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Pregnancy & health insurance: everything you need to know

Pregnancy health cover starts at around $52 per week. Comprehensive plans will be more expensive, particularly if you want extras like birthing classes and physio visits.

What you need to know

  • The average cost of hospital cover for childbirth is around $48 per week*.
  • You will need to hold cover for at least 12 months before your hospital admission date.
  • If you are already pregnant without private hospital cover, getting it today will not do you much good.

*Prices are based on a single person earning less than $93,000 living in Sydney.

Compare hospital cover for pregnancy and child birth

Here are some pregnancy health insurance policies from Finder partners that cover pregnancy. All have a 12-month waiting period before you can claim. Prices are based on a single individual with less than $93,000 income and living in Sydney.

1 - 10 of 107
Name Product Treatments Price Apply
Hospital
  • Lung and chest
  • Back neck and spine
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • +28 other treatments covered
Extras
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Hearing aids
  • +7 other treatments covered
Get up to 8 weeks free when you join eligible cover by 21 April and stay with HCF. T&Cs apply.
$207.70
per month
Hospital
  • Lung and chest
  • Back neck and spine
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • +28 other treatments covered
Extras
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Hearing aids
  • +7 other treatments covered
Get up to 8 weeks free when you join eligible cover by 21 April and stay with HCF. T&Cs apply.
$222.97
per month
Hospital
  • Lung and chest
  • Back neck and spine
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • +28 other treatments covered
Extras
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Hearing aids
  • +10 other treatments covered
Get up to 8 weeks free when you join eligible cover by 21 April and stay with HCF. T&Cs apply.
$232.06
per month
Hospital
  • Lung and chest
  • Back neck and spine
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • +28 other treatments covered
Extras
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Hearing aids
  • +7 other treatments covered
Get up to 8 weeks free when you join eligible cover by 21 April and stay with HCF. T&Cs apply.
$238.13
per month
Gold Top Hospital Excess $750/$1500
Gold$750 excess
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$241.03
per month
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$245.63
per month
Silver Plus Family Hospital 750
Silver Plus$750 excess
  • Lung and chest
  • Back neck and spine
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Blood
  • Dental surgery
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • +28 other treatments covered
$246.31
per month
Frank Gold Hospital
Gold$750 excess
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$247.02
per month
Hospital
  • Lung and chest
  • Back neck and spine
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • +28 other treatments covered
Extras
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Hearing aids
  • +10 other treatments covered
Get up to 8 weeks free when you join eligible cover by 21 April and stay with HCF. T&Cs apply.
$247.32
per month
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Palliative care
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Sleep studies
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Rehabilitation
  • Insulin pumps
  • +30 other treatments covered
$249.55
per month
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How much does health insurance for child birth cost?

To be covered for child birth in a private hospital, you'll need a Gold tier hospital policy, or a Silver Plus policy that happens to include it. These are the highest hospital tiers, and you'll need to have the policy for at least 12 months to cover the waiting period.

  • The cheapest hospital cover for child birth currently costs around $52 per week.
  • The average hospital cover for child birth currently costs around $78 per week.

These numbers are updated based on Finder's current health insurance database, which is pulled from the Commonwealth Ombudsman each month. The prices are based on a single person earning less than $93,000 living in Sydney.

Case study: 3 Finder parents

Who pays for childbirth in Australia?

Childbirth services on the public system in Australia are paid for by the government via Medicare. If you want private care – either in a private or public hospital – you will have to pay for it yourself. But you can meet some of these costs through a combination of Medicare rebates and private health insurance.

Anything that can't be claimed back on Medicare or on private health cover is known as an out-of-pocket cost.

Public system

Medicare

If you choose to give birth as a public patient at a public hospital, the government pays. Medicare will also cover other expenses throughout your pregnancy. These include midwife appointments, routine ultrasounds, blood tests and immunisations. Plus, you can get up to 3 free counselling sessions if you need emotional support.

Private health

Private health

With private health insurance in place, you can opt to give birth in a private hospital. In most cases, this will include your own room. You can also choose your own obstetrician, who you'll visit for appointments during your pregnancy and who will deliver your baby. A private plan also has cover for assisted reproductive treatments, such as IVF.

