Your private health insurance options
There are generally three different types of hospital cover to choose from; top hospital cover, hospital cover that either excludes or restricts certain benefits and public hospital cover.
Top Hospital Cover
This level of cover is the most comprehensive, that is all services are covered. Top hospital cover is often referred to as 100 per cent hospital cover and covers all your accommodation, theatre fees, labour ward fees and ICU fees in participating hospitals.
Hospital Cover with Excluded or Restricted Services
This level of cover is designed to suit people's particular stages in life. Services such as obstetrics, hip replacements and major eye surgery are either completely excluded from the cover or are restricted to minimum benefits. Minimum benefits means you are only covered for being treated as a private patient in a public hospital.
Public Hospital Cover
This is the lowest level of cover available. Not all health funds offer this option. The amount of cover provided is sufficient for you to be treated as a private patient in a public hospital.
Also known as extras cover, ancillary cover contributes towards the cost of the services that Medicare does not cover such as dental, optical and physiotherapy. Ancillary cover is usually purchased as an addition to hospital cover but can be bought as a stand-alone.
Usually health funds will offer a range of options for reducing your premium. Some covers have a range of Excess or Co-payment amounts available and some covers have no Excess or Co-payments applied at all. The more you are willing to contribute towards the cost of your treatment, the lower your premiums will be.
If you choose to be treated in a non-participating or non-agreement hospital the cover provided by your health fund may be significantly less than what is stated above. Before you go into hospital check with your health fund which hospitals it has agreements with. By choosing to be treated at a participating hospital any ‘out of pocket' expenses are minimised.