Cost of private health insurance

Average customer rating: 4.3/5
Written by Joshua Malin
Reviewed by Steven Spicer
Updated 2 April, 2024

Is private health insurance worth it?

Whether or not a health insurance policy will suit you depends on your circumstances, lifestyle and priorities. Here are some of the common benefits of private health insurance that motivate people to take out cover:

  • You may be able to choose your own doctor and surgery dates (on availability).
  • You could receive treatment and recover in your own private room (on availability).
  • You can avoid long public hospital waiting lists.
  • With an extras policy, you can claim for a range of health care services that Medicare doesn’t cover (e.g. physiotherapydentalchiropractic).

Expert tips for saving on your health insurance premiums

Our health insurance expert, Steven Spicer, has some tips on how to save money on your health insurance premiums without compromising on essential cover.

Steven Spicer
Executive General Manager – Health, Life & Energy

Couples cover may not be the best option for your needs

If you and your partner have substantially different health needs, consider taking out two singles policies, as this could save you money. While couples’ cover could be more convenient as you only have to maintain one policy and payment, the cost is equivalent to two individual policies and you’ll both be covered for the same medical services, meaning one of you may miss out on necessary cover.

Consider a ‘Plus’ tiered policy

Private health insurers aren’t required to stick to only the minimum hospital policy inclusions. They can also offer additional coverage through ‘plus’ products. This means you could find a policy that suits your healthcare needs without needing to pay higher premiums for health services you don’t need on the next tier.

Get hospital cover before 31

If you’re over the age of 30 and don’t have hospital cover, it might be time to think about the Lifetime Health Cover loading, which increases your premium by 2% for every year over the age of 30 you don’t have private health insurance after 1 July following your 31st birthday. Depending on your age, you can either stop it from increasing or avoid it altogether by taking out cover.

How much does private health insurance cost?

The exact cost of your health insurance will depend on whether you take out hospital, extras or combined cover, as well as several other factors such as your health fund, level of cover, who’s covered, your excess, any loadings, rebates or discounts and more.

We’ve gone through hundreds of policies from every registered Australian insurer to provide you with an overview of the average cost of health insurance in Australia per state.2 Both hospital and extras cover include policies with an ambulance cover component.

Average cost of hospital insurance

Average cost of extras cover

How health insurance premiums works

What affects your health insurance premiums?

When do health insurance premiums increase?

Is joint cover cheaper than singles health insurance?

Other private healthcare costs

Will I have out-of-pocket costs with private health insurance?

What is an excess or co-payment?

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.

1 Commonwealth Ombudsman, Data. Released February 2024.