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Health insurance for dialysis patients

If you have CKD, private health insurance can help cover the cost of dialysis.

Updated

Fact checked

Kidney dialysis can literally save your life, so you'll be glad to know private health insurance can cover this crucial treatment.

You'll most likely need a top-level plan and you'll probably have a 12-month waiting period. So if you have CKD and think you'll need dialysis in the future, now's the time to start looking.

How much is private health insurance with cover kidney dialysis?

Below you can find sample quotes from Finder partner funds. All policies include treatments for Chronic kidney failure as a listed benefit.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product Dialysis for chronic kidney failure Tier Price Per Month Hide CompareBox
ahm deluxe silver plus
Silver
$144.75
Qantas Silver Plus Hospital
Silver
$145.64
Medibank Silver Plus Security
Silver
$147.30
nib Silver Advantage Hospital Plus
Silver
$153.02
HCF Hospital Silver Plus
Silver
$153.35
Peoplecare Silver Plus Hospital
Silver
$161.10
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Compare up to 4 providers

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

Compare more health insurance options

When you get your quotes on the next page, just click refine search and then choose kidney dialysis under hospital cover.

How is chronic kidney disease and dialysis covered?

There are several ways for you to potentially receive benefits for chronic kidney disease and dialysis, both through the public and private health systems.

  • Medicare. The government funded health system includes dialysis treatment in the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).
  • Medicare Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDM). If you are suffering from kidney disease for six months or more and require ongoing, structured care, your GP may suggest a CDM plan, and you may be eligible for rebates to cover the ongoing cost of your treatment.

Below you can see the various types of dialysis treatment and surgical procedures covered by Medicare.:

  • Dialysis for chronic renal failure
    • Haemodialysis
    • Haemofiltration
    • Haemoperfusion
    • Peritoneal dialysis
  • Surgical procedures
    • Explorative kidney surgery
  • Private health insurance. The amount of cover you receive for kidney related treatments will depend on how comprehensive your hospital insurance is:
    • Top hospital policies must pay a benefit for all procedures covered under the MBS, which includes dialysis.
    • Medium hospital policies may include dialysis treatment and renal surgery but will only pay a restricted benefit.
    • Basic hospital cover generally excluded dialysis treatment and renal surgery.

You can use the table below as a quick reference for seeing which levels of health insurance fully and partially cover, or exclude, kidney related treatments:

Kidney treatmentTop hospitalMedium hospitalBasic hospital
Dialysis for chronic renal failure:
  • Haemodialysis
  • Haemofiltration
  • Haemoperfusion
  • Peritoneal dialysis
  • This policy type should always include cover
  • May be partially covered with a restricted benefit
  • Typically excluded
Surgical procedures:
  • Explorative kidney surgery
  • This policy type should always include cover
  • May be partially covered with a restricted benefit
  • Typically excluded

Can I access my superannuation early to pay for treatment?

Early access to preserved superannuation is available in the event of financial hardship. Superannuation savings can help pay for the cost of chronic kidney disease treatment if:

  • You have been receiving Centrelink benefits for six months or longer and you can no longer pay your living expenses.
  • You need your superannuation to cover loan payments so you can keep your home.
  • You require palliative care resulting from chronic kidney disease.

If your superannuation fund includes benefit payments for total and permanent disablement, you can claim these if your chronic kidney disease prevents you from returning to your regular job. You may also be able to claim a disability benefit lump sum if your chronic kidney disease reaches stages four or five and you have to stop work.


Any other insurance options I can make use of?

Additional sources of financial support may be available to you if you are undertaking home dialysis treatment. These include:

  • Water and electricity cost reimbursement from the state government.
  • Centrelink Sickness Allowance.
  • Centrelink Carers Payment – Long-term Dialysis Support.
  • Centrelink Essential Medical Equipment Payment.
  • Paid sick leave from your employer.

What are the five stages of chronic kidney disease?

Chronic kidney disease has five stages. Stages one to three can be managed with medication, while stage five is the most severe and requires a kidney transplant or ongoing dialysis treatment.

Disease progressionPhysiological changesPhysical symptoms
Stage 1
  • No decrease in GFR*
No symptoms
Stage 2
  • Small reduction in GFR*
  • Defects in other organ systems
  • High blood pressure
Usually no symptoms
Stage 3
  • Significant reduction in GFR*
  • Defects in other organ systems
  • High blood pressure
  • Increase in proteins in urine
In some cases no symptoms
Stage 4
  • Significant reduction in function of kidneys
  • Defects in other organ systems
  • High blood pressure
  • Significant increase in proteins in urine
Abnormal function of organ systems
Stage 5
  • Kidney failure
Abnormal function of organ systems, fatigue, swelling, change of skin colour

*GFR: Glomerular Filtration Rate is an indicator used to measure kidney function.


What are the common treatments for kidney related ailments?

