Bronze health insurance policies

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A guide to Bronze health insurance

Updated 13 March, 2024
Written by Joshua Malin
Reviewed by Steven Spicer

Why do health insurance tiers exist?

In 2019, the government introduced private health insurance reforms that required all hospital policies in Australia to be categorised into four distinctive tiersBasic, Bronze, Silver and Gold, as well as three subset tiers (Basic+, Bronze + and Silver+).

Each tier includes a certain number of clinical categories. A higher level of cover will include more clinical categories and, therefore, a broader range of hospital treatments.

So, why might you consider opting for Bronze health insurance? Here’s a look at what Bronze policies should include and how they differ from other tiers.

What is Bronze hospital cover?

A Bronze tier policy includes 18 of the 38 clinical categories, which include common hospital treatments such as brain and nervous system, joint reconstructions, gynaecology services and more. In addition, Bronze hospital policies must include restricted cover^ for in-hospital psychiatric services, in-hospital rehabilitation and palliative care. Bronze hospital cover will pay a benefit towards your hospital treatment as a private inpatient in a private or public hospital for the categories included on your policy, as well as other hospital costs like your accommodation, theatre fees and any approved prostheses. When you first take our private hospital insurance or upgrade your policy, you will be required to serve any relevant waiting periods before you are able to access these benefits.

When you’re treated in a private hospital as a private patient, you’ll have access to a private room and your choice of doctor (subject to availability). Between Medicare and your health fund, you’ll be covered for 100% of the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) fee. Although if your doctor sets their fees above the MBS, you could have out-of-pocket expenses. This difference is called ‘the gap’ and can potentially be avoided if you’re treated in an agreement hospital by a doctor that participates in your fund’s no-gap scheme.

Expert tips on Bronze health insurance

Our health insurance expert, Steven Spicer, knows how important it is to get hospital insurance that works for you and your family, which is why she’s put together these tips on how to choose your hospital policy tier:

Steven Spicer
Executive General Manager – Health, Life & Energy

Keep your waiting periods in mind

If you’re new to health insurance or upgrading your level of cover, you’ll be required to serve waiting periods before you can make any claims on your hospital cover. Therefore, it might be a good idea to take out cover before you think you’ll need it.

Consider your past medical needs

When comparing hospital cover, it can be difficult to know which policy or fund is most suitable for you. It can be helpful to consider factors such as your current needs, what you may need in the near future, lifestyle factors (e.g. risk of sporting injuries), family history or your preferred hospital.

Cheaper isn’t necessarily better

While it may be tempting to take out a lower level of cover to save money on premiums, it’s important to consider what you may be missing out on as a result. It’s also helpful to remember that you can change your level of cover at any time, so you can upgrade or downgrade as your needs change (you may just need to serve waiting periods on any upgrades).

Inclusions and exclusions

What does Bronze health insurance include?

What’s not covered by included on Bronze health insurance?

What’s a Bronze Plus policy and what does it cover?

Choosing your health insurance tier

How does Bronze hospital cover compare to the other tiers?

Who might suit Bronze tier cover?

Is Bronze health insurance worth it?

How much does Bronze health insurance cost?

Can I get a Bronze extras health insurance policy?

Meet our health insurance expert, Steven Spicer

Steven Spicer
Executive General Manager – Health, Life & Energy

As the Executive General Manager of Health, Life and Energy, Steven Spicer is a strong believer in the benefits of private cover and knows just how valuable the peace of mind that comes with cover can be. He is passionate about demystifying the health insurance industry and advocates for the benefits of comparison when it comes to saving money on your premiums.

^Restricted cover –this means your insurer will only pay part of any private hospital costs against that category. You might have to pay large out-of-pocket costs.

*Unrestricted cover – this means your insurer is likely to have an agreement with a hospital. You might not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs other than any agreed excess or co-payments.