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Reviewed by

Updated 16/04/2024
What changed?
Reviewed by Dr Jill Gamberg and tip added, and referencing style 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

Francis Taylor

Updated 16/04/2024

What changed?

Reviewed by Dr Jill Gamberg and tip added, and referencing style 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 is Hospital Cover?

Private Hospital Cover is pretty self-explanatory. It helps cover the costs when you get treated as a private patient in a hospital. This includes some (or all!) of the in-hospital costs for essentials like medicine, theatre fees and accommodation.

Why should I consider Hospital Cover?

What level of Private Hospital Insurance do I need?

This really depends on your personal needs and preferences. You’ll need to think about the kind of treatments you want covered and how much you’re willing to pay. There’s often a trade-off between price and coverage: a policy that covers many treatments will usually cost more than a policy that only covers a few.

To help with this decision, the government introduced a tiered system designed to make Hospital Cover easier to understand. Hospital policies are now categorised as BasicBronzeSilver or Gold, with each tier covering a specific number of clinical categories. These clinical categories describe different hospital treatments, such as ‘dental surgery’ or treatments for the ‘back, neck and spine’.

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Helpful Tip:


  1. You may get charged a large fee for calling out an ambulance. Check your hospital cover if you want to avoid this: as some policies will include cover for emergency ambulance callouts.

  2. Do you want Hospital Only cover for the moment? Maybe you want the option to change your policy afterwards? Some insurers will let you add extras cover to your policy later. However, it’s always a good idea to speak to your insurer first and find out if it’s something they can accommodate.

  3. You’ll want to investigate which hospitals have an agreement with your insurer before you commit to a treatment or procedure. Many insurers will list this information on their website; they’ll let you know which hospitals won’t charge extra out-of-pocket costs —besides excesses and co-payments.

Dr. Jill Gamberg

GP and Lifestyle Coach

Frequently Asked Questions

What are gap payments?

What do these different policy tiers cover?

What are plus policies?

I’ve just turned 30. Do I have to get Hospital Cover?

How much Lifetime Health Cover loading will I need to pay?

What are excesses and co-payments?

What are waiting periods?

Do I have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge?

What is the Private Health Insurance Rebate?

How often should I review my Hospital Cover?

So how do I find Hospital Cover that suits me?

Compare health insurance policies the easy way

Save time and effort by comparing a range of Australia’s health funds with iSelect

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