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Health Insurance Finder™ is a 100% free, Australian-owned comparison service designed to help you find suitable cover for your needs.

Private health insurance helps you cover the cost of hospital treatments as well as some out-of-hospital services, such as benefits for dental. When comparing your health insurance, you can pick hospital, extras cover or a combined policy with both. The treatments you're covered for will vary based on the price you pay.

How much does private health insurance cost?

That depends on the level of cover you have. Most health funds in Australia offer a low, medium and high level of cover for both hospital and extras health insurance. You'll often see these labelled as Gold, Silver, Bronze or Basic.

We've crunched the averages below from over 10 Australian health funds to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay. Prices quoted are based on a single policy in Sydney, earning less than $90,000 with a $500 hospital excess from April 2019.

Hospital tierAverageTreatments included
Basic$79.86
Ambulance cover
Bronze$90.87
Joint replacements, adenoids and cancer
Silver$126.81
Dental surgery, lung, chest and heart issues
Gold$170.90
Pregnancy, IVF and weight loss surgery
Extras coverAverageIncluded benefits
Low$12.85
One no gap dental check-up
Physio
Middle$34.95
Approximately a $600 dental limit
Optical, physio, massage and major dental
High$81
No waiting periods on dental and optical
All the above plus hearing aids, laser eye

How to compare health insurance

It can be tricky to compare apples for apples with health insurance. Whether you're switching or looking for the first time, here are a few tips that may help. They may even save you some money.

See how much you're paying. Get a starting point of what you're paying now. If you're on a couples policy, see if you both need to be on the same level of cover or if you'd be better off looking at two singles policies (if one of you is pregnant or planning to be, for example).

Look at your hospital and extras separately. It's easy to just go for a combined package, but by reviewing your hospital separately you can mix and match your level of cover. You can also choose different funds.

Explore all options. There are over 30 health funds in Australia, don't just stick on the same policy as your parents or friends. It's a regulated industry so you can feel safe exploring your options.

See what you're actually paying for. Review your extras limits and make sure you claim them every year. Drop the things you're not using.

Switch and use deals. There are no real downsides to switching funds, as you can carry over your waiting periods and often save heaps. Make sure you check out any sign-up deals every time you switch.

4 benefits of health insurance

Hospital
Choose your hospital.

No need to travel miles out of the way. With private health insurance, choose the hospital that suits you best.
Waiting list
Skip waiting lists.

Nobody likes waiting around. Private health insurance allows you to skip the public waiting queue.
Percentage
Save on tax.

If you're earning more than $90,000, you can actually save money by taking out private health insurance.
Heart
Peace of mind.

Rest easy knowing that health insurance has you covered, should anything go wrong.

Compare types of private health insurance

It's up to you to decide what type of private health insurance you'd like cover for. Here's how many Australians have health insurance in 2019.

Heart

Hospital only

This covers private hospital procedures, performed by a private surgeon. It's also what you need to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS).

Learn more

Ambulance

Extras only

Extras cover will give you rebates for treatments you have outside of the hospital. For example, visiting the dentist or getting a new pair of prescription glasses.

Learn more

Combined

Combined

A combined policy includes both hospital and extras. These are often labelled as packages such as "healthy start".

Learn more

Public vs private health insurance comparison

Not sure if private health insurance is worth it? Here are some key differences between the public and private healthcare system in Australia:

Public system Private health insurance
Doctor A public hospital will allocate a doctor for you. You don't get to choose. You can choose which doctor you see.
Private room You'll likely end up in a shared room in a public hospital. Insurance gives you access to a private room if there's one available.
Waiting lists Waiting lists for elective treatments can range from a few weeks to a few years. Private insurance usually involves a shorter wait. For some procedures, you may even be able to pick your date.
Treatment types Medicare doesn't cover most dental, hearing aids or other out-of-hospital treatments. Extras can give you cashback on out-of-hospital services such as optical, dental, psychology and hearing aids.
Ambulance costs In most cases, Medicare won't pay for your ambulance except in Queensland and Tasmania. Most health funds include cover for an emergency ambulance, even on Basic policies.

What impacts the cost of health insurance?

