Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

Health insurance with no waiting period

Hospital policies always have a minimum 2-month waiting period – some won't let you claim for 12 months. However, some extras policies let you claim right away.

What you need to know

  • You cannot waive waiting periods for hospital treatment, but you can transfer if you switch funds.
  • You will need to serve a 2-month waiting period for most hospital treatment and longer if it is a pre-existing condition.
  • Only extras policies will let you skip waiting periods for out-of-hospital care such as dental.

Can I get health insurance with no waiting period?

No waiting period hospital

No for hospital

You can't skip waiting periods for hospital treatment in a private hospital. You will always need to have hospital insurance for at least 2 months before you can claim or 12 months if you need treatment for a pre-existing condition.

No waiting period extras

Yes for extras

Some extras insurance policies let you skip waiting periods for general dental, optical, physio and more. Remember, extras refers to out-of-hospital treatment only.

Can I get hospital insurance with no waiting period?

Hospital insurance always has a waiting period of at least 2 months. This is the same for all insurers. They need to adhere to the guidelines set out by the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman. The only exception to this is when you're switching funds – served waiting periods will transfer over.


Pregnancy: 12 months

All childbirth and pregnancy services come with a 12-month waiting period before you can claim on health insurance.

Pre-existing conditions

Pre-existing conditions: 12 months

You will need to wait 12 months if the medical issue you need treatment for is considered a pre-existing condition. For example, if you tear a ligament, then you take out health insurance, you will need to wait 12 months for surgery. There will generally be medical records showing if you had your illness or injury before you took out insurance.


Psychiatric care, rehabilitation and palliative care: 2 months

All psychiatric care, rehabilitation or palliative care has a 2-month waiting period – even if it's considered a pre-existing condition.


Hospital treatment: 2 months

When you take out hospital insurance, you will need to pay for cover for 2 months before you are covered. Health insurers are not allowed to waive hospital waiting periods.

private contract
Switching funds?
If you're switching to a similar level of health insurance cover, you won't have to re-serve any waiting periods for treatment you were previously covered for. For example, if both your new and previous policy covered joint reconstructions, you will be covered straight away.

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 May 2024.
  • Basic: $110
  • Bronze: $143
  • Silver: $162
  • Gold: $197
Price based on 1,000+ responses for single hospital insurance.

Can I get extras insurance with no waiting period?

Yes. You can skip general dental waiting periods with some of ahm's policies. These are the only policies to permanently offer this benefit. We looked at all health insurance policies on the market.

All come with the following perks:

  • You get to skip 2- and 6-month waiting periods for general dental as well as optical, psychology, pharmacy and remedial massages.
  • You get up to 2 free dental check-ups per year – just make sure you use one of ahm's partner dentists.
  • You also get 100% back on optical – this includes frames, prescription lenses and contact lenses.

We arranged our top picks from the least to the most comprehensive.

Top pick:
Lifestyle Extras
Lifestyle Extras
from $57.41 /month
Cover for 11 extras treatments
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Hearing aids
+7 other treatments covered
Top pick:
Family extras
Family Extras
from $62.09 /month
Cover for 13 extras treatments
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Hearing aids
+8 other treatments covered
Top pick:
Super extras
Super Extras
from $93.56 /month
Cover for 13 extras treatments
  • General Dental
  • Major Dental
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Hearing aids
+8 other treatments covered
Gary Ross Hunter

I usually take out extras cover a couple times a year when I need a dental check-up. I always go with an insurer like ahm that has no waiting period, then book through one of its no-gap providers.
— Gary Ross Hunter, insurance expert

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.

Start comparing for freeStart comparing for free

Sign-up deals that waive waiting periods

You'll often see health funds offer sign-up deals that let you skip 2- and 6-month waiting periods, typically for extras only. Here is the list of all sign-up deals currently offered by Finder health insurance partners. Not every deal below offers zero waiting periods for extras, so you'll need to check the details.

Name Product

Join Bupa and get up to 12 weeks free on eligible products

Plus, 2&6 month waiting periods waived on extras. Domestic policies only. Terms and conditions apply.

Want 6 weeks free + a $50 gift card when you join & maintain eligible Extras?

Plus, get 2&6 month waits waived. New members only. T&Cs apply.

Get up to 8 weeks free + Waive 2 & 6 months waiting periods

Ends 30 June 2024

Join combined hospital & extras cover by 30 June 2024 for new members. T&Cs apply.

Join HIF Hospital & Extras and get a cash card worth up to $200

Ends 31 May 2024

Plus, 2-month waits waived on extras by 31 May 2024. T&Cs apply.


Why you can trust Finder's health insurance experts


We're free

Our health insurance engine is completely free to use. You pay the same as buying directly from the health insurer. Better still, we regularly run exclusive deals that you won't find on any other site.
expert advice

We're experts

We've researched and rated hundreds of policies as part of our Finder Awards. We've published 250+ guides and our in-house experts regularly appear on Sunrise, 7News and SBS News.

We're independent

Unlike other comparison sites, we're not owned by an insurer. That means our opinions are our own and you can compare nearly every health fund in Australia on the site (and find a better deal).

We're here to help

Since 2014, we've helped 350,000+ people find health insurance by explaining your options simply. We'll never ask for your number or email to see prices. We're here to help you make a decision.

Frequently asked questions about no waiting periods

More guides on Finder

Go to site