Bronze Health Insurance

Compare bronze tier hospital cover insurance policies through Savvy today. 

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, updated on July 6th, 2023       

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We’ve partnered with Compare Club to bring you a range of health insurance policies to help you compare them side by side.

Are you considering bronze health insurance coverage, but unsure if it's the right tier for you? While bronze policies provide a basic level of cover, it's important to assess your personal needs and compare different policies before making a decision. 

At Savvy, we can help you compare a range of bronze hospital cover plans in one place. By answering a few simple questions about the cover you require, you can easily compare prices, inclusions and other features to find a policy which suits your needs and budget. Get started with a free quote through us today to help you make an informed decision about the best health cover for your needs from our panel. 

What is bronze health insurance and how does it work?

In Australia, private health insurance is divided into two types: extras cover and hospital cover. While extras cover helps pay for non-Medicare-funded healthcare services like dental and optical, hospital cover can provide financial coverage for the costs of being treated as a private patient in a hospital.  

Hospital cover is divided into four levels: basic, bronze, silver, and gold. Bronze tier hospital policies are the second-lowest level of health cover available and can cover many of the costs of being treated as a private patient in either a public or private hospital. These costs may include: 

  • Hospital accommodation  
  • Consultations with doctors, specialists, and anaesthetists 
  • Tests administered as an inpatient prior to surgery (or post-op in the hospital) such as x-rays, CT and MRI scans 
  • Surgery costs or other treatments received as an inpatient including theatre fees 
  • The cost of many medications and pharmaceuticals given to a private inpatient  
  • Allied health services provided to an inpatient such as physiotherapists, chiropractors and occupational therapists  

What does a bronze hospital insurance policy cover?

Bronze hospital cover policies are required to offer all the categories provided under basic cover, as well as additional bronze-specific categories, as a minimum.  

Basic hospital cover policies must offer coverage for:  

  • Rehabilitation 
  • Hospital psychiatric services 
  • Palliative care 

Next comes the additional 18 clinical categories which are required to be offered as a minimum with a bronze policy. These are:

  • Brain and nervous system  
  • Eye (not cataracts)  
  • Ear, nose and throat  
  • Tonsils, adenoids and grommets  
  • Bone, joint and muscle  
  • Joint reconstructions  
  • Kidney and bladder  
  • Male reproductive system  
  • Digestive system  
  • Hernia and appendix  
  • Gastrointestinal endoscopy  
  • Gynaecology  
  • Miscarriage and termination of pregnancy  
  • Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy for cancer  
  • Pain management  
  • Skin  
  • Breast surgery (medically necessary)  
  • Diabetes management (excluding insulin pumps)

What’s the difference between a bronze and silver hospital policy?

Bronze and silver policies differ in the level of cover they provide, with silver policies offering more extensive cover than bronze policies. While bronze policies provide cover for a minimum of 21 clinical categories, silver policies add another eight clinical categories onto the cover, including: 

  • Heart and vascular system 
  • Lung and chest 
  • Blood 
  • Back, neck and spine 
  • Plastic and reconstructive surgery (medically necessary) 
  • Dental surgery 
  • Podiatric surgery 
  • Implantation of hearing devices 

Silver policies may also offer lower out-of-pocket costs and more flexible excess options. However, with more extensive cover comes higher premiums, so bronze policies are typically cheaper than silver cover. As such, it's important to weigh up the benefits of silver vs bronze cover against the additional cost when deciding which tier of policy is right for you. 

How do I compare bronze health insurance policies?

When comparing bronze health insurance policies in Australia, there are several factors to compare before making your final decision. These include: 

  • Cost: the cost of a bronze policy may vary tremendously depending on the particular provider, with some bronze policies being cheaper than others. At this level of cover, it’s important to compare policies carefully to make sure you’re getting the best deal. 
  • Excess amount: an excess is the amount you’ll have to pay if you make a claim on your policy. Check whether the policy has a yearly limit on the excess you may have to pay, which may provide more value for money if you require multiple hospital stays in one financial year. 
  • Co-payments: some policies require you to make a co-payment per night if you have a hospital stay. These can range from zero to around $100 a night, although this will depend on your insurer. 
  • Inclusions and exclusions: review the policy's product information documents carefully to understand what is and isn’t covered in your policy. This can help you choose a policy that best suits your needs. 
  • Special offers: keep an eye out for special offers which health funds may advertise to attract new customers. These may include free weeks’ coverage, gift cards, bonus healthcare offers and more. 

What is a bronze plus policy?

A bronze plus health insurance policy is one which provides more benefits than the minimum required under a standard bronze policy. They typically cover all the standard clinical categories, as well as at least one additional treatment which isn’t covered by a typical bronze policy. These additional treatments may include procedures such as: 

  • IVF 
  • pregnancy and birth 
  • joint replacements 
  • cataract surgery 

By choosing a bronze plus policy, individuals can gain access to more healthcare services than with a standard bronze policy, while still enjoying lower premiums compared to higher-level silver or gold policies. 

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Frequently asked questions about bronze hospital cover policies

What is the difference between a basic and a bronze hospital cover policy?

A basic hospital cover policy typically covers only the essentials of hospital admission and treatments for three categories, while a bronze hospital cover policy provides much more cover comparatively. Bronze policies cover the 18 further clinical categories of treatments required by law, plus sometimes additional treatments as well.

What isn’t covered by a bronze hospital cover insurance policy?

What isn’t covered will naturally depend on which health fund policy you decide to buy. The following clinical categories aren’t mandatory under a bronze policy: 

  • cataracts 
  • joint replacements 
  • pregnancy and birth
  • assisted reproductive services  
  • weight loss surgery 
  • dialysis for kidney failure 
  • insulin pumps 
  • pain management devices
  • sleep studies and sleep devices 
Can I upgrade my bronze hospital cover policy to a higher level of cover?

Yes – you can upgrade your hospital cover policy at any time to a silver or gold tier health insurance policy if you decide you need more coverage. However, if you're upgrading to a policy with a higher level of coverage, you may have to serve additional waiting periods for any new treatments that are covered by the higher policy but not by your original policy. 

Is mental health treatment covered by a bronze hospital cover policy?

Yes – all hospital cover policies are required by law to cover mental health services, including psychiatric care and rehabilitation. However, the level of coverage may vary between policies, so it's important to check the product disclosure statement for details. 

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