About Private Health Insurance

Why go private?

Over 50% of Australians have private health insurance—even though Medicare provides us with one of the best public healthcare systems in the world.

That’s because private health insurance provides increased choice, convenience and flexibility.

For example, in the case of elective surgeries:

Public Patient

Waiting List

You’re on the Public Hospital waiting list, so it might be months before you can have your surgery.

Allocated Hospital

You’ll be told which public hospital to attend for your surgery.

Appointed Doctor

The hospital will appoint the doctor who will perform your surgery.

Shared Room

For most surgeries, you’ll be in a shared room with other patients.


Private Patient

Choice of Times

Schedule your surgery in a Private Hospital at a time that suits you and your doctor.

Hospital Choices

Talk to your doctor and health fund about suitable hospitals, and then choose the one that’s right for you.

Choice of Doctor

Feel reassured by choosing the doctor to perform your surgery.


Many private hospital covers offer private rooms.

Other benefits of going private

Private health insurance also provides cover for services generally not included under Medicare like dental, optical, physiotherapy, chiropractic, remedial massage and acupuncture. Many people use their private health cover to get access to services they may not otherwise be able to afford.

Plus the Australian Government has introduced a number of different measures over the years—including a rebate, a loading and a surcharge—all aimed at encouraging more people to go private. See 'What’s it all going to cost?' to find out more about the money side of things.

So if you’re after peace of mind, shiny white teeth and possibly spending less on government loading and surcharges, private health insurance is a smart choice.


How does Private Health Insurance work?

There are two types of private health insurance:

    Covers all or some of the costs of hospital treatment as a private patient (in both public and private hospitals) including doctor’s charges and hospital accommodation.
    Covers treatments generally not available under Medicare, including dental, optical, physiotherapy, chiropractic and acupuncture.

You can purchase hospital only insurance, extras only insurance, or combined hospital plus extras cover.

As a general rule, the more expensive the health cover you choose, the more hospital procedures and extras treatments will be included and the more money you’ll get back when you claim.


What cover is right for you?

Health insurance is not a one-size-fits-all proposition.

Needs change depending on things like lifestyle, life stage, health issues and financial situations. That means that a single 30-year-old looking for basic hospital and extras cover will have a different list of requirements to a young couple planning on having their first child.

Choosing health cover can be confusing and even a bit overwhelming. That’s why most health funds provide tools on their websites to help you choose the cover that’s right for you. Or if you prefer to talk to someone, you can get advice over the phone. (You can call Australian Unity on 13 29 39.)



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