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Private Health Insurance Cost in 2022

Megan Fraser Updated: 17 June 2022
Types of Health Insurance

The cost of private health insurance is generally a significant factor of your decision when looking for cover. As a result, it is important to understand how private health insurance costs are calculated and what you can do to keep your expenses down.

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Several factors are involved when calculating the cost of private health insurance. These typically include your location, the health fund you choose, and the level and cover amount you want. Understanding how health insurance premium calculations and what to compare can help you choose an appropriate health insurance policy for your unique requirements.

hospital interior

How much does private health insurance cost?

Generally, the price of your private health cover is determined by the type of policy you have, your level of cover and where you live. However, if you live in NSW and were to apply for a basic Hospital policy with no Extras cover you can generally expect to pay between $101 to $346 per month. On the other hand, Extras policies range from $16 to $202 per month.

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Compare private health insurance policies

InsurerHospital premiums for Bronze policiesExtras premiums for Basic general treatment
bupa 90
$117.70$25.90
defence health$113.84$30.38
Peoplecare logo
$129.46$34.62
AHM 90
$114.25$21.60
hbf 90$124.55$23.35
Australian Unity Logo$137.60$38.55
aia health insurance logo icon$116.49N/A
medibank 90$114.45$30.30
HCF 90$115.20$16.90

Source: Privatehealth.gov.au (April 2022, Hospital policy premium estimates based on a single Bronze tier Hospital policy, Extras premium estimates based on a Basic Extras policy with no surcharges or rebates applied)

Hospital cover cost

Hospital insurance policies are typically divided into four different categories, the cost of your monthly premiums will generally be determined by the tier that you have opted for. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere between $101 to $195 upwards per month depending on your policy tier. The four different types of hospital policies are Basic, Bronze, Silver and Gold, with Basic being the most affordable and Gold level policies which are generally at the higher premium scale.

The difference between Hospital policy tiers

  • Gold: Most comprehensive policy, covering 38 clinical categories. Generally, the most expensive hospital plan that includes pregnancy and birth-related services. Monthly, you can expect for monthly premiums to start at $195.
  • Silver: A mid-level hospital policy covering 29 clinical categories, including dental surgery and heart-related services. Premiums for a Silver Hospital policy usually begin at $139 monthly.
  • Bronze: An affordable policy covering 21 clinical categories. Generally, excludes joint replacements, as well as services for the back, neck and spine. Policies in this tier usually start at $112 per month.
  • Basic: The cheapest hospital plan that covers you for accidents and helps you avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge and LHC loading. Typically you can expect to pay around $101 per month for a Basic policy.

Hospital cover excesses

With a Hospital policy, you usually have to pay an excess amount when admitted to the hospital. This is generally known as your health insurance excess. The higher your excess, the lower your health insurance premium will generally be. Depending on your insurer, you typically have the option choose a $0, $250, $500 or $750 excess for a single adult. Some insurers also charge a co-payment, which is the amount you agree to pay each day you’re in the hospital.

Compare Hospital insurance cost

InsurerBasicBronzeSilverGold
bupa 90
$105.95$117.70$143.20$252.00
defence health$109.72$113.84$145.77$247.56
Peoplecare logo
$111.82$129.46$167.69$237.70
AHM 90
$105.10$114.25$144.70$245.90
hbf 90$105.70 $124.55$162.05$243.95
Australian Unity Logo$109.40$137.60$176.35$284.50
aia health insurance logo icon$111.84$116.49$147.53N/A
medibank 90$108.10$114.45$159.70$224.90
HCF 90N/A$115.20$143.60$283.90

Source: Privatehealth.gov.au (April 2022, Premiums based on single hospital policy in NSW, no surcharges or rebates applied.)

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Extras cover cost

Extras insurance typically pays a benefit for general treatments and services received outside of the hospital. There are generally three broad categories: Basic, Mid, and Top. However, different insurers might have different names for their Extras options. Premiums for General treatment usually range between $16.90 and $158.60 per month. However, it’s important to note that your Extras insurance premiums may vary depending on where you live and the policy tier you opt for.

The difference between Extras policy types

  • Basic: Generally, the most affordable option covers essential treatments with a lower annual limit. For example, general dental, physio and optical
  • Mid: A medium-level policy with increased annual limits for a long list of treatments.
  • Top: The most comprehensive Extras option, covering an extensive list of general treatment and services, generally, provides the highest benefit limits

Are you exempt from the LHC Loading with an Extras policy?

If you’re looking to avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) or Lifetime Health Care loading (LHC), Extras cover by itself won’t cut it. You’ll need a Hospital policy and your Extras cover to be exempt from paying these extras. Fortunately, many health insurers offer packaged policies that combine extras and Hospital cover, so you can get the coverage you need without having to take out two separate policies.

