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Private health insurance is divided into two main areas: hospital and extras cover. A combined hospital and extras policy can protect you against a range of health-related costs.
Here you can find some options from Finder partners. These hospital and extras packages cover accidents, emergency ambulance, dental and more.
|Fund||Policy||Summary of inclusions||Cost per month||Apply|
|Essentials Flexi Basic Plus||Get treatment for accidents, dental surgery, joint reconstructions and tonsils. You also get $700 per year to spend on extras like dental and physiotherapy. Need new glasses? There's $200 for optical too.||$105.15||Go to Site|
|Silver Hospital and Core and Wellbeing Extras||This is a mid level of hospital cover with 26 categories included. Extras include a $600 dental limit, $300 back on therapies,$300 back on chiropractic and $250 for optical.||$153.59||Go to Site|
|Silver Everyday + Top Extras||This Silver hospital includes 26 treatments including heart procedures and plastic and reconstructive surgery. You'll also get a high level of extras including Major Dental, Orthodontics and Natural Therapies.||$166.75||Go to Site|
Prices are based on a single person in Sydney earning less than $90,000 with $500 excess.
Use our free tool to see quotes from health funds, simply select 'Hospital + Extras' on your type of cover.
Do you want cover for treatments you receive both inside and outside of a hospital? While you might assume that health insurance covers you for everything related to your health, it's only when you have a combined hospital and extras package that you're covered for hospital treatments as well as general (extra) treatments such as dental or physio.
If this sounds like what you want, then hospital and extras is for you. You will need to decide whether you want to get a pre-packaged hospital and extras policy. Choose your own tiers of cover from each cover type from the same fund or get your hospital and extras cover from two different health insurers.
Hospital and extras insurance are totally different forms of cover. Hospital cover is to help pay for treatment and accommodation in a hospital during an illness or injury, while extras is to help cover the costs of ancillary health services that we all may require, but which aren’t usually covered by Medicare. Personal circumstances will dictate whether one form of cover is more important to you than the other. If you are young and healthy, you may only require basic hospital cover and opt for more comprehensive extras such as dental and physio. If you are older and starting to develop chronic complaints that might require surgery, then hospital cover may be a higher priority for you than extras. Other important differences include the following:
Hospital cover pays for your treatment and accommodation in a public or private hospital. If you are a Medicare cardholder, you are entitled to hospital treatment under Medicare but many people take out private hospital cover because it offers several advantages over the public healthcare system. Private hospital cover offers the following benefits:
Most health funds offer different levels of hospital cover:
Top hospital cover will usually include the following:
Whether services and procedures such as IVF, heart surgery and psychiatric services are covered will depend on the fund, but typically most will not cover cosmetic surgery, alternative medicines and any surgery or hospital treatments for which Medicare does not offer a benefit.
While hospital cover is insurance you only claim on if you become ill or injured and need to go to hospital, extras can reimburse you for general services that aren’t covered by Medicare. These can include:
Starting in April 2019, insurers will no longer offer cover for certain natural therapies that the government has found to be ineffective. These include naturopathy, herbalism, Buteyko, Yoga and Tai Chi. Acupuncture, physio and chiropractic will not be affected.
Like hospital cover, extras are usually available in three levels of protection:
Because people have different needs when it comes to ancillary services, many funds will allow you to mix and match your extras to suit your requirements (eg, optical and dental only if that is all you need), although benefit levels are usually restricted to an amount per person per year and waiting periods apply to most services.
When funds create their own packaged cover, it's common for them to pair a hospital policy with an extras policy on a similar rung. For example, if you're getting basic hospital, a health fund will typically package that with its lowest extras option.
Funds will also package policies that they think are suited to someone's life stage. In many cases, these will be placed in categories such as young and singles, family cover, couples cover and seniors cover. While these policies won't have been designed specifically for people that fit into these groups, the fund is making a suggestion about the type of cover you need if you identify with one of these demographics.
While this is not always the case, your best bet to find the option that's right for you is to choose your own levels of hospital and extras benefits rather than going with a preselected option.
Mixing and matching your hospital and extras options is the best way to get the most out of your benefits. Say for example you're young and healthy and don't need a high level of hospital cover but still want peace of mind knowing that you have hospital cover. Add to this that you like to get a remedial massage, need glasses and are fastidious about your teeth and see the dentist a couple of times a year. In this hypothetical situation, you can choose a basic tier hospital policy with comprehensive extras.
To go a step further, when you're comparison shopping, make sure you're looking beyond just one provider for both options. You might find a better deal by taking out your hospital with one fund and your extras with another.
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