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 wondering if a silver health insurance policy is the right level of health insurance for your needs? It may offer the best health insurance cover available in Australia to a wide range of people, but it’s worth comparing different policies to help you determine which is most suitable for your personal needs.
You can compare silver hospital cover plans through Savvy, looking at the cover they offer, the prices, inclusions and more. Just by answering a few simple questions about the cover you’re after, you can compare a range of policies from a panel of leading providers. Get started with your health insurance quotes through us today.
What is silver health insurance and how does it work?
Private health insurance in Australia is divided into two basic types: hospital cover and extras cover. While extras cover helps with the cost of non-Medicare funded healthcare in the community, such as dental and optical, hospital cover assists with the costs of being treated as a private patient in hospital.
Hospital cover is divided into four levels or tiers: basic, bronze, silver and gold. A silver tier hospital policy offers the second-highest level of health cover available, below that offered by a gold policy. It provides financial assistance for many of the costs of admission into hospital as a private patient and offers rebates on a wide range of clinical categories.
A silver health insurance plan will cover many of the costs of being treated as a private patient in either a private or public hospital. These costs may include:
- Hospital admission and room fees
- Consultations with doctors, specialists and anaesthetists
- Tests administered prior to surgery or post-op in hospital, such as x-rays, CT and MRI scans
- The cost of surgery or other treatments received as an inpatient including theatre fees
- The cost of medications and pharmaceuticals given to a private patient
- Specified allied health services such as psychiatrists, psychologists, nutritionists and pain management specialists who deliver their services to you as an inpatient
- Possibly may include ambulance cover, although this will depend on the state you live in, and which fund you buy from
What are silver plus policies?
If a particular policy offers additional cover than that required by law, it is called a ‘plus’ policy. For instance, if a silver policy offered certain clinical categories which were ordinarily provided by a gold policy, an insurer may call this a ‘silver plus’ policy. The price of each level of health insurance policy generally rises as the number of clinical categories that are covered by the policy increases.
What clinical treatment categories does silver hospital insurance cover?
The treatments that are covered at each tier are regulated by the Australian Government, so particular areas of treatment have to be offered with each level of cover. For example, a silver hospital cover policy is required to offer all the categories provided under basic and bronze cover, as well as a list of new, silver-specific categories, as a minimum (at least 29 clinical categories). This makes it easy for Aussies to compare health insurance policies to find the best silver plan for their personal needs.
When it comes to the areas included under silver hospital cover, they begin with those provided by the cheapest tier of hospital insurance, basic hospital cover. These are:
- Hospital psychiatric services
- Palliative care
Next comes a bronze policy, which adds another 18 clinical categories, including:
- 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
- Miscarriage and termination of pregnancy
- Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy for cancer
- Pain management
- Breast surgery (medically necessary)
- Diabetes management (excluding insulin pumps)
As mentioned, a silver hospital cover health insurance policy offers cover for a minimum of 29 clinical categories, including all those at basic and bronze level. The following clinical areas are required to be offered at silver level only:
- Heart and vascular system
- Lung and chest
- Back, neck and spine
- Plastic and reconstructive surgery (medically necessary)
- Dental surgery
- Podiatric surgery
- Implantation of hearing devices
How do I compare silver health cover policies?
Even though all silver health insurance policies offer cover for the same clinical categories, there are still many differences in the policies on offer. To compare silver hospital policies, look at the following aspects:
- Cost – there is a wide variation in the cost of silver policies, as some offer just the basic clinical categories, while other silver plus policies may add on additional coverage that is usually only found in gold policies, making them more expensive
- Excess – an excess is the amount you may have to pay if you make a claim on your hospital insurance policy. It can range from zero to a maximum of $750. Compare whether there is a yearly policy limit on the excess you may have to pay if you require multiple hospital stays.
- Co-payments – this is another out-of-pocket payment you may have to make if you do have a hospital stay. Co-payments range from zero to $100 a night.
- Inclusions and exclusions – each policy will come with product information documents which will detail what is and isn’t included in your policy. It’s worth reading these documents carefully before buying a health insurance policy so you can know what you can be covered for.
- Special offers – it's worth comparing health insurance policies through Savvy regularly, as some health funds occasionally advertise special offers to attract new customers. These may include free weeks’ coverage (provided you meet payment requirements as set out by your insurer).
Types of health insurance
This can help you pay for medical treatment if you need to be admitted to hospital. It can help cover the cost of your admission or accommodation and the fees charged by doctors, surgeons and anaesthetists. It can also cover other costs associated with a stay in a private hospital.
This helps cover the costs of health care treatments outside a hospital setting which aren’t covered by Medicare. This can include major and minor dental treatment, orthodontics, hearing aids, physiotherapy, glasses, contact lenses and podiatry (in most cases with annual limits).
This is a standard health insurance policy designed for a single person, rather than being tailored to cater to the needs of a couple or family. It may include hospital cover plus extras, or either of these types of insurance on their own, depending on what you're after for your health cover.
A family health insurance policy is designed for a family unit including dependent children who may reach up to 31 years of age with some insurers. It offers private health insurance suitable for the whole family and may include shared limits for all members included in your policy.
A health insurance policy aimed at seniors is designed to appeal to people who are in the second half of their life. These are often specific Silver Plus policies that offer the same cover as other health insurance policies, with the exception that pregnancy and childbirth cover may not be included.
Visitors who are in Australia on a temporary basis for travel, work or study may be able to take out Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC). Many visas issued in Australia come with a requirement to take out this type of insurance, which covers visitors who may not be covered by Medicare.
Ambulance cover is generally available either packaged into your private health insurance or on its own as a separate policy or subscription. By having this protection, you could be covered for all eligible ambulance travel in Australia (subject to your insurer's terms and conditions).
The cheapest and most barebones form of private hospital insurance, this can include cover for rehab, in-hospital psychiatric services and palliative care. Having this policy will enable you to avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) and Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading.
Bronze hospital cover is a step up from basic insurance, including 18 further clinical categories such as ear, nose and throat, bone, joint and muscle, digestive system, joint reconstructions, gynaecology and chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy for cancer.
Silver hospital cover is the second-most expensive type of policy and offers the second-most clinical categories. On top of what's offered by basic and bronze cover, it also includes heart and vascular system, lung and chest, blood, hearing device implantation and dental surgery.
The highest level of private hospital insurance available in Australia, gold policies can offer cover for pregnancy and birth, weight loss surgery, assisted reproductive services and insulin pumps on top of all the categories provided by silver, bronze and basic hospital insurance.
Why compare health insurance through Savvy?
Frequently asked questions about silver health cover policies
Helpful health insurance guides
Looking for health insurance to cover your condition or treatment?
Read one of our helpful guides on a range of different ailments and potential hospital or extras treatments to help you find out if they're covered.
Savvy is partnered with Compare Club Australia Pty Ltd (AFS representative number 001279036) of Alternative Media Pty Ltd (AFS License number 486326) to provide readers with a variety of health insurance policies to compare. Savvy earns a commission from Compare Club each time a customer buys a health insurance policy via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased from these brands directly, as all purchases are conducted via Compare Club.
Savvy’s comparison service is provided by Compare Club. Compare Club compares selected products from a panel of trusted insurers and does not compare all products in the market.
Any advice presented above or on other pages is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an insurance policy.
For any further information on the variety of insurers compared by Compare Club or how their business works, you can read their Financial Services Guide.