Chronic kidney disease treatments vary based on the severity of the condition. However, patients suffering end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) will require kidney replacement therapy (KRT). Haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis are two types of KRT treatments:

  • Haemodialysis. Although this can be done at home with assistance, haemodialysis is generally carried out at a medical facility. A patient’s blood is filtered using an external machine and transferred back into the body. Patients requiring this type of treatment may be required to visit a hospital or clinic multiple times per week and the procedure can last up to six hours each session.
  • Peritoneal dialysis. This type of dialysis is performed in the home and can be done by the patient. Unlike haemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis filters the patient's blood using PD fluid in the stomach. Two types of peritoneal dialysis exist:
    • Home continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD), which is performed during the day.
    • Home automated peritoneal dialysis (APD), which is performed overnight while the patient is asleep.

What are the symptoms of reduced kidney function?

Chronic kidney disease can often go undetected in the early stages due to lack of or few symptoms. Some symptoms are indicative of kidney failure, while other symptoms such as high blood pressure can be confused with other conditions. Symptoms can include:

  • Kidney pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Swelling in the legs and ankles
  • Change in the frequency and appearance of urination
  • Bad breath and a metallic taste in the mouth
  • Disturbed sleep and tiredness
  • Appetite loss and problems concentrating

Some sobering statistics relating to chronic kidney disease

The number of Australians suffering from chronic kidney disease is unfortunately on the rise. There are more than three times the number of cases today than there was in the early 90’s. The Australian Institution for Health and Welfare provides some concerning statistics surrounding the rates of chronic kidney disease:

