How much does private health insurance cost?

Finance Journalist · 22 September 2021
Find out how much private health insurance costs on average in Australia and see how your policy compares.

The cost of private health insurance will depend on different factors such as the fund you choose, the policy you select, your family group (how many people are being insured) and the state you live in.

As part of Canstar’s 2021 Health Insurance Star Ratings and Awards, our expert researchers assessed the cost and features of more than 17,000 policies from 26 providers. We considered more than 400 consumer profiles of different ages and family groups across Australia.

Having done that, Canstar is able to provide the average cost of health insurance in Australia based on policies on our database. Below we’ve broken it down by hospital, extras and combined hospital and extras policies.

How much does health insurance cost?

The average annual cost of combined hospital and extras health insurance is $2,218 for a young person under 36 years old, $2,522 for an established person between 36 and 59 years old and $2,758 for a mature person aged 60 years and over.

Canstar’s researchers have done a deep dive into the average cost of combined policies for singles, couples and families in Australia. We’ve also considered different life stages ranging from young to mature, as well as those looking for pregnancy and birth cover.

Canstar also factored in the private health insurance rebate. If you have private health insurance, you may be able to receive a rebate from the government to help cover the cost of your premiums. The rebate is income tested and different thresholds apply depending on whether you are single or a family.

Average cost of health insurance policy per year

What does hospital cover cost?

The average annual cost of hospital cover is $1,664 for a young person, $1,970 for an established person and $2,174 for a mature person.

To make it easier to compare products, providers have to categorise hospital policies into Basic, Bronze, Silver and Gold tiers. Each tier is required to provide a minimum standard of coverage, with Basic policies providing the lowest level of cover and Gold policies the highest. Providers can also offer ‘Plus’ policies (excluding Gold), which provide extra cover above the minimum standards.

The excess you choose can also impact the cost of your premiums. Like car insurance, typically, the higher your excess is, the lower your premiums. But it also means you’ll pay more upfront if you are admitted to hospital.

Here’s a closer look at how much a hospital policy may cost you depending on your lifestage and family group. Note that policies for an established person must include cover for heart and vascular and policies for a mature person must include cover for heart and vascular and joint replacements.

Average cost of hospital policy per year

What does extras cover cost?

The average annual cost of extras cover is $636 for a person with a lower level of coverage, $771 for a person with a mid level of coverage and $869 for a person with a higher level of coverage.

The cost of extras insurance can vary depending on the types of inclusions you want. As there is no standard tiers of extras insurance, Canstar has broken it down into three different tiers. Tier 1 represents a lower amount of coverage, while Tier 3 represents a higher amount of coverage. These are further defined in our Health Insurance Star Ratings methodology.

Here’s the average cost of an extras policy for singles, couples and families, based on the three different levels of cover.

Average cost of extras policy per year

Source: - 14/09/2021. The Australian Government Private Health Insurance Rebate Base Tier for under 65s, of 24.608% has been applied to premiums. National average premiums based on state averages weighted by state population of insured persons, per APRA Quarterly private health insurance statistics. Lifestage profiles based on policies with hospital cover for: Young - all policies, Established - Heart & Vascular, Mature - Heart & Vascular and Joint Replacements, Obstetrics - Pregnancy & Birth.  Cover Tiers based on those defined in the Canstar 2021 Health Insurance Star Ratings, see the methodology for more information. The following policies are excluded: ambulance only extras, OSHC/Visitor policies and policies provided by funds with restricted membership.

Compare Health Insurance with Canstar

The table below displays a snapshot of 5-Star hospital & extras policies on Canstar's database with links to providers' websites, sorted by provider name (alphabetically). Please note the results are based on a young couple (aged under 35) in NSW.

Compare a wider range of health insurance policies using Canstar’s comparison tables. You can tailor the results to your desired cover type, family group, age and where you live.

Learn more about health insurance

Cover image source: DisobeyArt/

Sub edited by Milan Cuk.

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This content was reviewed by Finance and Lifestyle Editor Shay Waraker and Digital Editor Amanda Horswill as part of our fact-checking process.

Tamika covers personal finance for Canstar, specialising in banking and general insurance. She joined the team after completing a Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at QUT. She has previously written for a range of news, music and arts publications.

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