What is private health insurance?

Medicare does not cover everything. You can choose to take out private health insurance to give yourself a wider range of health care options.

How does health insurance work in Australia?

Health insurance is a policy that you take out to cover yourself in the event of illness, injury, or other unforeseen health circumstances.While the Australian public health system (Medicare) covers most Australian residents for health care, it does not cover everything.

Health insurance comes in 3 types of coverage; Hospital, Extras, and Ambulance.

When you are admitted as a private patient in either a public or a private hospital, Hospital insurance covers your hospital and medical expenses. Whereas, Extras cover (or general treatment cover) provides coverage for services such as: dental examinations and treatment, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, eye therapy, chiropractic services, podiatry, psychology services, acupuncture, glasses and contact lenses, hearing aids and other appliances.

In Queensland and Tasmania, emergency ambulance services are provided free by the State Government. New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory provide free ambulance cover for pensioners and low income earners.

While Medicare covers some health related circumstances, private health insurance can cover all possible contingencies, depending on your level of cover.

Visit the private health insurance website for more information.

Benefits of hospital cover

What are the benefits of having private health insurance?

There are a range of good reasons for taking out private health insurance.


Choice of doctor

Be treated by a doctor you know and trust, rather than by whomever is available in the public healthcare system.


Choice of hospital

Choose which hospital you want to attend for your treatment (i.e. closer to home).


Choice of treatment time

Instead of joining a public healthcare waiting list, you can nominate when you want to be treated (subject to availability).


Financial incentives

Government tax rebates may be available for up to 35% of your
health insurance premiums.


Extras cover

Provides optional cover for extras not covered by Medicare, such as optical, dental, chiropractic, and physiotherapy.

What if I don’t have private health insurance?

While there are many advantages to having private health insurance, there are even more disadvantages to not having it. For instance, if you earn more than $90,000 a year (as a single) you may be charged the Medicare Levy Surcharge if you don’t have adequate private health cover.

And that’s not all. If you turn 31 after July 1, you will pay an extra 2% on your premiums for every year that you delay in taking out private health insurance.

Nearly half of all Australians now have private health cover and, given all its advantages, you would have to assume that the other half will soon be joining them.

Find out more about the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) and MLS here. 


Choosing health insurance

Find out more

If you want to find out more about why you should join the CBHS family today, send us an email at help@cbhs.com.au or give our friendly Member Care team a call on 1300 654 123.