Pregnancy health insurance
Pregnancy in the private system is included on gold level health insurance policies and some silver plans. Cover starts at around $165 a month. Comprehensive plans will be more expensive, particularly if you want extras like birthing classes and physio visits.
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Cheapest pregnancy health insurance policies
These are some of the cheapest health insurance policies that cover pregnancy from Finder partners.
*Quotes are based on a single individual with less than $90,000 income, $750 excess and living in Sydney.
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.
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.
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 they will deliver your baby. A private plan also has cover for assisted reproductive treatments, such as IVF.
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 page on private versus public childbirth.
- 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 health insurance for you.
- 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.
Pregnancy insurance policy options
Here are some private health policies from Finder partners that will cover you for pregnancy. All have a 12-month waiting period before you can claim.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
Compare more polices from 30+ health funds
Case studies: How Finder parents paid for pregnancy
Sarah Megginson, Senior Editor, Home Loans at Finder
"For me, the pros of going private included a longer hospital stay – I felt very supported by the nursing staff after giving birth – and continuity of care. I was able to have the same obstetrician throughout the whole pregnancy. But that came at a big cost: Going private cost at least $5K in out-of-pocket expenses for each pregnancy. That's not including the added cost of insurance that will cover pregnancy and birth services. I've heard many public hospitals offer continuity of care now, so if your local hospital has a good maternity wing, it might be worth saving the money and spending it on parental leave instead."
Katrina Hayes, Software Engineer, Finder
"I've no regrets about going public for my maternity care. I particularly liked the GP shared care that I did, rather than having to go to the hospital for all the midwife appointments. From my research, I'd learnt that if any serious complications occur with you or baby, you may well end up being transferred to a public hospital anyway. From a cost point of view, we only had to pay for antenatal classes and some medication. Everything else was free."
Erin Liu, Government worker
"We chose to go private for our first born. I appreciate that not everyone will be in the privileged position of being able to afford the high cost (we paid about $10K out-of-pocket), but for us it was worth it as the level of care overall was excellent. We stayed at the hospital until day 6 and there was no rush for us to leave. I felt a lot of support from the midwives, especially during days 3 and 4 which are obviously key days if you're breastfeeding. I really appreciated that my partner could stay by my side the whole week too. As well as having a private room with our own bathroom there were other nice touches, such as great food and it was easy to call for extra provisions at any time, day or night."
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
|Obstetrician's management fee||The end-to-end care you receive from a private obstetrician. This covers hospital fees like delivery expenses and the doctor's insurance.||$3,000-$5,000|
|Ongoing appointments with your private obstetrician||This covers the regular appointments, including scans and check-ups, that you have with your obstetrician.||$100-150 per visit|
|Paediatrician||If 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 costs||The cost of going to a private doctor. In other words, an appointment that's not bulk-billed.||$50-$100 per visit|
|Lactation consultant||To get information and support around preparing for breastfeeding.||$150-$350 – costs vary between antenatal and postnatal. (Some health policies will pay benefits.)|
|Birthing classes||Privately-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.
Keep in mind that your health premiums will be more expensive for at least a year. That's because you'll need to first hold a top-end cover – such as a Gold Hospital or Silver+ Hospital plan – and you need to finish your waiting period before you can start claiming. Lower-cost policies won't cover obstetrics appointments and will have more restricted benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions:
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