Health insurance is community rated which means you don't have to pay more for pre-existing conditions and the price you pay isn't impacted by your age.

However, here are a few things that can impact your quote:

  • Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading. If you haven't taken out private health cover by the time you turn 31, you'll have to pay 2% extra for each year you were uninsured when you do eventually take it out.
  • Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS). This is an additional tax penalty ranging from 1–1.5% of your annual income, depending on how much you earn, and is applied every year that you do not have an adequate private health insurance policy.
  • Private health insurance rebate. One of the major benefits of having private health insurance is being able to claim the private health insurance rebate. The rebate is determined by your age, your relationship status and your income.
  • Your excess or co-payment. When you take out insurance, you can agree to take some responsibility for the health cover costs in return for lower premiums – this is your excess. You only pay it if you go to the hospital. The higher your excess, the lower your premiums will be.
  • Your location. If you live in a regional area of Australia, your insurance might cost you more due to poorer access to health facilities as well as potential travel and accommodation expenses.
  • Which fund you choose. Use the new tiered structure – Basic, Bronze, Silver and Gold. If you shop around, you can find more-affordable providers better value for money.

Not an Australian resident? Here's what you need to know.

Without health insurance, you could end up facing huge medical bills should you need the hospital during your stay. The type of cover you need will depend on your visa. However, people from countries that Australia has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with can access some treatment from Medicare.

Reciprocal Health Care Agreement countries

RHCA countries that don't require health insurance

Live sign-up deals for health insurance

ahm Deals ahm Deals

Get up to $200 off when joining hospital & extras

Singles and single parents get up to $100 while couples and families get up to $200.

Last verified

Coupon code ends

Qantas Health Insurance Deals Qantas Health Insurance Deals

Earn up to 80,000 Qantas points + Skip 2 & 6 month waiting periods

Offer applies when joining hospital + extras cover before 13 January 2020.

Last verified

Get deal

Deal ends

CUA Health Deals CUA Health Deals

Get a 4% discount on your CUA Health premium

Offer applies when paying by direct debit from a CUA transaction account.

Last verified

Questions you may have about health insurance


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43 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MaureenNovember 7, 2019

    What is the best health insurance that pays well for natural therapies that is needed weekly

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      NikkiNovember 8, 2019Staff

      Hi Maureen,

      Thanks for your comment and I hope you are well! You can compare and choose health insurance options for natural therapies on our page HERE. While choosing, don’t forget to read each insurer’s limit, type of policy, price and etc. You will see the green GO TO SITE button which actions to bring you to the provider’s official page to get a quote and start your application. The following table shows the amount of cover offered by each for natural therapy service. If you need more options, you may utilize the online form that can be found further down the page. An insurer will contact you upon receipt of your inquiry. At this point, you can also let them know that you would need a weekly therapy.

      As a friendly reminder, carefully review the Product Disclosure Statement of the product before applying. You may also contact the insurance provider should you have any questions about their policy.

      Hope this helps and feel free to reach out to us again for further assistance.

      With care,
      Nikki

  2. Default Gravatar
    MariaJuly 13, 2019

    Is there any available private insurance package that covers beauty and plastic surgeries? What package is the most applicable for those procedures?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaJuly 14, 2019Staff

      Hi Maria,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. 😃

      That’s an interesting question, Maria.

      In most cases, elective cosmetic procedures are not covered by health insurance policies. However, reconstructive plastic surgery is more likely to be covered.

      We do have a guide about health insurance covering cosmetic surgery. Please check this page. On that page, you will know which health funds cover medically necessary plastic surgery.

      However, if you are after health insurance that covers elective surgery, your options might be limited. You may still want to fill out the form found on this page to get in contact with health insurers. From there, you can ask them directly whether they cover elective cosmetic surgeries or not.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

  3. Default Gravatar
    SURINDERMarch 10, 2019

    Hi there , is there a health fund which allows me to use my total benefit where ever i like to spend ,instead of their own set breakdown ?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnMarch 11, 2019Staff

      Hi Surinder,

      You can look for a combined limit on many extras, as an example, AHM just give you one year limit to use. If you use the comparison above, you can see an individual breakdown of every funds policy limits – hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  4. Default Gravatar
    DavidFebruary 19, 2019

    Do any funds cover the cost of Intraocular Lenses to cure Cataracts please?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      NikkiFebruary 20, 2019Staff

      Hi David,

      Thanks for getting in touch! Here is our page that talks about health insurance for major eye surgery. Hope this was helpful. Don’t hesitate to message us back if you have more questions.

