What Does Health Insurance Cost?

Find out how much health insurance costs on average and lock in your premium before they increase on April 1st!

Plenty of Australians (just shy of 50%) have private health insurance hospital cover, with more than 55% having extras cover. Each year the federal government approves health insurance premium prices rises fund by fund.

The overall increase on April 1 this year is set to be 3.95% – the lowest in 17 years, but a substantial increase nonetheless. For the consumer, it’s worth keeping in mind that an average figure masks a wide range of individual changes.

If you want to beat the rate rise on April 1st by locking in your premiums early, then this article will detail what the average health insurance customer pays in Australia by state, so you can estimate whether you’re getting a good deal or not.

The tables below display snapshots of couples hospital & extras health insurance policies with links to providers’ websites, sorted Star Ratings (highest to lowest). The Star Ratings and products listed below are based on couples under 35 in New South Wales. 

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How much does private health insurance cost?

The cost of private health insurance to you as an individual will depend on the fund you choose, the policy you select, your family group (how many people are being insured) and the state you live in. Canstar’s 2017 Health Insurance Star Ratings report assesses the price and features of more than 23,000 policy and premium combinations from 21 providers, across nearly 500 consumer profiles that cover various demographics across the states and territories in Australia.

So having done all of that (and you can read our Health Insurance Star Ratings report here) we can provide you with an indication of what you can expect to pay depending on your stage of life.

Canstar has calculated the average premiums across the health policies we assessed for this rating, based on a combined hospital and general package, as follows. Use the arrows to scroll across to the profile that suits you:

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Health costs broken down

The table above shows the average cost of a hospital and extras package, across the different customer profiles we assess, but what if you’re wanting just a hospital policy? Or just an extras policy? Here are average costs of cover, a little more specifically.

What does private hospital cover cost?

Generally, hospital cover is broken into Budget, Medium and Top levels, with different inclusions in each. The government’s PrivateHealth.gov.au site defines the different levels of private hospital cover as follows:

Canstar star rating and awards research institutionsPrivate hospital policies fall into three general categories. The classifications are based on the services that are shown as covered, excluded or restricted on standard information statements. 


  • Top Private Hospital Cover – must cover all services where Medicare pays a benefit; 
  • Medium Private Hospital Cover – excludes or restricts one or more of the following but includes any services in the basic classification: Pregnancy and birth-related services, Assisted reproductive services, Cataract and eye lens procedures, Joint replacements i.e. shoulder, knee, hip and elbow including revisions, Hip and knee replacements, Hip replacements, Dialysis for chronic renal failure and Sterilisation.
  • Basic (Budget) Private Hospital Cover – excludes or restricts one or more of the following: Cardiac and cardiac related services, Non-cosmetic plastic surgery, Rehabilitation, Psychiatric services, Palliative care;
Source: PrivateHealth.gov.au

Canstar’s research has found average private hospital cover annual costs as follows:

What does extras cover cost?

Extras health insurance policies are popular; according to the Australian Prudential Regulations Authority (APRA) there were more than 6.5 million extras insurance policies in force in Australia at the end of June 2016, covering around 13.4 million people.The cost of an extras policy will differ significantly depending on the inclusions you want; unfortunately, there is no general definition of extras.

Nevertheless, we can provide some indication of average costs among the policies researched for the Canstar 2017 Star Ratings, as follows:

As always, it’s important to choose a health policy that suits your individual needs. Read some hints and tips on how to get started with choosing health insurance.

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Learn more about Health Insurance

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