Private health insurance for hysterectomy treatments
It’s a major decision to remove your womb, even when it’s recommended by your doctor or gynaecologist.
You’ll probably be thinking about everything from the operation itself to side effects and potential costs - and whether or not you need private health cover.
In this guide, you’ll learn about the different types of hysterectomies, what’s involved and what you can expect to pay with or without private health cover.
A hysterectomy is an operation to remove the uterus, and sometimes the cervix, ovaries or fallopian tubes
Public hospital patients in Australia wait an average of 61 days for a hysterectomy operation
Choosing the right private health insurance policy could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on out-of-pocket hysterectomy costs
What is a hysterectomy?
A hysterectomy is an operation to remove the uterus (womb), with or without the cervix (or the neck of the womb). Sometimes the ovaries and fallopian tubes are removed at the same time.
Common reasons for hysterectomies include:
Cancer of the uterus, cervix, ovaries or fallopian tubes
Fibroids (benign tumours) in the uterus
Menstrual issues such as consistent heavy bleeding or severe pain
Endometriosis: a painful condition where the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus
An enlarged or prolapsed uterus
Pelvic inflammatory disease
Depending on your condition, your doctor might suggest other treatments or surgeries first before recommending a hysterectomy.
As a general rule of thumb, if you have a hysterectomy you can expect to stay in hospital for a couple of days and have a recovery period of four to six weeks.
What are the different types of hysterectomy?
There are three main types of hysterectomies:
Abdominal: the uterus is removed through a cut in the lower abdomen
Vaginal: the uterus is removed through the vagina
Laparoscopic: instruments are passed through small incisions in and near the belly button
Sometimes a hysterectomy involves a combination of the methods above. Your doctor or surgeon will talk you through the best type for your situation.
What are the side effects of a hysterectomy?
After a hysterectomy, you won't be able to lift heavy objects or do anything strenuous for four to six weeks. There might also be vaginal bleeding and discharge for up to a few weeks after the operation.
Less common side effects include:
A reaction to the anaesthesia, such as nausea, breathing or heart problems
Internal bleeding or scar tissue
Injury to surrounding organs
Decreased or increased libido
Feelings of grief or loss
Most women don’t experience serious side effects after a hysterectomy. Talk to your doctor if you’re worried about any potential complications.
How much does a hysterectomy cost?
The cost of a hysterectomy depends on several things.
Medicare will cover the cost of the operation and treatment if you’re admitted as a public patient in a public hospital.
However, if you have the surgery performed as a private patient in a public or private hospital, doctors or surgeons may charge fees above what Medicare will cover, leaving you with out-of-pocket costs.
It’s also worth noting you’ll be waiting an average of 61 days for hysterectomy surgery in a public hospital. And as a public patient, you generally have less choice about the type of care you receive.
If you have private health insurance, Medicare will generally cover 75% of the cost of the medical costs associated with a hysterectomy and your insurer will cover some or all of the remainder.
Does private health insurance cover hysterectomy surgery?
Hysterectomies are usually covered under a medium level of private hospital cover. Unless your insurer has a no gap arrangement with your doctor or surgeon, you might have to pay out-of-pocket costs even if your policy covers hysterectomies.
It’s a good idea to compare multiple cover options as some will offer better value for money than others for hysterectomy surgery.
It’s also worthwhile doing research well in advance, as some insurers have waiting periods before you can make a claim.
If you’re looking for private health insurance that covers hysterectomies, you can quickly and easily compare policies by clicking the button below. We saved Australians an average of $312 in 2020* when they compared and switched with us.COMPARE & SAVE
*Based on 25,311 customers in 2020. Health.gov.au, Medicare Benefits Schedule, April 2021. This guide is opinion only and should not be taken as medical or financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.