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Is a Silver health insurance policy right for you?

We explain what Silver and Silver Plus hospital policies cover and what you can expect to pay.

silver tier hospital insurance
Last updated: 02 March 2022
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Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Our insurance experts have looked at Silver hospital insurance policies from across 36 health funds to see which ones offer the best value. Work out whether you can secure cover that'll save you money by comparing health insurance.

Need to know a bit more about what Silver insurance is first? We explain what's covered under Silver hospital insurance, the differences between Silver and Silver Plus policies, and what you can expect to pay.

What is Silver health insurance?

Silver health insurance is a mid-level private hospital insurance that covers 26 categories of services in private hospital.

If you want an intermediate health insurance policy that covers you for most of the essentials and you don't have any major health issues or you're not planning to start a family, a Silver health insurance policy could work for you.

If you want cheaper health insurance, try Bronze or Basic policies. Or if you're looking for higher cover, you might want Silver Plus or Gold health insurance.

Not sure what level of hospital insurance you need? Take our quick quiz.

What does Silver health insurance cover?

  • Heart and vascular surgery.
  • All cancer surgeries and chemotherapy and radiation.
  • Lung and chest surgeries.
  • Medically necessary plastic and reconstructive surgery.
  • Bone marrow transplants and other blood-related treatments.
  • Investigation and treatment for back, neck and spine problems such as for sciatica and scoliosis.
  • Dental surgery (wisdom teeth and dental implants in hospital).
  • Implantation of hearing devices.
  • Accommodation in hospital for podiatric surgery.
  • Skin-related procedures including treatments for lesions and abscesses, and allergy skin-prick testing.
  • Broken bones and other bone, joint and muscle treatments including joint reconstructions (but not replacements).
  • Endoscopy and colonoscopy plus other digestive system procedures including removal of gallstones or haemorrhoids.
  • Gynaecology, miscarriage, and termination of pregnancy, sterilisation (male and female).
  • Ear, nose and throat surgery including tonsils, adenoids, and grommets.
  • Hernia and appendix surgery.
  • Diabetes management in hospital (but not implanted insulin pumps).
  • Brain and nervous system treatments including for stroke, epilepsy and Parkinson's disease.
  • Palliative care, rehabilitation and psychiatric care (covered in a public hospital only).

What is Silver Plus health insurance?

A Silver Plus policy is a level up from Silver but is cheaper than the top-tiered Gold. Silver Plus policies cover the above 26 Silver-level services in private hospital plus at least one of the below treatments not covered in Silver:

  • IVF, pregnancy and birth
  • joint replacements
  • cataracts
  • rehabilitation
  • hospital psychiatry
  • palliative care
  • gastric banding and obesity surgery
  • insulin pumps
  • sleep studies
  • dialysis
  • pain management with a device (for example, a surgically implanted device to manage pain caused by heart disease).

If you want cover for a specific treatment in the above list, such as pregnancy, you might be able to buy a Silver Plus policy. If you need more cover, you'll need to opt for a Gold policy with all the bells and whistles.

CHOICE tip: We've found in many states that Silver Plus policies are actually cheaper than Silver policies that cover fewer treatments.

How much is Silver health insurance ?

Silver and Silver Plus health cover ranges in price from around $300 to above $500 per month for a family policy with excess. The cost varies depending on which state you live in, how much you earn, the level of excess, and when you first bought health insurance.

What is a health insurance excess?

An excess is an amount you pay as a contribution when you go to hospital. The higher your excess is, the lower your monthly premium will be.

You're better off with an excess if you're healthy and don't plan to go to hospital anytime soon, but consider a low or no excess option if you think you'll go to hospital sooner rather than later.

CHOICE health insurance reviews

Wondering whether you're overpaying for private health insurance? We've built a tool that lets you compare thousands of health insurance policies from 43 brands across 36 funds (see the full list of below). 

Our experts rate policies based on out-of-pocket costs, fund complaints, price and more, and we're 100% independent, which means we don't show sponsored results like other comparison sites. 

Some people will save over 30 times the cost of a quarterly CHOICE membership by using our tool to find a cheaper health insurance policy. Joining CHOICE also means you'll get access to our other recommendations and could stand to save money across a range of household products and services you use every day.

While our reviews are for members, we've got lots of helpful free health insurance content (like advice from our experts, explainer articles and buying guides) to help you better understand your options.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.