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Combine Hospital and Extras Cover

Unsure if you should combine your Hospital and Extras cover? With combined health insurance, you have access to treatments and services both inside and outside the Hospital. This gives you more flexibility when it comes time to use your health insurance policy and covers you for more medical emergencies and care services.

Megan Fraser

Fact Checked

Updated: 19 May 2024

If you’re considering purchasing combined health insurance and receiving both basic Hospital cover and Extras cover, this article is for you. We’ve done extensive research to provide you with a complete Hospital and Extras cover comparison. Compare the benefits and prices of each type of health insurance policy to see what would work best for you. You may find that a combined policy is more affordable and provides you with access to more services.

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Can you combine Hospital and Extras cover?

Yes, generally speaking, you are able to combine your Hospital and Extras coverage. Hospital cover is generally a great way to protect yourself from the costs of your medical emergencies, but many people don’t know that you have the option to combine your Hospital cover with ancillary cover for services like dental or prescription charges. Private health insurance often offers you the option to combine both types to create private health insurance packages tailored to your specific requirements.

Private health insurance companies often offer both Hospital cover and Extras policies. Linking your chosen Extras policy with a Hospital cover package will allow you to tailor it according to individual needs, giving peace of mind that comes from knowing all bases are covered.

What’s the difference between Hospital and Extras cover?

Hospital cover and Extras cover are two different types of private health insurance policies that help you manage the cost of health care in Australia. Hospital cover typically helps to pay for treatments, accommodation or other goods you receive at a hospital. At the same time, Extras cover will pay for ancillary services like opticals (even if they’re not related to your injury), major dental work, plus many more things outside hospitals such as chiropractic programmes.

Hospital only cover

Hospital cover is a type of private health insurance that helps pay for hospital treatment. The types and levels vary depending on what you require, but they all offer benefits that can help with any medical emergencies along the way. Hospital cover options vary in level, with the more generous providing a variety of benefits. 

You can usually purchase a basic, bronze, silver, or gold Hospital cover policy, each holding its own list of benefits.

These benefits include:

Health insurance Extras only

Extra cover can help you save on out of pocket expenses for services like dental, optical and physiotherapy. They do this by preventing or managing health conditions, injuries/diseases so that there is no need to spend your own money.

Generally, when you purchase Extras cover, health funds will give you the option to choose from one of three different levels of Extras cover. The three different levels are Basic cover, which only provides minimal benefits; Medium/Mid-level, where additional money goes towards things such as medications prescribed by doctors during treatment sessions; and Top/Comprehensive cover, which includes the widest range of benefits but costs the most.

Benefits of Extras Cover include:

Should you combine your Hospital policy and Extras cover?

This depends entirely on your lifestyle, family situation, and health circumstances. Before choosing a life insurance policy, it’s important to assess your needs and decide what type of coverage will best suit those particular circumstances. You may want to compare health insurance policies to find the right option for you and your family.

Some people might think they don’t need private health cover, but there are certain life stages where it becomes important to consider. If you’re young and healthy, then basic hospital cover is probably all that’s necessary; however, if your priority shifts towards comprehensive extras like dental care or physiotherapy for older individuals in their later years of life.

How to combine Hospital and Extras cover

One of the simplest ways to save on your healthcare costs is by mixing and matching policies from different hospitals or medical funds. This way, you can find out which ones offer competitive rates for both treatment AND insurance coverage. The easiest way to get the most out of your insurance is by finding a policy that suits all needs. You can combine different types and levels from one company or even separate them into their policies, as long as you can access both cards.

Compare Hospital and Extras cover

Hospital and Extras covers provide you with comprehensive coverage for any medical costs, no matter how large or small they may be. Each type of coverage and the various policy levels come at different costs, benefits, waiting periods, and exclusions. Below is a comparison of the basic Hospital and Extra Only covers, as well as the waiting periods.

Hospital Cover

Hospital only health insurance protects you from medical events and emergencies that require in-hospital treatment. With a private Hospital cover policy, doctor’s appointment choices (when available), accommodation costs, theatre expenses or other amenities such as meals while waiting to be seen may also come with your policy. 