      Best,
      Nikki

  5. Default Gravatar
    PaulineFebruary 10, 2019

    Please give me health funds which have a policy for NO pregnancy or infertility cover.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnFebruary 11, 2019Staff

      Hi Pauline,

      Thank you for reaching out to finder.

      Yes – it’s only top-level hospital cover (Gold or the occasional Silver Plus) that include pregnancy in the policy, by comparing Silver policies, or below – these won’t include pregnancy.

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  6. Default Gravatar
    NikkoJune 20, 2018

    How to combine two existing top (premium) health cover policies from adult single to a couples when both are with separate insurers? Wish to compare which of these two insurers would best cover the two of us as a couple whilst neither one loses benefits or has a waiting period. We both have been with our respective health providers for over ten years continuously.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniJune 21, 2018Staff

      Hi Nikko,

      Thank you for getting in touch.

      If you’re currently on separate policies, the first step would be to see if you can save any cash by combining your policies – we’ve added a bit of info on that here https://www.finder.com.au/health-insurance/couples – it doesn’t always work out cheaper and it’s probably worth a closer look.

      With your waiting periods, they are different for hospital cover and general treatment (extras) cover. All of your hospital waiting periods that you’ve already served travel with you to the new policy – so if you do decide to combine your policies, you should be covered.

      Keep in mind, you’ll still have to serve waiting periods for any new benefits that you didn’t have before (such as pregnancy cover and also extras).

      If you already have a preferred health fund from your two options – it may be worth giving them a call as they can move you onto one package.

      I hope this helps. Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other enquiries.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  7. Default Gravatar
    SusanMay 25, 2018

    As a couple over 50 we would like private hospital cover with general dental, optical, physio and chiro.. what is the best option?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      NikkiMay 25, 2018Staff

      Hi Susan,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

      You may view this page to check on health insurance for over 50s.

      Hope this was helpful.

      Cheers,
      Nikki

  8. Default Gravatar
    KevinMay 24, 2018

    Hi there. My wife is already pregnant and the pregnancy insurance waiting period is 12 months!! So how does PHI work to cover her when she is giving birth? What is the solution around this?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JhezMay 25, 2018Staff

      Hello Kevin,

      Thank you for your comment.

      To be qualified for the private health insurance you’re advised to take out the policy in advance before attempting to conceive. Most Australian private health funds have a 12 month waiting period for obstetric services.

      This is explained on these pages:
      https://www.finder.com.au/health-insurance/pregnancy-health-insurance
      https://www.finder.com.au/health-insurance/waiting-periods

      I am afraid that no PHI will consider your wife’s condition as she is already pregnant, however, you can still contact the insurer directly and see what options they can offer you. I hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  9. Default Gravatar
    JoApril 19, 2018

    How does Defence Health compare to other health funds in terms of value for money – cost of premium to rebate received. The mo they premium certainly appears a lot higher than other funds but do the rebates reflect that?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniApril 22, 2018Staff

      Hi Jo,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      Defence Health offers a range of health insurance options to more than 235,000 Australians with Defence connections. With hospital and extras cover to suit everyone from the young and healthy to those who need comprehensive protection, it provides affordable cover and peace of mind.

      You may want to know more by clicking on this link.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  10. Default Gravatar
    MarcoMarch 19, 2018

    Hi, are quoted premiums before or after any Govt rebates?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      NikkiMarch 26, 2018Staff

      Hi Marco!

      Thanks for your question and for visiting finder.

      Quoted premiums are before government rebates. Rebate rates are subject to change based on the cost of living and the average health insurance premium amount. It would be helpful to check with your health insurance provider on their ongoing rates as well.

      Hope this helps!

      Thanks and best regards,

      Nikki

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