What is private health insurance?

Private health insurance is a type of insurance that helps you to cover the cost of healthcare-related expenses.

Fees charged by doctors and private hospitals for in-patient hospital admissions are covered by hospital cover.

Fees charged by non-hospital healthcare professionals (such as dentists or chiropractors) are covered by extras cover. Specialist appointments outside of the hospital are not covered by health insurance but may be claimable through Medicare.

How is private health insurance different to Medicare?

Medicare is a public health system that Australians pay for in our taxes.

Medicare covers the costs of treatment or surgery in a public hospital as a public patient plus it subsidises a lot of other treatments and health expenses as well.

If you have hospital cover, your health insurer will help cover the cost of being treated as a private patient if or when you need to go to hospital (as long as your cover doesn’t exclude the treatment you’re having).

If your policy includes private hospital cover you can choose to have your treatment in a private hospital by your own doctor, have the option to stay in a private room and not have to worry about public hospital waiting lists.

What is the difference between public and private hospitals?

Because our public health system is free, it gets very busy.

Which means, for conditions that aren’t considered emergencies, you can end up waiting a long time for treatment.

When you do have treatment, you have little choice in where or when it is performed, or who performs it.

One reason why private hospitals exist is to provide a more immediate option for people who don't want to join a waiting list.

The benefit of using a private hospital is you choose your own doctor and are treated when it suits you. The downside to private hospitals is that they can be expensive.

What is hospital cover?

Hospital cover can help to make treatment in a private hospital more affordable.

When you join a health insurer like Frank you pay a regular, affordable premium. Then, if or when you need to go to hospital, if you have a private hospital cover, it can help with the cost of being treated in a private hospital. This gives you the option to choose which doctor performs treatment, to have a private room, or to skip the public surgery waiting lists for non-emergency treatment.

When do I benefit from my hospital cover?

Hospital cover is most beneficial for procedures that are not ‘emergencies’.

Going through the public system for non-urgent procedures can see you waiting a long time.

Should I only be treated privately if I have private health cover?

Not necessarily. As a taxpayer, you pay to utilise the public system too, so you should make the call based on your circumstances.

In emergency situations waiting lists aren't an issue, so if you don't mind being seen in a public hospital by an appointed doctor, then there's no reason not to use the public system.

What is extras cover?

Extras cover helps with the cost of healthcare services outside the hospital.

With services like optical, dental, physio, chiro, alternative therapies and remedial massage, you would normally foot the entire bill.

Extras cover lets you pay a premium regularly, and then claim a refund on the cost of these services when you need them.

What is the difference between combined cover and pre-packaged cover?

Combined cover is a separate hospital cover and separate extras cover bought together.

Packaged cover is where the hospital and extras benefits are fixed within the one product.

With Frank, you can combine any of our Basic, Better or Best Hospital options with a Some or Lots Extras product or choose one of our pre-packaged ‘Bundles’.