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Hospital cover, the one that helps you come tax time

Cheap hospital cover starts from around $25 a week – for higher earners, that's less than the MLS.

Who is this cover for?

What you need to know

  • The cheapest hospital cover can be found from around $25 a week.
  • There are cheap policies that let you avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge.
  • It also lets you choose your own doctor and can help you avoid long waiting lists.

Compare hospital cover from multiple funds

Here's a wide range of hospital policies from Finder partners. You can look for in-hospital benefits that are important to you by clicking "All treatments". Prices are based on a $750 excess for a single person earning less than $97,000 living in Sydney.

1 - 25 of 92
Name and lozenges Finder Score Treatments Price
Finder score
7.4
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$103.35
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
7.2
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$105.95
per month
Go to SiteView details
Frank Entry Hospital (Basic+)
Basic Plus$750 excess
Finder score
7.1
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$109.40
per month
Go to SiteView details
starter basic
Basic$750 excess
Finder score
7
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$109.70
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
7.5
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$109.80
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
7.1
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$110.70
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
6.8
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$111.35
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
7.1
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$112.10
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
6.9
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$113.05
per month
Go to SiteView details
starter basic
Basic$500 excess
Finder score
7.2
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$113.75
per month
Go to SiteView details
essentials basic plus
Basic Plus$750 excess
Finder score
6.7
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$115.45
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
7.1
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$116.75
per month
Go to SiteView details
starter bronze
Bronze$750 excess
Finder score
8.1
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
$117.65
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
6.6
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$118.61
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
7.1
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$118.75
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
6.8
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$119.35
per month
Go to SiteView details
simple bronze plus
Bronze Plus$750 excess
Finder score
8.8
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
$119.70
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
9
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
$120.85
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
8.7
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
$121.80
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
7.9
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
$124.20
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
7.9
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
$124.30
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
6.6
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$125.25
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
7.4
  • Rehabilitation
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Dental surgery
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Pain management
  • Gynaecology
  • Lung and chest
$125.80
per month
Go to SiteView details
starter bronze
Bronze$500 excess
Finder score
8.1
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
$125.95
per month
Go to SiteView details
Finder score
8.4
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Ear nose and throat
  • Blood
  • Back neck and spine
  • Dental surgery
  • Eye excluding cataracts
  • Cancer
  • Lung and chest
$126.20
per month
Go to SiteView details
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Showing 25 of 92 results

Finder Score - What they mean

Each month we analyse over 10,000 hospital insurance products and rate each one on price and features. What we end up with is a nice round number that helps you compare hospital cover a bit faster.

  • 9+ Excellent - These products offer a balance between low pricing and more features.
  • 7+ Great - Competitive products within their group.
  • 5+ Satisfactory - Usually these products would either have fewer treatments covered or higher pricing.
  • Less than 5 – Basic - Offering basic cover with limited features or higher pricing.

Groups

Before we start scoring, we need to make sure we're comparing like-for-like. Just as it doesn't make sense to compare a bicycle with a Ferrari, it doesn't make sense to compare basic hospital policies to top-tier Gold policies. They're very different machines for very different jobs. So we've separated all the hospital policies on the market into groups.

Price Score

We calculate the net price for each product, which is compared against other products within its assigned product pool. Each product is assigned a score between 1 - 10, with the lower the price, the higher the score. The net price comprises the premium charges and excess.

Features Score

We calculate the number of hospital treatment categories covered by each product and position the number between the products that offer the most and minimum amount of treatments, within the same category, to generate a feature score between 1 - 10.

We also assign 30% of the feature score for the Gap Score and Benefits Score, which is calculated at a provider level and assigned to each product.

The hospital treatment categories that are included are based on the standard list used by the Australian government.

    Final Score

    The Price score and Feature score are combined to determine each product's Finder Score. We assign weights between price and features based on the category level.

    Finder Score - Hospital Cover Score Weightings

    Category LevelPrice Score WeightsFeature Score Weights
    Basic80%20%
    Bronze70%30%
    Silver60%40%
    Gold50%50%

    The top five hospital plans according to Finder Score

    We've used our Finder Scores associated with each plan category to showcase the top 5 policies available. Plans and prices are for a single person living in NSW.

