Top hospital cover review 2018


Value-for-money comprehensive hospital policies from 24 open health funds.

Cover for peace of mind


This year's 3.95% average increase in health insurance premiums may be low compared to previous years, but it's still more than twice the inflation rate, pricing many Australians out of quality health cover. On top of the price hikes, large insurers like Bupa and HBF made significant cuts to some policies' cover on 1 July, so it pays to give your health insurance a check-up.

Our health insurance comparison tool can help you find the best policy for your needs, but if you already know you want top hospital cover, we've done the comparison for you and picked the best-value top hospital policies.

We've selected the best policies in two levels of top cover health insurance:

  • Top cover with an excess
  • Top cover with no excess

Should I pay an excess?

Both types of policies we've reviewed are premium cover options. Which one is better value-for-money for you depends on how soon you think you'll make use of your hospital cover:

1) Top cover with an excess is the best value option for top cover. These policies give you peace of mind. Premiums are discounted, but you'll pay an excess or co-payment if you require treatment. You're covered for everything covered under Medicare.

2) Top cover with no excess means you're covered for everything covered by Medicare and for a private room. There are no excesses and co-payments. We don't recommend a policy with no excess if the insurer has a high complaints rating, below average gap cover in your state, or covers less than 75% of private or day hospitals in your state (excluding NT and ACT).

Use these policies if you have a chronic illness or expect to need treatment in hospital soon

Excess or no-excess?

Usually the discount on the premium for policies with excess is so large, that you get a better deal with a a policy with excess even if you have to go to hospital once within these two years. But if you have a chronic condition or a health condition that could lead to more than one hospital admission, you're better of with a policy without excess.

Make sure you upgrade early enough

  • if you upgrade from a policy that doesn't cover the condition you have to one that covers it, you won't be covered for this condition and any other pre-existing conditions not covered on your previous policy during the first 12 months.
  • if you upgrade from a policy with excess to one without excess you'll still have to pay the excess if you have to go to hospital during the first 12 month.

Read on to find out which policies we recommend for top hospital cover with (up to $500 excess per person) and without excess.

Looking for the best health cover? See our health insurance comparison.

Do you need health insurance? Try out our quiz to find out if it's worth it for you.

Want to see more? Get full access to this expert information, plus all our product and service reviews. (Billed quarterly at $23.95.)

Already a CHOICE member? Log in now

Join now


Leave a comment

Display comments