Compare health insurance in just a few clicks

Full list of health funds that cover kidney dialysis

Health fundWhich policies from these funds include cover for kidney dialysis?Find out more
ahm health fund
  • Hospital only policies
    • top hospital gold
    • deluxe silver plus
    • top hospital no obstetrics silver plus
  • Combined hospital + extras policy
    • deluxe flexi silver plus
    • deluxe package silver plus
More info
Picture not describedBupa
  • Hospital only policies
    • Top Hospital with Pregnancy
    • Top Hospital No Pregnancy
  • Combined hospital + extras policies
    • Prime
    • Ultimate Health Cover
More info
cdhlogo
  • Hospital only policies
    • Gold Hospital Cover
  • Combined hospital + extras policy
    • Gold Hospital & Healthy Extras
    • Gold Hospital & Classic Extras
    • Gold Hospital & Optimum Extras
    • Gold Hospital & Elite Extras
    • Gold Hospital & Ideal Extras
More info
GMHBA health fund
  • Hospital only policy
    • GMHBA Gold Ultimate Hospital with AIA Vitality
    • GMHBA Silver Plus Premium Hospital
    • GMHBA Silver Plus Premium Hospital with AIA Vitality
More info
Frank
  • Hospital only policy
    • Frank Top Hospital
More info
HBF Health Insurance
  • Hospital only policy
    • Gold Hospital
    • Gold Hospital & Ambulance Care
More info
HCF
  • Hospital only policy
    • HCF Hospital Gold
      HCF Hospital Silver Plus
  • Combined hospital + extras policy
    • HCF Hospital Gold + Hcf Starter Extras (With Optical)
    • HCF Hospital Gold + Hcf Mid Extras
    • HCF Hospital Gold + Hcf Vital Extras
    • HCF Hospital Gold + Hcf Starter Extras
    • HCF Hospital Gold + Hcf Top Extras
    • HCF Hospital Silver Plus + Hcf Starter Extras (With Optical)
    • HCF Hospital Silver Plus + Hcf Mid Extras
    • HCF Hospital Silver Plus + Hcf Vital Extras
    • HCF Hospital Silver Plus + Hcf Starter Extras
    • HCF Hospital Silver Plus + Hcf Top Extras
More info
Picture not described
  • Hospital only policies
    • Core Hospital
    • High Hospital
  • Combined hospital + extras policies
    • Core Hospital $750 Excess with Active 60
    • Core Hospital $750 excess with Middle Extras 65
    • Core Hospital $750 excess with Extras 50
    • Core Hospital $750 excess with Base Extras 65
    • Core Hospital $750 excess with Middle Extras 75
    • Core Hospital $500 Excess with Pulse 60
    • High Hospital with Middle 65 Extras
    • High65
    • High75
    • High85
More info
HIF Logo
  • Hospital only policies
    • GoldStar Hospital
  • Combined hospital + extras policies
    • Silver Plus No Maternity Combo
More info
medibank
  • Hospital only policies
    • Medibank Gold Complete Hospital
    • Medibank Silver Plus Security
  • Combined hospital + extras policies
    • Medibank Gold Ultra Health Cover
More info
mildurahealthfundlogo
  • Hospital only policies
    • Five Star Hospital
More info
onemedifundlogo
  • Hospital only policies
    • Gold Hospital
  • Combined hospital + extras policies
    • Gold Hospital & Economy Extras
    • Gold Hospital & Extras
More info
nib
  • Hospital only policies
    • Gold Top Hospital
    • Silver Advantage Hospital Plus
    • Silver Hospital Advanced
  • Combined hospital + extras policies
    • Basic Essential Hospital Plus + Core and Wellbeing Extras
    • Basic Essential Hospital Plus + Core Extras
    • Basic Essential Hospital Plus + Core Extras Boost
    • Basic Essential Hospital Plus + Top Extras
    • Bronze Standard Hospital Plus + Core Extras
    • Bronze Standard Hospital Plus + Core Extras Boost
    • Bronze Standard Hospital Plus + Top Extras
    • Bronze Standard Hospital Plus + Core Extras Boost
    • Silver Advantage Hospital Plus + Core and Wellbeing Extras
    • Silver Advantage Hospital Plus + Core Extras
    • Silver Advantage Hospital Plus + Core Extras Boost
    • Silver Advantage Hospital Plus + Top Extras
    • Top Cover
    • Young at Heart Top
    • Mid Plus
More info
peoplecare provider page link
  • Hospital only policies
    • Premium Hospital
    • Mid Hospital (restricted benefit*)
  • Combined hospital + extras policies
    • Gold Hospital $750 & Simple Extras
    • Gold Hospital $750 & Mid Extras
    • Gold Hospital $750 & High Extras
    • Gold Hospital $500 & Premium Extras
    • Silver Plus Hospital $500 & Simple Extras
    • Silver Plus Hospital $500 & Mid Extras
    • Silver Plus Hospital $750 & Simple Extras
    • Silver Plus Hospital $500 & Premium Extras
More info
phoenix health fund provider link
  • Hospital only policy
    • Gold Top Hospital
    • Silver Plus Essentials Hospital
  • Combined hospital + extras policies
    • Gold Top Hospital 500 & Top Extras
    • Gold Top Hospital 500 & Mid Extras
    • Gold Top Hospital 500 & Base Extras
    • Gold Value 250 Cover
    • Gold Value 500
    • Silver Plus Essentials 500 & Mid Extras
    • Silver Plus Essentials 500 & Base Extras
    • Silver Plus Essentials 500 & Top Extras
More info
St. Lukes Health Logo
  • Hospital only policies
    • Superior Gold
    • No Obstetrics Silver
  • Combined hospital + extras policies
    • Packaged Superior Gold
    • Packaged No Obstetrics Silver
    • Packaged No Obstetrics Silver
    • Packaged Ultimate Gold
    • Pasplan Gold Status 85
More info
Transport Health Logo
  • Hospital only policies
    • Silver Plus Select Hospital
    • Gold Top Hospital
  • Combined hospital + extras policies
    • Silver Plus Select Hospital and Healthy Choice Extras
    • Silver Plus Select Hospital and Top Extras
    • Gold Top Hospital and Healthy Choice Extras
    • Gold Top Hospital and Top Extras
More info
CBHS Health Fund LogoRestricted fund**
  • Hospital only policies
    • Comprehensive Hospital
    • Limited Hospital
    • Active Hospital
  • Combined hospital + extras policies
    • Prestige
    • StepUp
More info
defencehealthlogoRestricted fund**
  • Hospital only Policy
    • Ultimate Hospital Gold
  • Combined hospital + extras policies
    • Essentials Hospital Basic Plus and Essentials Extras
    • Essentials Hospital Basic Plus and Premier Extras
    • Essentials Hospital Basic Plus and Value Extras
    • Everyday Hospital Bronze Plus & Essentials Extras
    • Everyday Hospital Bronze Plus & Premier Extras
    • Everyday Hospital Bronze Plus & Value Extras
    • Ultimate Hospital Gold and Value Extras
    • Ultimate Hospital Gold and Essentials Extras
    • Ultimate Hospital Gold and Premier Extras
    • Value Hospital Silver Plus and Essentials Extras
    • Value Hospital Silver Plus and Premier Extras
    • Value Hospital Silver Plus and Value Extras
More info
navyhealthlogoRestricted fund**
  • Hospital only policies
    • Premium Gold Hospital
  • Combined hospital + extras policies
    • Corporate Gold Hospital & Budget Extras
    • Corporate Gold Hospital & Healthy Living Extras
    • Corporate Gold Hospital & Premium Extras
    • Premium Gold Hospital & Budget Extras
    • Premium Gold Hospital & Healthy Living Extras
    • Premium Gold Hospital & Premium Extras
More info
policehealthlogoRestricted fund**
  • Hospital only policy
    • Gold Hospital
  • Combined hospital + extras policies
    • Gold Combined
More info
teachersRestricted fund**
  • Hospital only policies
    • Top Hospital
    • Top Hospital Ambulance Exempt
  • Combined hospital + extras policies
    • Top Hospital & Top Extras
More info
tuhRestricted fund**
  • Hospital only policy
    • Union Health Silver + No Pregnancy Hospital
    • Silver + No Pregnancy Hospital
    • Union Health Silver+ Family Hospital
    • Silver + Family Hospital
    • Union Health Gold Hospital
    • Gold Hospital
  • Combined hospital + extras policies
    • Gold Easy Choice
    • Gold Ultimate Choice
More info

*Benefit only applies if you are treated as a private patient in a public hospital. If you attend a private hospital you will incur significant out-of-pocket expenses for your treatment.
**Restricted funds only provide cover to members of specific industries, groups and organisations. In some cases family members may also be eligible to join.

Data last correct as of 21 Septemeber, 2019.

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