If you wish to go back and start with the basics, the explanatory information on the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman’s site provides a simple and detailed guide.

Many people have combined hospital and general policies, however, this guide is focused on hospital insurance and does not refer to general or extras cover, with the exception of natural therapies, many of which are no longer eligible for health insurance subsidies.

The details of the latest changes you need to consider are given in the Department of Health information sheets.

This website includes details about the tiers (see table) which will help you assess what overall level of cover you would like. As an example, if you were to choose the very limited basic cover, the health fund would be required to offer only restricted cover for rehabilitation, hospital psychiatric services and palliative care. Under special provisions for mental health patients, you can upgrade your cover if they wish to have private psychiatric hospital cover, without incurring long waiting periods. At the other end of the tiers, gold level provides unrestricted cover in most cases for all private hospital costs unless the consumer has chosen to pay an excess. However out of pocket costs for doctors’ fees could still be payable with gold policies.

Resources to help you:

Compare policies;

Health funds list

Healthy Cover - CHF's guide for consumers

CHOICE consumer’s guide

Private Health Insurance Ombudsman’s overview

Leanne Wells, CEO of CHF on Life Matters ABC on how the changes affect you

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