GUIDES & RESOURCES

Bronze Cover Health Insurance

In an effort to make private health insurance simpler, the government has introduced a new four-tiered system for all hospital products – Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic1.
health insurance bronze cover

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What is Bronze cover?

Bronze cover is a step above a Basic policy and covers you a wider range of services1. However, it still excludes a number of treatments that may be important to you.

Bronze cover is more affordable than a Silver or Gold policy, but the benefits you receive will also be less than those paid by the other levels of cover. This means that you may have more out-of-pocket expenses if you do require private treatment down the track.

What does a Bronze tier policy cover?

A Bronze tier policy offers a range of out-of-hospital services that are generally not funded by Medicare such as:

  • Ambulance
  • Home nursing (in some cases)

Bronze hospital cover will offer you the same restricted cover for rehabilitation, hospital psychiatric services, and palliative care, but it will also provide unrestricted cover for the following treatments1:

  • Brain and nervous system
  • Eye (not cataracts)
  • Ear, nose, and throat
  • Tonsils, adenoids, and grommets
  • Bone, joint, and muscle
  • Joint reconstructions
  • Kidney and bladder
  • Male reproductive system
  • Digestive system
  • Hernia and appendix
  • Gastrointestinal endoscopy
  • Gynaecology
  • Miscarriage and termination of pregnancy
  • Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy for cancer
  • Pain management
  • Skin
  • Breast surgery (medically necessary)
  • Diabetes management (excluding insulin pumps)

Bronze hospital cover won’t offer you the same level of protection as the Silver or Gold tiers, however, your insurer can offer you cover for additional treatments if they choose to. These policies are known as bronze plus [+] policies.

What's not included in Bronze cover?

A bronze policy covers you for a wide range of services but there are a number of treatments that you will not be covered for including1:

  • Heart, and vascular system
  • Lung and chest
  • Blood
  • Back, neck, and spine
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery (medically necessary)
  • Dental surgery
  • Podiatric surgery (provided by an accredited podiatric surgeon)
  • Implantation of hearing devices
  • Cataracts
  • Joint replacements
  • Dialysis for chronic kidney failure
  • Pregnancy and birth,
  • Assisted reproductive services
  • Weight loss surgery
  • Insulin pumps
  • Pain management with device
  • Sleep studies

Who is Bronze cover suitable for?

A Bronze policy covers you for a wide selection of treatments, and may be suitable for a diverse range of people. If you’re generally fit and healthy, then a Bronze policy may be the perfect option for you. However, if you’re older or have a family, you may prefer to choose a higher level of cover, as this will give you access to a wider range of hospital services.

Bronze cover is also a good option for women, as gynaecology, chemotherapy, and treatment deemed to be medically necessary are all included in Bronze tier hospital treatment products and above.

When will Bronze cover be introduced?

Bronze cover will come into effect on April 1st 2019, and will form part of the government’s new four-tier hospital cover classification system. The aim of the new product tiers is to provide you with clearer information regarding health insurance, and make it easier for you to compare hospital treatment products and find the one that suits your needs.

What are the requirements for Bronze cover?

The requirements for Bronze cover - and each hospital product tier - are minimum standards. Your insurer may choose to offer upgrades to policies that include restrictions or exclusions2. These products will feature the name of the policy, along with a ‘plus’ sign - Bronze plus [+].

How can I compare Bronze cover policies?

When it comes to finding the right health insurance to suit your needs, it’s important to do your research. Lower levels of cover may appear to be more affordable, but they also come with a wide range of restrictions and exclusions that may end up costing you more in the long run.

Before you decide on the type of cover you need, it’s important to ask questions and get the right advice, as well as be fully aware of what each level of cover offers.

If you need more information on Bronze hospital cover or want to find out more about private health insurance, call 13 19 20 to speak to one of our expert health advisors.

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Sources:
1. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/private-health-insurance-reforms-fact-sheet-gold-gilver-bronze-basic-product-categories
2. http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/private-health-insurance-reforms-transition-fact-sheet

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