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Is a Gold health insurance policy right for you?

Here's what the highest tier of health insurance in Australia covers.

gold tier hospital insurance
Last updated: 03 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 reviewed Gold hospital insurance policies from more 36 health funds to find out which ones offer the best value. Find out whether you can secure cover that'll save you money by comparing health insurance with us.

Need to know a bit more about Gold health insurance first? We explain what's covered, what you can expect to pay and the cover you might want to consider instead.

What is Gold health insurance?

Gold health insurance is the highest level of private hospital cover available in Australia. Consider a Gold policy if you need cover for things such as pregnancy and birth, cataract eye surgery and hip or knee replacement.

If you want health insurance that gives peace of mind for a hospital visit, a Gold policy is for you. But if you want cheaper health insurance, try Silver, Bronze or Basic policies.

What does Gold hospital insurance cover?

  • Pregnancy and birth, including fertility treatments such as IVF.
  • Joint replacements and reconstructions.
  • Cataracts.
  • Rehabilitation.
  • Hospital psychiatry.
  • Palliative care.
  • Gastric banding and obesity surgery.
  • Diabetes management including insulin pumps.
  • Sleep studies.
  • Dialysis.
  • Pain management with or without a device (for example, a surgically implanted device to manage pain caused by heart disease).
  • Heart and vascular surgery.
  • All cancer surgeries, 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 including wisdom teeth removal 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.
  • 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, grommets.
  • Hernia and appendix surgery.
  • Brain and nervous system treatments including for stroke, epilepsy and Parkinson's disease.

How much is Gold health insurance?

Gold health cover ranges in price from about $400 to more than $1000 per month for a family policy with $750 excess (without the health insurance rebate). The cost varies depending on which state you live in, how much you earn, your level of excess and when you first bought health insurance.

What is a health insurance excess?

An excess is a contribution you pay towards each hospital stay which will reduce the cost of your premium. 

If you're not likely to go to hospital in the next one or two years, opt for a higher excess to reduce your premium. If you think you'll need to go to hospital sooner rather than later, switch to a policy with a lower or nil excess at least 12 months before your hospital stay.

Should you consider Silver Plus health insurance instead?

A Silver Plus policy is a level down from Gold-tier cover, but it might have what you need and cost less. Silver Plus policies cover the 26 Silver-level services in private hospital, plus one or more of the services from the Gold level.

For example, if you want cover for a specific treatment such as pregnancy, you may be able to buy a Silver Plus policy that includes the cover you need and is cheaper than a Gold policy that has all the bells and whistles. 

What's covered by Silver Plus?

Everything that's covered by Silver policies, plus at least one of the following:

  • pregnancy and birth including fertility treatments such as IVF 
  • joint replacements
  • cataracts
  • rehabilitation in a private hospital
  • hospital psychiatry in a private hospital
  • palliative care in a private hospital
  • 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).

CHOICE health insurance reviews

Not sure whether you're paying too much for private health insurance? We've built a tool that allows you to 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.

We show you all the funds – big and small, member-owned and nonprofit – to help you find the best. Compare health insurance now and see whether you can change policies and save.

Our health insurance reviews are for members, but we've got lots of helpful free health insurance content, like advice from our experts, explainer articles and buying guides, to help you figure out the best option for you.

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.