A waiting period is the amount of time you need to wait before you can claim on services from your health fund.

Waiting periods apply if you:

  • are new to private health insurance
  • are new to private health insurance and require treatment for a pre-existing condition
  • upgrade to a higher level of cover

Waiting periods for hospital cover

Hospital cover waiting periods are regulated by the Government. These are the maximum waiting periods allowed under legislation if you are a new member:

  • 12 months for pre-existing conditions
  • nine to 12 months for obstetric services (pregnancy)
  • two months for psychiatric, rehabilitation and palliative care.

To reduce your health insurance premium, some funds also apply Benefit Limitation Periods in addition to standard wait periods, you may also have BLP. This is where you are only entitled to limited benefits for a particular condition or treatment for a set period of time. BLP usually commence after standard waiting periods have been served.

Waiting periods for extras cover

The waiting periods for extras cover are set by individual health funds. Although they vary, typical waiting periods are:

  • Zero to two months for general dental services and physiotherapy
  • Zero to six months for glasses or lenses
  • Up to 12 months for major dental procedures such as crowns or bridges

How to find out more

When you get a quote, download the policy brochure and check the waiting period details. Or you can call our health insurance health partner iSelect on 13 19 20.