What's Gold, Silver, Bronze?
The new product tiers of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic can be confusing. In short, they are:
- Basic – very little if any cover in private hospital
- Bronze – low cover
- Silver – medium cover
- Gold – full or top cover
- Basic Plus, Bronze Plus and Silver Plus policies will cover at least one service more than normal Basic, Bronze or Silver policies.
Read more about what Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic policies cover.
Why would you want insurance if you're young and healthy?
There are a range of financial incentives to coax us into the private hospital system. So even if you're young and healthy and don't think you need private hospital cover, there could be financial reasons to take it out.
If you don't have private health insurance, you might be up for:
- The extra Medicare Levy of at least 1% if earning more than $90,000/year (single) or $180,000/year (family)
- Lifetime Health Cover surcharges of an extra 2% on your premium once you turn 31
What's the cheapest cover that provides value for money?
Bronze policies only provide limited cover, so some services such as joint replacement surgery or having a baby may be fully excluded. If you need these treatments, you can only go as a public patient to a public hospital – just like somebody who doesn't have private health insurance.
But Bronze policies still provide cover for thousands of procedures and treatments in private hospitals, including breast, skin and prostate cancer surgery, broken bones, stroke and chemotherapy – in short, they provide much more than a Basic policy which may not give you any cover in private hospital.
If you take out a Bronze policy, make sure you review your cover regularly and upgrade if needed – for example if you're planning to start a family.
New discounts for under-30s
For every year you're under 30, funds may offer a discount of 2% on your premium, up to a maximum of 10% for people aged 18 to 25.
If you don't change your policy, you can keep getting the full discount until you turn 40.