Below are lists of both benefits and exclusions based on the basic level of coverage. 

Treatments Covered:
  • Cataracts
  • Dental surgery
  • Joint reconstruction & replacement
  • Rehabilitation
  • Dialysis for chronic kidney failure
  • Pregnancy and birth-related services
  • Assisted reproductive services
  • Weight loss surgery

Waiting Periods:

Many treatments covered by health insurance decreases waiting periods. Instead of waiting up to twelve months, you can expect to wait a mere two months on certain treatments or services.

Extras Cover

Extras only cover provides benefits for out-of-hospital medical care like dental treatment, optical appliances and physiotherapy, among others. The amount you can claim from your private health insurance will generally be limited to a specific sum per individual service with an overall limit set every year but there may also be some other restrictions on what is covered under your policy or not so make sure that these details are explained clearly when buying insurance. 

Below is a list of benefits and exclusions based on a basic level of coverage.

Treatments Covered:
  • General dental
  • Major dental
  • Endodontic
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Podiatry
  • Acupuncture
  • Remedial massage
  • Chines medicine
  • Orthotics
  • Osteopath
  • Blood glucose monitors
  • Hearing aids
  • Non-PBS pharmaceuticals
  • Orthodontics
  • Psychology

Waiting Periods:

The waiting periods for extras can be different depending on the fund and range from several months to nearly a full year. Generally speaking, waiting periods for Extras only cover lasts two months.

What are the benefits of combining cover?

Hospital and extras policies can be a great way to save money on your healthcare expenses. For example, combining hospital coverage with other types of insurance will allow you more freedom in deciding which level or levels best suit what needs during an emergency – all while staying within budget. 

Other benefits include:

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Generally, it depends on the fund you’ve chosen for your private health insurance and the specific hospital cover you choose. But if buying a combined policy from one company offers discounts, that could be cheaper in the future. The insurers and the hospitals will be different depending on your needs. For example, if you want to find out what coverages are included in a policy as well as their prices before buying one, make sure that they’re from an insurer with whom there’s no history of denying coverage or raising rates abruptly.

No, you do not have to purchase Hospital and Extras cover from the same private health insurance fund fund. Suppose you have a hospital insurance policy with one private health insurance provider and Extras cover with another. In that case, it can be handy as some health funds might offer policies that work well for your needs but not the specific type of out-of-hospital treatment, which is what we’re looking at here.

You can save a lot of money by looking for the most affordable combined insurance plan first, then measuring your requirements and budget. The best way to do this is by comparing similar policies from major private health insurance funds in Australia.

Hospital and Extras cover policies have waiting periods too, just like the stand-alone cover. Once you take out the policy though there’ll be a set time before which your claim must settle during this period of self-assessment – usually 12 months for pregnancy services or 2 months if it involves mental health treatments such as counselling sessions with an individual therapist who is listed in their listing of providers (which can include any kind from psychologists to social workers).

The Australian government has announced that all citizens must be covered by hospital insurance from July 1st, following the introduction of new legislation on Lifetime Health Cover loading. This law will apply to anyone who takes out health care plans after this date and it does not matter what age you are at when adding another bundle or underlying cover style. Luckily, the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading applies to the base premium of your hospital cover if you take out health insurance after July 1st following your 31st birthday. You do not have to pay LHC for any Extra premiums that may be included in this plan.

Emergency ambulance cover can be a lifesaver. It’s generally covered by Hospital cover and some Extras cover policies, depending on the insurer but it may not apply in certain situations for example if you’re an Australian resident living outside their home state or territory – then there is no ambulance service available at all. Be sure to review your level of coverage and policy before making your final choice on the private health insurance fund you choose to give your business to.



Megan has extensive experience writing about health and life insurance in Australia. Megan has a special interest in health and wellness. She relies on her background in counselling psychology to convey the latest findings in a manner that is most beneficial to ComparingExperts readers. In every article she writes, Megan aims to uphold the standards of the Private Health Insurance Intermediaries Association (PHIAA) which ComparingExpert is part of.

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