Seniors health insurance

Don’t get left on a public hospital waiting list; get seniors health insurance and skip the queues.

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Compare seniors health insurance in Australia

Our comparison tool lets you select what's most important to you. Once you've clicked 'Search Policies', you can refine your search by selecting the benefits that are most important to you, such as heart surgery, joint replacement or cataracts.

What does seniors health insurance cover?

Hospital cover

Hospital

Hospital cover gives access to treatment in a private hospital as a private patient. You can choose your doctor, get your own hospital room (where one is available) and have more flexibility over scheduling procedures. You can choose from four levels of hospital cover in Australia: basic, bronze, silver and gold. All must cover specific treatments.

Extras cover

Extras

Extras insurance helps pay for out-of-hospital treatments which Medicare doesn't usually cover. This can include dental, physiotherapy, chiro, optical and more. Many policies also cover ambulance fees which the public system does not pay for, unless you live in Queensland or Tasmania.

What's the best health insurance for seniors?

Our list of top health funds can make finding the best seniors health insurance policy a little easier. Here's some of our top health insurance picks based on best insurer, most popular and waiting periods. For a more detailed breakdown, you can head to our best health insurance page.

Top Pick for

Best insurer

Bupa image


Good value for your money | Good customer service | Australia's second-largest health fund

More info

Top Pick for

Most popular

Medibank image


Australia's largest health fund | 100% back on dental check-ups | 24/7 Medibank Nurse phone service

Go to site More info
  • What seniors health insurance policy do you need?

    There's no such thing as seniors health insurance but there are four levels of hospital insurance you can choose from. Thanks to 2019 government reforms, all must cover specific treatments.

    Simple Extraction

    Gold

    Gold-tier hospital insurance typically costs around $160 per month for a single policy and covers all 38 treatments outlined by the Australian government. This includes joint replacements, insulin pumps and cataracts so are good for seniors with some health issues or those who want total peace of mind.

    Surgical Extraction

    Silver

    Silver-tier hospital insurance covers a minimum of 26 treatments but do not include joint replacements, insulin pumps and cataracts cover, so cost a little less than gold – often around $115 per month. You'll still be covered for services such as implantation of hearing devices, podiatric surgery and heart and vascular though.

    Wisdom Teeth

    Bronze

    This is a more basic policy that may be more suited to seniors who want to take advantage of shorter waiting times and some basic cover such as joint reconstructions, kidney and bladder and chemotherapy. Policies start from around $80 per month.

    Wisdom Teeth

    Basic

    Most seniors probably aren't suited to basic cover as it is only required to provide restricted cover for rehabilitation, hospital psychiatric services and palliative care. It's good if you simply want to avoid an expensive ambulance bill or still work – you don't need to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge and Lifetime Health Cover Loading if you get a policy. Policies cost around $75 per month.

    old man
    Plus Policies
    Since all health funds are required to offer the same treatments for each tier, keep an eye out for Silver Plus, Bronze Plus and Basic Plus policies. These cover at least one service more than the standard tiered policies and are often tailored to seniors who want top cover that doesn't also include pregnancy services.

    Do seniors need health insurance?

    Pros

    • The waiting times are usually shorter.
    • You can choose your own hospital and doctor.
    • You have more choice over your appointment time.
    • It can cancel out the Medicare levy surcharge if you still earn an income.
    • Emergency ambulances are covered with basic policies.
    • When you hit 65, you're entitled to a higher rebate.

    Cons

    • It may be too expensive for you – policies start from around $80 per month.
    • You may be happy to wait longer on the public health system.
    • If you've never had health insurance, you will have to pay the lifetime health cover loading – a 70% additional charge on top of your premiums.

    Public vs private waiting times for procedures

    Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) Private health insurance use in Australian hospitals 2006–07 to 2016–17

    FAQs about seniors health insurance

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    24 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      HusneMarch 28, 2019

      Wanted private health insurance with Basic Hospital and some extras like optical, dental and joint replacements etc.

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JeniMarch 30, 2019Staff

        Hi Husne,

        Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

        Upon checking, you’re currently at the right page. Kindly choose the answer that suits you and please enter your postcode then click on the orange Search policy button to start comparing your options. Once you have decided which to go with, please click on the green go to site button of your chosen quote to be redirected to the provider’s official page. If you need further assistance on getting private health insurance, you may call our team on 1300 594 882 from Monday to Thursday, 8am – 7:30pm and Friday, 8:30am – 5pm.

        I hope this helps.

        Thank you and have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Jeni

      Default Gravatar
      KathleenFebruary 25, 2019

      Can you clarify the difference between ‘earn’ (gross income?) and taxable income re :
      Premiums
      Free (other than the levy)
      Costs $75/month+ extra if you earn over $90,000

        Default Gravatar
        NikkiFebruary 26, 2019

        Hi Kathleen,

        Thanks for getting in touch! Your premiums will be free if your gross (or taxable income) is over $90,000. Hope this clarifies!

        Best,
        Nikki

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayMarch 28, 2018Staff

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks for your inquiry.

      Yes, cardiovascular disease is considered to be a pre-existing condition so the waiting period applied is 12 months. If you like to compare the insurance prices and cover, please use our panel above and click on the orange ‘Search policies’ button. Please discuss directly with the insurer about your options and waiting period once you’ve chosen a brand.

      Cheers,
      May

      Default Gravatar
      TerryMarch 19, 2018

      My mother in law is 98 years old, she has had private health insurance for over 20 years i believe, maybe much more. Last year she fell and broke a hip, was taken by ambulance to a public hospital. We requested a private room but were told there were none available. We could have moved her to a private hospital, but were advised with age pain etc it would not be advisable to do so. Is there a cover for these types of situations where there seems to be very little if any successful claims that can be made, other than palliative care at sometime in the future?

        Default Gravatar
        LiezlMarch 22, 2018

        Hi Terry,

        Thanks for reaching out to us at Finder!

        Depending on which policy your mother-in-law has, she might benefit from the wide range of general treatments included in hospital and extras covers such as physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic services or other natural or alternative therapy.

        Kindly note that the extent to which particular services are covered will depend largely on the insurer and policy. If you’re unsure of the inclusion and limits, it’s a good idea to contact her insurer directly.

        I hope this information helps.

        Best regards,
        Liezl

      Default Gravatar
      RosemaryMarch 27, 2017

      am aged 86 and am insured with Australian Unity for hospital cover
      Is this a good choice or should I be looking at another health fund.
      I keep in good health

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        ZubairMarch 28, 2017Staff

        Hi Rosemary,

        Thank you for your question.

        finder.com.au is a comparison and information service and we are not permitted to provide our users with personalized financial advice or product recommendations.

        It would be a good idea to first check the current benefits that you have with your existing insurer. From there, you can then check the list of insurance brands featured on our website and make a quick comparison. From there, you should get a better idea of whether you should make the switch or not.

        Cheers,
        Zubair

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