The cost of pacemakers and other cardiac devices

Average customer rating: 4.3/5

A guide to pacemakers and cardiac device costs

Updated 26 March, 2024
Written by Joshua Malin
Reviewed by Steven Spicer

What is a pacemaker?

A cardiac pacemaker is an electronic device threaded through the veins to the heart, comprising of wires, a battery, a pulse generator and a small computer.2 These devices help correct heart problems by sending electrical impulses to control your heart rate. A pacemaker can treat conditions such as:

  • An irregular heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • A slow heart rate (bradycardia)
  • Some types of heart disease.

However, it’s not the only type of implantable cardiac device. Artificial implantable cardioverter defibrillators (AICD) monitor for dangerous irregular heart rhythms and send an electric shock to manage a heart that’s in fibrillation (i.e. beating irregularly).3 Another type of pacemaker called a cardiac resynchronization therapy device (CRT) or a biventricular pacemaker assists people who have suffered from heart failure by stimulating both of the lower heart chambers.4

Expert tips on private health insurance pacemakers and cardiac devices

Our health insurance expert, Steven Spicer, has some tips on how private health insurance could help with your pacemaker surgery.

Steven Spicer
Executive General Manager – Health, Life & Energy

Consider a lower excess if you’re planning a surgery soon

Is it likely you’ll need a pacemaker in the near future? While you might pay a bit more for the premiums now, it may be best to look at policies with a lower excess. It could save you money in the long run, and you can always increase it at a later date.

Take out health insurance early to allow time to serve the waiting periods

If you need a pacemaker or similar device, the last thing you’ll want to worry about is whether your surgery is included on your policy, or if you’ve served all the relevant waiting periods. The waiting period could be up to 12 months for a pre-existing condition, so it’s a good idea to plan ahead. As such, it’s important to make sure you’ve got the right policy for your needs. It pays to compare your health insurance on a regular basis or as your circumstance change.

Look for a specialist that aligns with your health funds gap cover

If you’re planning to be admitted to hospital for pacemaker surgery, it’s a good idea to contact your health fund for a list of doctors and specialists who align with their gap cover agreements. In many instances, you will only incur a minimal gap or potentially none at all if the healthcare provider participates in your fund’s gap cover scheme.

Costs and cover

What is the cost of pacemaker surgery?

Should I take out private hospital insurance for pacemaker procedures?

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 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare – Heart, stroke and vascular disease—Australian facts. Last updated June 2023. Accessed November 2023.

2 Healthdirect, Pacemaker. Last updated October 2022. Accessed November 2023.

3 Mayo Clinic – Implantable cardioverter defibrillators. Last updated August 2023. Accessed November 2023.

4 Mayo Clinic – Cardiac resynchronization therapy. Last updated July 2023. Accessed November 2023.

5 Department of Health, Medical Costs Finder. Accessed November 2023.