Family
Did you know?
According to Finder's Parenting Report 2023, the top 3 reasons for going private were: better quality of treatment/care (16%), being able to choose an obstetrician (15%) and having a private room (15%). Our survey questioned 1,033 Aussie parents with children aged under 12. Respondents were a mixture of both public and private sector patients.

Do I need private health insurance for pregnancy?

Not everyone needs health insurance for pregnancy. It's important to weigh up your own circumstances before deciding if private health cover is the right choice for your needs. For more on this, read our guide on private versus public childbirth.

Pros

  • You can choose your obstetrician and get peace of mind that comes with continuity of care from them before, during and after your pregnancy.
  • Top-end policies offer a wide range of cover benefits such as first-aid classes and physiotherapy.
  • You can avoid some eye-wateringly high costs of private treatments if you have the right insurance in place – especially if you shop around for the best pregnancy health insurance for you.

Cons

  • You have to pay more for your health insurance premium for at least 12 months before you give birth.
  • Even with health insurance, private care can still set you back thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs.
  • You also need to factor into your budgeting your policy's excess, which can range from $250-$1,500. This usually needs to be paid when you're discharged from a private hospital.

Mother holding a young baby who is asleep.

Out of pocket expenses for childbirth

How much "out-of-pocket" were you after your most recent birth (medical expenses only) (e.g. scans, hospital visits, hospital bills)?
$036%
Less than $1,00024%
$1,000–$2,00010%
$2,000–$5,00017%
$5,000–$10,0009%
$10,000–$15,0003%
$15,000 or more2%

Source: Finder Parenting Report 2021 of 1,033 parents of children under the age of 12

What costs aren't fully covered by private health insurance?

Even with a health insurance policy that covers pregnancy and birth services, there will still be additional expenses* that won't be covered by all health funds**.

Here are the main types of out-of-pocket costs you'll need to consider:

  • Out-of-hospital medical services. Services including private GP visits, blood tests, ultrasounds, specialist consultations and obstetrician check-ups tend to not be covered. Aside from antenatal classes, most of these services can be partially claimed back on Medicare.
  • The gap. The gap refers to the difference between the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee and what your health fund will pay for medical services. Usually this gap must be paid by you, but some private health policies can cover it.
  • Policy excesses and co-payments for hospital admissions. Excesses and co-pays are expenses that must be paid by you. These amounts mostly depend on factors such as if your baby requires additional postnatal care. Costs also vary from policy to policy.
  • Your baby's pre-release check-up. A paediatrician will come to the hospital and check on your baby. Check-ups – including any follow-up appointments – are usually not covered, but can be partially claimed back through Medicare.

Typical out-of-pocket costs

ServiceDescriptionApproximate cost
In-hospital excessYou must pay this one-off fee on your admission to, or before you leave, the hospital when you give birth.$500/$750
Obstetrician's management feeThe end-to-end care you receive from a private obstetrician. This covers hospital fees like delivery expenses and the doctor's insurance.$2,500-$5,000
Ongoing appointments with your private obstetricianThis covers the regular appointments, including scans and check-ups, that you have with your obstetrician.$100-150 per visit
PaediatricianIf you're a private patient, you have to pay for this specialist to come to the hospital for an appointment.$150-$250 per visit
Private GP costsThe cost of going to a private doctor. In other words, an appointment that's not bulk-billed.$50-$100 per visit
Lactation consultantTo get information and support around preparing for breastfeeding.$150-$350 – costs vary between antenatal and postnatal. (Some health policies will pay benefits.)
Birthing classesPrivately-run antenatal or postnatal classes.Costs vary a lot – anything from $100-$500. (Some health policies will pay benefits.)

*You'll be able to claim for some of these costs via Medicare.
**Top policies may let you claim for some of the services listed above.

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 April 2024.
  • Basic: $116
  • Bronze: $143
  • Silver: $168
  • Gold: $209
Price based on 1,000+ responses for single hospital insurance.

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