    Basic plan

    CategoryProviderPolicyFinder ScorePrice
    BasicRT HealthBasic Plus Starter Hospital $750 Excess8.8$104.50
    BasicRT HealthBasic Plus Starter Hospital $500 Excess8.2$110.90
    BasicBupaReciprocal Health Cover - Basic7.2$103.75
    BasicUnion HealthUnion Health Basic+ Hospital $750 excess6.7$103.40
    BasicTUH Health FundBasic+ Hospital $750 excess6.7$103.40

    Bronze plan

    CategoryProviderPolicyFinder ScorePrice
    BronzeMedibank Private LimitedMedibank Bronze Plus Progress8.6$123.25
    BronzeHCFHCF HOSPITAL BRONZE PLUS $750 EXCESS8.6$120.85
    BronzeMedibank Private LimitedMedibank Bronze Plus Progress8.5$131.95
    BronzeMedibank Private LimitedMedibank Bronze Plus Assured8.5$132.80
    BronzeHCFHCF HOSPITAL BRONZE PLUS $500 EXCESS8.4$131.65

    Silver plan

    CategoryProviderPolicyFinder ScorePrice
    SilverBupaCorporate Hospital Cover Advanced Level 4 Silver Plus8.1$176.10
    SilverBupaCorporate Hospital Cover Level 4 Silver Plus8.0$135.95
    SilverTeachers HealthMid Classic 500 (Silver Plus)7.7$158.48
    SilverNurses & Midwives HealthMid Classic 500 (Silver Plus)7.7$158.48
    SilverTeachers HealthMid Classic 500 (Silver Plus)7.7$158.48

    Gold plan

    CategoryProviderPolicyFinder ScorePrice
    GoldCBHS Health Fund LimitedComprehensive Hospital 100 (Gold)9.2$238.68
    GoldPolice HealthGold Hospital9.0$245.46
    GoldPolice HealthGold Hospital9.0$245.46
    GoldCBHS Health Fund LimitedComprehensive Hospital 70 (Gold)9.0$246.83
    GoldTeachers HealthTop Hospital 500 (Gold)9.0$234.12

    Finder survey: What kind of health insurance do Australians have?

    ResponseMaleFemale
    Hospital41.88%34.87%
    Source: Finder survey by Pure Profile of 1006 Australians, December 2023

    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.

    What are the main benefits of hospital cover?

    piggy-bank

    Tax benefits

    There can be tax benefits if you earn over $97k as a single person or $194k as a couple. You can avoid paying the Medicare levy surcharge with a basic hospital policy.

    Lifetime health cover loading

    It's cheaper to buy by age 31

    The Lifetime Health Cover loading is a penalty that applies to anyone who takes out private health insurance after their 31st birthday. The loading increases by 2% for every year you don't have hospital insurance.

    hourglass

    Shorter waiting times

    Elective surgery waiting times are typically much shorter than public hospitals. Keep in mind though that you'll have to wait 12 months if your condition is pre-existing.

    surgeon

    You get your choice of doctor

    You often get to choose your own doctor, when you're treated and your own room in a private hospital, where possible.

    Ambulance

    Ambulance cover

    Medicare doesn't cover ambulance transport, except in Tasmania and Queensland. A basic hospital policy can cover you though. There are also ambulance-only policies from $1.50 a week.

    How does hospital cover work?

    If you receive an in-hospital service as a private patient, Medicare typically covers 75% of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee. Your private health cover will pay the remaining 25%.

    However, a doctor or specialist won't always stick to the MBS fee set by the government as a fair fee for a service or treatment. In this case, you'd have to pay an out-of-pocket fee known as "the gap".

    Some insurers have deals with healthcare providers that mean all or some of the gap is covered by your health fund.

    Hospital cover only helps with items that are on the MBS. If the treatment you want isn't on the MBS, you won't get help from private hospital cover.

    How much does health insurance cost?

    We ask hundreds of Australians what they're paying for health insurance every month. Here's what they told us in July 2024.
    • Basic: $99
    • Bronze: $141
    • Silver: $183
    • Gold: $221
    Price based on 1,000+ responses for single hospital insurance.

    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 hospital cover icon

    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.

    Average premium: $242.42 a month for a single policy.*
    Lowest premium: $172.80 a month for a single policy.*
    Silver hospital cover icon

    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.

    Average cost: $152.22 a month for a single policy.*
    Lowest premium: $102.50 a month for a single policy.*
    Bronze hospital cover icon

    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.
    Average cost: $100.15 a month for a single policy.*
    Lowest premium: $88.70 a month for a single policy.*
    Basic hospital cover icon

    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.

