What does private health insurance for public hospital cover? Is it better than the Basic cover if I want to avoid paying the Medicare Levy?
Private health cover for all procedures in public hospitals used to be a type of policy that you could buy, before the new tiered system of health cover arrived in April this year. Now, these policies are called Basic Plus, as are policies that cover some things in public hospital and others in a private hospital.
Accident only policies are Basic policies. If you use your private health insurance in a public hospital, the only advantage you might have over public patients with no health cover is that you can choose your own doctor. You might not even be covered for a private room.
And there’s actually a disadvantage to being a private patient in a public hospital: you could be charged out-of-pocket fees for the same treatment that you’d receive free of charge if you went in as a public patient. We don’t recommend Basic or Basic Plus health insurance unless you only
want it to avoid the Medicare Levy.
In this case, we suggest you just look for the cheapest policy (in Queensland, NSW and the ACT, the cheapest policies also have public hospital cover). Also look at Bronze health insurance. Often, for a few dollars more a month, Bronze health insurance covers things such as broken bones, treatment of flu or stroke, and some cancer surgery. Bronze also covers a private room if you have to go to hospital.
See more health insurance advice.