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Updated 23/05/2024
What changed?
Reviewed by Dr Jill Gamberg and tip added and referencing style updated. Elective surgery wait time statistics also updated.
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Fact checked
Our aim is to help you make better informed decisions. That’s why iSelect’s content is produced in accordance with our fact-checking and editorial guidelines.
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Written by

Luke Carlino

Updated 23/05/2024

What changed?

Reviewed by Dr Jill Gamberg and tip added and referencing style updated. Elective surgery wait time statistics also updated.
Our aim is to help you make better informed decisions. That’s why iSelect’s content is produced in accordance with our fact-checking and editorial guidelines.

Find out more about how we make money.

View our Privacy Policy.

Check out our range of private health funds

iSelect does not compare all providers in the market or all policies offered by our partners in your area. Not all policies or special offers are available to all customers and some may only be available over the phone or on the website. Learn more.

What’s the difference between Hospital Cover and Extras Cover?

Hospital Cover helps you out when you need to check into the hospital. You pay an excess – think of it as the price of admission – and then Medicare and your Hospital Cover both chip in to help you cover the total cost. It’s like splitting the bill, Health Insurance style.

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Extras Cover can handle things that Hospital Cover misses out on. It’s your go-to for treatments like dental, optometry, and other services that Medicare doesn’t cover.

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How does a combined Hospital and Extras Policy work?

What should I consider in a Hospital and Extras Policy?

Level of cover

For Hospital Cover, consider which tier suits your needs – Basic, Bronze, Silver or Gold. For Extras, while there aren’t standard tiers, you can still choose different levels of coverage. You’ll be able to select a policy that suits your lifestyle and health needs, like picking a streaming service that fits your binge-watching habits.

Excess

Your excess is your entry fee to the hospital party when you make a claim, it’s what you pay before your insurance kicks in. You’ll probably have a few excess amounts to choose from, and a higher excess often means lower premiums.

Waiting periods

When you sign up for a new policy or increase your level of cover, you’ll usually have to wait a little while before you can access your new coverage. While waiting periods are pretty standard across Hospital Policies, they can vary more for Extras Cover.

Cost

Your premium is your regular Health Insurance bill. As mentioned, a higher excess can mean lower premiums. You’ll also find a bit of variation in premiums between providers. It’s worth considering your premiums alongside your level of cover, to make sure you’re achieving a good balance between what you’re paying and what you’re getting for it.

Helpful Tip:

It is worth looking at what kind of “Gap Cover” an insurer offers with their combined policies. You’ll want to check whether they have agreements with a wide network of  specialists. If they do, this might mean reduced or even zero out-of-pocket expenses for hospital procedures and dental check-ups.

Dr. Jill Gamberg

GP and Lifestyle Coach

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the pros of a combined policy?

What are the cons of a combined policy?

Do I have to have my Hospital and Extras Policies with the same Health Fund?

Do waiting periods apply before I can claim against my Hospital or Extras Coverage?

Do I have to have Hospital and Extras Cover to avoid Lifetime Healthcare Loading or the Medicare Levy Surcharge?

Where can I find and compare Hospital and Extras Policies?

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iSelect does not compare all health insurance providers or policies in the market. The availability of policies will change from time to time. Not all policies available from its providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, your stated needs and circumstances, not all policies compared by iSelect are available to all customers. Some policies and special offers are available only from iSelect’s contact centre or website. Click here to view iSelect’s range of providers