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Seniors health insurance

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

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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 4 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 and optical. 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 are 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

Go to site 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

More info

Top Pick for

Waiting periods

ahm lifestyle Extras image


No 2- or 6-month waiting periods | No wait for general dental | From $49.60 per month

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

    Thanks to 2019 government reforms, all health cover in Australia must cover specific treatments. There's usually no specific seniors health insurance policy offered by insurers, but there are certain levels of cover that are more appropriate for seniors than others.

    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 does not include joint replacements, insulin pumps and cataracts cover, so costs 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 (MLS) and lifetime health cover (LHC) 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 wait 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 MLS 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 LHC loading – a 70% additional charge on top of your premiums.

    Public vs private waiting times for procedures

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    FAQs about seniors health insurance

    James Martin
    This article was reviewed on 30 June by . James is the insurance editor at Finder and he's written on a range of insurance and finance topics for over 7 years.

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