Why have private health insurance?

There are plenty of reasons that we believe private hospital cover is important, we’ve narrowed it down to the top eight. Take a read.

1. Less time waiting

If you rely on the public system, you’ll be put onto the public hospital waiting list, which could mean waiting months (or longer) for your procedure. On the day of your planned surgery, you could be bumped if there are any emergency admissions that need your theatre room.

You could be waiting:

  • 74 days for a hysterectomy
  • 158 days for cataract extraction
  • 208 days to have varicose vein surgery
  • 153 days for a total hip replacement
  • 168 days to remove tonsils
  • 293 days for a total knee replacement

And 50% of people will wait even longer.*

With hospital cover, you’ll be in hospital as soon as your doctor and private hospital are ready.

2. Choose your own doctor

It’s important to feel confident in your doctor, and private hospital cover lets you choose who treats you.

In a public hospital, you’ll be treated by the doctor on duty unless you go in as a private patient (where you can choose).

3. Access to more healthcare options

Your choice of both public and private hospitals so that you can have access to the latest and greatest facilities and technology when you need them most.

4. Avoid painful full-cost private hospital bills

You might be surprised by how much it costs to pay for a private hospital procedure without private hospital insurance. To give you an idea, these are the highest hospital costs for individual members we paid in the 2023 financial year:

Hospital claims paid in the 2023 financial year

Admission reason Total benefit paid
Brain and nervous system $81,068
Back, neck and spine $78,735
Heart and vascular System $67,451
Rehabilitation $66,863
Heart and vascular System


5. Save on tax

High income earners could save tax by taking out private hospital cover. See information on the Medicare Levy Surcharge for more information.

6. Avoid paying a loading

Lifetime Health Cover Loading is a government-imposed charge for not taking out hospital cover by 1 July after your 31st birthday.

7. Receive a rebate

The Government rebate reduces the cost of your hospital and extras cover if you’re eligible.

8. Cover to suit your needs

The older you get, the more likely you’ll need the health system. Top hospital covers tend to include the things you’ll increasingly need, such as heart, chest, lung, hip and eye surgeries as well as rehabilitation, and palliative care. Lower hospital covers tend to exclude or restrict these services. The higher levels of extras cover tend to cover items such as hearing aids, health aids, orthotics, and podiatry, and pay higher benefits on physiotherapy, major dental and optical.


*Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Elective surgery waiting times 2021-22 data tables, Table 4.6