Compare Extras cover cost

InsurerBasicMidTop
bupa 90
$25.90$68.55$125.10
defence health$30.38$70.29$117.13
Peoplecare logo
$34.62$68.31$121.10
AHM 90
$21.60$71.50$115.55
hbf 90$23.35 $67.80$123.05
Australian Unity Logo$38.55$59.80$102.25
aia health insurance logo iconN/AN/AN/A
medibank 90$30.30$72.75$158.60
HCF 90$16.90$78.15$104.50

Source: Privatehealth.gov.au (April 2022, Premiums based on single Extras policy in NSW, no surcharges or rebates applied.)

The cost of combined Hospital and Extras policies

Hospital and extras policies can be a great way to save money on your healthcare expenses. For example, combining Hospital insurance with other types of coverage allows you greater control over which level or levels best meet your requirements during an emergency while staying within budget. However, you can generally expect to pay between $125.40 and $291.70 per month depending on the insurer and the type of policy you opt for.

ambulance with hospital

Cost of ambulance cover in Australia

If you live somewhere, that requires you to pay for ambulance services, for example, Victoria and ACT, you might need a policy that provides ambulance cover.

Ambulance cover is generally included in Hospital and Extras policies. However, select insurers do offer ambulance only cover options.

Compare ambulance-only premiums

InsurerAmbulance only policy
bupa 90
$6.35
defence healthN/A
Peoplecare logo
$6.29
AHM 90
$11.50
hbf 90$8.20
Australian Unity LogoN/A
aia health insurance logo iconN/A
medibank 90$6.40
HCF 90$6.50

Source: Privatehealth.gov.au (April 2022, Premiums based on single Ambulance only policy in NSW, no surcharges or rebates applied.)

The price of health insurance in different States of Australia

Heath insurance premiums vary according to where you live. Your location affects the price of your health cover, because of competition between funds, your state rules and the cost of living in your area.

Average cost of health insurance by State

StateHospital premiumExtras premium
ACT$101.35$16.00
NSW$101.35$16.00
NT$53.55$9.45
QLD$103.85$16.00
SA$100.70$16.00
TAS$103.19$11.95
VIC$104.90$16.00
WA$78.75$13.35

Source: Privatehealth.gov.au (April 2022, Hospital policy premium estimates based on a single basic Hospital policy, Extras premium estimates based on a Basic Extras policy with no surcharges or rebates applied)

health family

Tips for finding cheap health insurance

Generally, the best way to find more affordable health insurance in Australia is to:

  • Do your research and know the benefits you want your health plan to cover. If you only wish to avoid the LHC loading and MLS, then a Basic Hospital plan might suffice.
  • Shop around and compare costs from some of the major health funds available in your state.
  • Consider a higher Excess to reduce your monthly premiums. However, make sure you have that amount of money saved and ready when needed.
  • Consider combining plans into one policy purchased from the same insurer; this may result in a discount.
  • Pay your annual premium as a lump sum before the 1ste of April to avoid the yearly price increase.
  • Check to see if you can join one of the restricted health funds suited to your industry, for example, the Teachers Health and Defence Health Limited.
  • Pick the plan most suited to your stage of life and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

  • How do you pay your health insurance?

    Generally, you can pay your health insurance weekly, monthly or yearly via direct debit, credit card, the fund’s online membership service, a cheque in the mail or BPay. However, payment arrangements differ from insurer to insurer. It’s generally a good idea to compare quotes from several insurers to find an option that suits your requirements.
  • When do health insurance premiums increase?

    Every year, on the 1st of April, the price of health insurance increases. The cost of health insurance in Australia generally goes up due to the increasing cost and usage of health services and requests for new technologies. To ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money, it may be a good idea to compare policies prior to the premium increases.
  • Is the cost of health insurance deductible?

    You might be able to claim the private health insurance rebate as a refundable tax offset when lodging your tax return. Alternatively, you can get a reduction on the amount of premiums you pay your insurer. However, it may be best to speak with a tax professional to get the correct insights regarding tax deductibles
  • How much does health insurance for a family cost?

    The average cost of a combined Silver Hospital with a $750 Excess and Extras policy for two adults with children living in NSW is around $390.75 to $485 per month. However, the price you’ll pay depends on the state you live in, the health fund you choose and your specific requirements.
  • How much is health insurance a month for a single person?

    For a single adult, without dependents, living in NSW, you can expect to pay between $110.50 and $142.30 a month for a Basic combined Hospital ($750 Excess) and Extras policy.
  • What is the average cost of health insurance for a married couple?

    Couples wanting a Bronze Hospital policy ($750 Excess) with minimum Extras generally pay between $292.62 and $312.92 per month. Start comparing similar policies from major health funds to decide which one offers the best value at an affordable price.
  • What is the cheapest health insurance to avoid the MLS?

    To avoid paying the 1% to 1.5% Medicare Levy Surcharge, you generally need to purchase a Basic Hospital plan, which is usually the cheapest option.

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