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Updated 01/07/2023
What changed?
Changes to the Medicare Levy Surcharge as of 1 July 2023
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Fact checked
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Written by

Francis Taylor

Updated 01/07/2023

What changed?

Changes to the Medicare Levy Surcharge as of 1 July 2023
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.

Edited by

Laura Crowden

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 Basic Hospital Cover?

Basic cover is the lowest level of hospital cover that you can buy and is sometimes referred to as Accident Only Cover. It’s like dipping your toes into the insurance pool instead of doing a deep dive. True, you only get cover for a small number of hospital treatments, but the price usually reflects this.

Who is Basic Cover suitable for?

Basic cover might be a good fit if you’re somebody who’s young, fit and in good shape. Y’know, the type of person who probably won’t need hospital treatment in the near future. For older people, or people with families and specific health needs, this can be a different story: they might prefer a higher level of cover that lets them access a wider range of hospital services.

What does Basic insurance cover? 

There are certain treatments that all basic hospital cover policies need to cover.1Australian Government – Private Health Insurance Reforms (Page 2)  These aren’t treatments that insurers can just brush over, they’re requirements. 
 
The only kicker? These basic policies can also include restrictions. When these restrictions apply, you’ll only receive full cover if you’re treated as a private patient in a public hospital.2Australian Government | Department of Health and Aged Care – Hospital cover and product tiers  This means you could still end up in a shared room or put on the notorious public hospital waiting list. 

Still, you’ll end up with some kind of cover for the following: 

  • Rehabilitation: Physical rehabilitation for anyone who’s recovering from an illness or surgery.
  • Palliative care: Treatment to provide pain management and quality of life for people with a terminal illness.
  • Hospital psychiatric services: Treatment and care for people with psychiatric, mental, addiction or behavioural disorders. 

Compare Basic Cover to other Health Insurance tiers

Compared to the other tiers you can see why it’s called the basic tier.

Source:  PrivateHealth.gov.au – Product Tiers

Why should I get Basic Hospital Cover?

If you’re young and fit, Basic Hospital Cover can give you peace of mind, just in case.  

On top of your peace of mind, it can also help you if you’re looking to avoid the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading. This is an extra amount you’ll need to pay if you take out a Health Insurance policy sometime after you turn 31—usually the 1st of July following your 31st birthday.3PrivateHealth.gov.au – Lifetime Health Cover  

However, if you sign up for Hospital Cover before this time, and you maintain your cover, you won’t need to pay a LHC loading on your policy after you turn 31. Nice!

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Frequently Asked Questions

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How can I compare Basic Cover policies?

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