When it comes to choosing private health insurance, you want to make sure you’re getting a policy that covers the things you expect it to – ideally, at a competitive price.
So, we break down:
Aussies are paying approximately $2,499 each year on hospital policies, $1,060 each year on extras-only policies, and around $3,450 yearly on a combined hospital and extras policy, according to IPSOS in 2019.1
Keep in mind, though, that the price of your health insurance depends on:
Whichever state or territory you reside may also have an impact on the cost of your health insurance, particularly if you need to take out an ambulance policy as an additional cover option.
To find out how much health insurance could cost you, try our free comparison tool. It takes only minutes to compare premiums, excess options (the amount you may pay to claim) and features from some of Australia’s top insurers!
Thankfully, health insurance is community-rated. Your age, gender and health status have no bearing on how much cover will cost. So, a healthy 30-year-old and an unwell 70-year-old will pay the same price for the same policy.
The only differences in cost for the same policy may arise:
Read more about what influences the cost of health insurance.
Which levels of hospital cover are there?
You might also find some Plus/+ health insurance policies affect the price you pay for your cover.
Plus policies offer more coverage than what comes standard in the four tiers (i.e. Silver Plus will offer more than what a standard Silver policy will offer), and may, therefore, be more expensive.
Do extras policies come in different ‘tiers’?
Extras policies do vary in the level of cover they offer (and, ultimately, vary in price). Some policies are more basic, while others provide greater cover options and allow you to claim more on certain services throughout the year.
If you’re looking for health insurance for yourself, a singles policy could be right up your alley. Or, if you have a partner, a couples policy could be right for you.
With a couples policy, it’s important you both get value from your cover. For instance, if your partner requires a top-level policy, and you only need more basic coverage, you might find that two separate policies are kinder to your budgets.
For families, a family or single-parent family policy could be a good option. Every family member listed on your policy is covered for the same services, and you may be able to take advantage of often higher claim limits for extras policies. This is helpful in case multiple family members need the same treatment within close time frames.
When you consider this question, make sure you also think a little down the line. For instance, are you looking to start a family? If so, you might be interested in a policy that offers cover for pregnancy and birth-related services. However, these services attract a 12-month waiting period before you can claim. So, you’d need to take out your policy before falling pregnant to be covered.
On the flip side, you may not want pregnancy cover at all. This may mean you look for a lower-level policy that’s better for your budget, yet still covers you for the things you need.
Or, perhaps you play sport and are at risk of injury, or your child wears glasses; in these instances, an extras policy may prove helpful in reducing the cost of physiotherapy and optometry.
You should choose your excess carefully; this is the amount you pay towards your treatment when you claim on your policy. If you opt for a higher excess amount, your premiums are typically smaller. However, the opposite also applies.
Overall, consider your likelihood to make a claim. Lower premiums may be appealing now, but will you be able to afford a higher excess when you claim?
When reviewing cover options, also keep an eye out for any co-payments you may need to pay.
Co-payments are fees some insurers require you to pay for every day you’re admitted as a private patient in a public or private hospital. These costs may or may not apply, depending on the insurer and policy.
If you’ve only looked at a few policies, or haven’t yet started researching, don’t forget that comparing your options increases your chance of finding a good fit for you and your family.
Our comparison service makes this process effortless, allowing you to weigh up policies from a range of insurers in minutes.
If your policy is becoming a financial burden, perhaps it’s time to see if you can get a better value product. You can switch your policy at any time, and your insurer will carry over your already served waiting periods to your new policy.
When switching insurers, it’s important you obtain a Clearance Certificate from your current health insurer. Also called a Transfer Certificate, this document outlines details like the type of cover you had and when you joined.
If you don’t hand your new insurer your Clearance Certificate, you may need to re-sit your waiting periods – this means you can’t claim on certain services and treatment until you’ve served these periods.
Because so many of us choose to get covered by health insurance, it’s no surprise that each product covers a broad range of services. It’s nice to have coverage for anything you may need; such as physiotherapy, remedial massage, knee reconstruction – the list could go on forever.
But do you really need this level of coverage? If you find you aren’t claiming on your policy, it’s time to re-evaluate your policy and find cover that better suits your situation (which could save you some cash).
If you opted for a low (or no) excess or co-payment, your premiums may be quite high. This can be more of an issue for your hip pocket when you aren’t claiming as much as you anticipated on your cover.
Does it make sense to keep those per-treatment costs at a minimum, or do you claim often enough to warrant the higher premium? Run the numbers for your situation to find out.
If you have joint cover (e.g. a couples or family policy) everyone gets covered for the same thing. However, what if your partner requires a more expensive treatment, but you don’t? It’s not worth the streamlined paperwork of having joint cover if you pay extra for the luxury.
When comparing policies, complete several quotes. One for you as a couple/family, and a few others for each member of the family. Which works out cheaper?
If you’re asking, ‘Am I paying too much for my health insurance?’, the good news is, it’s easy to find out!
We believe comparing products side-by-side is a smarter way to shop. Not only could you find great-value products, but it also gives you an opportunity to think about your healthcare needs. For this reason, assessing your insurance annually is highly recommended.
Ready to get started? Compare health insurance policies right here, or give us a ring. We’ll go through your options and help you arrive at a positive outcome.
1IPSOS survey of thousands of Australians between 2018-2019. Average prices do not include the Australian Government Rebate.