    Average cost: $85.93 a month for a single policy.*
    Lowest premium: $77 a month for a single policy.*

    *Average prices updated July 2024, in line with Finder's database of health insurance policies. Prices are based on a single individual with less than $97,000 income and living in Sydney with a $750 excess.

    Hospital health insurance and tax (the MLS and LHC)

    There are 2 different government schemes that may cost you money if you don't have hospital cover.

    Rich person

    Medicare Levy Surcharge

    If you earn over $97,000 (from 1 July 2024) and don't have hospital cover, you'll be taxed 1%, 1.25% or 1.5% of your wage due to the MLS. Get a cheap policy and you can avoid the tax.

    For a lot of people, the cost of a hospital policy can be less than what they'd be taxed if they didn't have it. For example, a single person who earns $95,000 per year would pay an additional $950 in tax if they don't have insurance. But there are plans available on Finder from $76,37 – or $916.44 per year.

    So even if you don't plan on using private health insurance, it can make financial sense to get a policy anyway.

    30 year old

    Lifetime Health Cover loading

    LHC loading kicks in on 1 July immediately after your 31st birthday. For every year you don't have health insurance from that date, you'll be charged an extra 2% when you eventually do decide to get a policy.

    For example, if you wait until you're 41 to get hospital cover, your premiums will be 20% higher than they would have been if you took out a policy before the deadline. That's assuming you don't have an exemption. Get hospital cover before the deadline and you won't be hit with the penalty.

    James Martin

    My wife and I earn over the MLS threshold and we live in NSW, so it made sense for us to take out hospital insurance. Now we're saving money by having a policy in place, plus we don't need to worry about an expensive ambulance bill anymore.
    — James Martin, insurance editor.

    Hospital waiting periods

    With hospital cover, the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman sets the maximum possible waiting periods for every circumstance and insurers have to stick to them. This means the same waiting periods will apply no matter what hospital policy you get.

    Hospital benefitWaiting period
    Most pre-existing conditions12 months
    Pregnancy and childbirth12 months
    All psychiatric care, rehabilitation and palliative care2 months
    Other in-hospital treatment2 months
    Accidents and ambulance servicesNo waiting period

    What isn't covered by private hospital insurance?

    No matter what level of health insurance you get, there are certain things that won't be covered. They include the following:

    • Pre-existing medical conditions within the first 12 months
    • Out-of-pocket costs (that's when your doctor charges more than the MBS item fee)
    • Fees for any specialists you see outside of hospital
    • Any services you receive outside of hospital
    • Any medical treatment that does not have an MBS item number
    • Hospital stays that are longer than 35 days
    • Cosmetic surgery for non-medical reasons

    Why you can trust Finder's health insurance experts

    freeYou pay nothing. Finder is free to use. And you pay the same as going direct. No markups, no hidden fees.
    expert adviceYou save time. We spend 100s of hours researching health insurance so you can sort the gold from the junk faster.
    independentYou can trust us. We say it like it is. We aren't owned by an insurer and our opinions are our own.

    Frequently asked questions

    To make sure you get accurate and helpful information, this guide has been edited by David Gregory as part of our fact-checking process.
    Gary Ross Hunter's headshot
    Editor, Insurance & Innovations

    Gary Ross Hunter was an editor at Finder, specialising in insurance. He’s been writing about life, travel, home, car, pet and health insurance for over 6 years and regularly appears as an insurance expert in publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian and news.com.au. Gary holds a Kaplan Tier 2 General Advice General Insurance certification which meets the requirements of ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146). See full bio

    Gary Ross's expertise
    Gary Ross has written 730 Finder guides across topics including:
    • Health, home, life, car, pet and travel insurance
    • Managing the cost of living
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    Editor

    James Martin was the insurance editor at Finder. He has written on a range of insurance and finance topics for over 7 years. James often shares his insurance expertise as a media spokesperson and has appeared on Prime 7 News, WIN News, Insurance News, 7NEWS and The Guardian. He holds a Tier 1 General Insurance (General Advice) certification and a Tier 1 Generic Knowledge certification, both of which meet the requirements of ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146). See full bio

    James's expertise
    James has written 258 Finder guides across topics including:
    • Car, home, life, health, travel and pet insurance
    • Managing the cost of living
    • Money-saving tips

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