Basic Tier Health Insurance

Updated 05/02/2024

Find out more about the basic tier of health insurance, is the most affordable tier of health insurance coverage.

Basic Tier Health Insurance

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Compare Basic Health Cover

Key Points

  • Basic health insurance offers the lowest level of cover among the tiers.

  • All tiers are built on the baseline cover provided by Basic cover.

  • Bronze cover is the next tier up, offering additional benefits at a higher premium.

  • Health funds may offer benefits exceeding minimum requirements. These are known as Basic Plus plans.

  • Comparing policies# and health providers help you find the best level of hospital cover for your circumstances.

The Australian health insurance landscape underwent significant reforms in April 2019 with the introduction of four hospital insurance tiers. The tier system facilitates easy comparison, providing clarity on minimum coverage standards for each category. These categories are: 

  • Basic,

  • Bronze,

  • Silver, 

  • Gold. 

Basic private health cover is the first tier, offering a low-cost, minimal cover option. It typically offers lower premiums than the other tiers, making it an entry-level option if you’re entering the private health insurance market for the first time, are young and healthy, and don’t need high levels of healthcare - or health cover.


Basic-tier hospital insurance doesn’t need to provide extensive cover for treatments specified by the Australian government. In fact, the minimum requirement for Basic cover is that it insures you for 3 procedures.

Basic hospital cover must cover you, as a private patient in a public hospital, for rehabilitation, hospital psychiatric services, and palliative care. Some Basic policies may also include ambulance cover. It may suit you if you want to ensure you have access to ambulance services, and that you’re exempt from paying the Medicare levy surcharge (MLS) and the lifetime health cover (LHCL) loading if joining before turning 31. The average premium for a Basic Singles policy: $84.13 per month.

How to know if basic health coverage is right for you:

Basic health insurance is the most affordable and least comprehensive tier under the tiered system.

It’s not usually a good fit for older Australians, if you’re planning to start a family, or if you’re looking for broader cover that includes common injuries or treatment/procedures.

What are the benefits of Basic cover?

  1. Avoiding the Lifetime Health Cover Loading (LHCL): When joining before you turn 31, Basic cover helps you sidestep the 2% loading fee for each year without private hospital insurance after turning 31. It serves as a low cost option to prevent paying higher premiums. Find out more here. [Link to:]

  2. Cost Savings: With private health premiums rising by almost 3% last year, you’ll be on the lookout for the most cost-effective policy. Basic cover is a budget-friendly option, allowing you to save on health insurance expenses while still meeting most of your healthcare needs.

  3. Budget-Friendly: For those on a budget seeking basic cover and intending to upgrade in the future, Basic health insurance is a suitable entry point, without making extensive financial commitments.

Basic health insurance in Australia is designed for individuals seeking an affordable entry-level option into private health cover. While it’s not suitable for certain demographics with specific health needs, Basic cover is a decent choice if you’re looking to: 

  • avoid fees, 

  • save on health insurance costs, 

  • and meet minimum requirements. 


As part of the tiered hospital cover system, Basic health insurance provides a stepping stone for individuals to enter the private health insurance market without taking a budget hit. Choosing the right tier of hospital cover ensures a balance between your household finances and meeting your personal healthcare needs.

* For families with children, the thresholds are increased by $1,500 for each child after the first.



#Compare Club compares selected products from a panel of trusted insurers. We do not compare all products in the market.

This article is opinion only and should not be taken as medical or financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.

Chris Stanley is the sales & operations manager of health insurance at Compare Club. With extensive experience and expertise, Chris is a trusted leader known for his deep understanding of health insurance markets, policies, and coverage options. As the sales & operations manager of health insurance, Chris leads a team of dedicated professionals committed to helping individuals and families make informed decisions about their health insurance needs.

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Chris Stanley

Sales & Operations Manager for Health Insurance