry Hospital (Basic+)
Basic
$750
$73.85
Qantas Basic Hospital
Basic
$750
$77.97
Peoplecare Basic Plus Hospital
Basic
$750
$84.30
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Compare up to 4 providers

Quotes are based on a single individual with less than $90,000 income, $500 excess and living in Sydney.

What are the hospital health insurance tiers?

Each of the different health insurance tiers has to cover a standardised set of treatments. Here's a quick summary of each tier.

Gold health cover

Gold hospital cover

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.
Typical cost: From around $160/month for a single policy.

Silver health cover

Silver hospital cover

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.
Typical cost: From around $115/month for a single policy.

Bronze health cover

Bronze hospital cover

Bronze-tier hospital insurance covers at least 18 treatments outlined by the Australian government. This includes treatments like joint reconstructions, gynaecology, and ear, nose and throat, as well as all services covered by Basic-tier policies.
Typical cost: From around $80/month for a single policy.

Basic health cover

Basic hospital cover

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.
Typical cost: From around $75/month for a single policy.

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.

What is Basic cover good for?

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Avoiding tax

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.

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Avoiding the LHC

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.

Ambulance cover

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.

Compare Basic health cover from 30+ providers

You can use this free tool to compare health insurance policies from 30+ Australian providers. Once you have your initial results, use the filters to see just Basic policies.

Basic hospital insurance: Frequently asked questions

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