What Should I Look for in Private Health Insurance?

Finally about to turn 30 and figure it's time to get private health insurance. I'm a relatively healthy bloke, no existing dramas. I wear glasses that I buy pretty cheaply online, and that's about my only real health expense.

Should I just find the cheapest basic plan? Are there any extras you regret not getting?


  • I'd only get it if you're a high income earner and would get stung the extra medicare levy without it.

    • Thanks, will look at the figures. I'm hoping to be that high income class soon!

    • Or if you have a chronic disease, I wouldn't trust a lot of state health services to have your back in all areas. Even good doctors in a broken system can't help you if they haven't been given the latest training or tools or whatever.

  • +2 votes

    Private health is split into hospital cover and extras.

    Based on your needs extras wouldnt give you any value. Though some majors do a good minor dental 100% claim and that's often worth it for some people.

    Hospital cover exists generally as a peace of mind type of thing, but covers some planned things like pregnancy.

    I just did a shit ton of research on this matter due to planning for a baby. I think I'll make a full post with my findings. A family member just switched careers to a role at a major private health insurer so I have some very current industry info.

    For age 30+, also need to mention LHC, important to long term planning.

  • Honestly Join HIF.com.au given you are in Perth…

    They are great to deal with, well priced and there is even a OzB referral scheme at: https://www.ozbargain.com.au/deals/hif.com.au

    As far as buying cheap glasses, with Extras after a 2 month qualifying period you have some cover via Saver Options (or higher) and you get Retina Scans and Field Vision testing etc.

    Extras also covers you for Ambulance.

  • LHC is a pretty big deal once you turn 30 isnt it? I'm not around all the details myself, anyone else know whether its better off to cop the LHC later on if you are fit and healthy now, or better to have full hospital insurance for the long run??

    • It's 2% per year after 30, to a max of 70%. It can be a shit load if u want private hospo to cover something like cancer for a few years, considering the base cost of gold or the wankier versions of silver.

    • LHC is pretty complicated so maybe read into it here:


      My advice, if you are not sure about hospital insurance/LHC make sure you have an eligible hospital cover for your LHC base day at least.

      Your LHC base day is 1st of July following your 31st birthday.

      Reason being, you can hold the hospital cover for a month or whatever to lock in your LHC base day. After that you have 1094 Permitted days without hospital cover where your LHC will not increase even if you don't hold hospital insurance. During this time you can look into it all a bit further if needed.

      If you have any other questions I can try to answer them. It has been a long time since I had to calculate LHC. I used to calculate LHC for a health insurance company. Legislation may have changed since then too.

  • Maybe get an eligible hospital cover just to lock in your LHC base day. You can get 3 years worth of no increases to your LHC loading after that which is equivalent to 6%.

    Your LHC base day is 1st of July following your 31st birthday.

  • it is mostly a scam for a person in your situation.

    stay away

  • If you earn over 90k as a single or 180k as a couple then getting hospital cover will save you relative to the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

  • What about dental? that's also an area where I get pretty good value back

    when I took out a basic cover which I thought was purely for tax & dental purposes turned out to give me back a lot more when I was injured and required physio & surgery that I would definitely not be offered or will have to wait years for in the public system