Private Health insurance is a form of insurance cover which usually costs the insured for medical, surgical, pharmaceutical and sometimes dental costs.

This website aims to answer your questions about private health insurance by explaining how it works, and who and what is covered. You can also compare policies from different Health insurers to help you choose a policy that is right for you.

Private health insurance is ‘group listed’ in Australia. That ensures that all customers are allowed to purchase the same product at the same price (except for Lifetime Health Cover and Age-based Discounts),and the right to renew their policy is guaranteed. A health insurance provider can’t refuse to cover or sell any plans that you choose to purchase.

Some of the things to consider when looking into private health insurance include:

  • What is covered? In Australia, the public health system, Medicare, covers most Australian residents for health care. However, Medicare does not cover everything and you can choose to take out private health insurance to give yourself a wider range of health care options and more comprehensive cover.
  • How does it work? There are two types of health insurance: hospital and general treatment (ancillary or extras) cover. You can buy policies for these types of cover separately or most insurers offer combined policies. There will be limitations on what and when you can claim with any policy you buy.
  • What government incentives and surcharges affect my insurance? The Private Health Insurance Rebate, the Lifetime Health Cover rules, and Age-based discount affect how much you pay for private health insurance. The Medicare Levy Surcharge affects people earning above a certain threshold who don’t hold private hospital cover. 
  • Overseas visitors & students If you are in Australia on a temporary visa, you should consider taking out some form of visitor’s health cover for the duration of your stay. On some visas, you may be required to take out a form of visitor’s health insurance.


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