A Guide To Silver Hospital Cover
On 1 April 2019, a new system of four main product tiers were introduced for hospital cover policies.
There are four tiers in total: Gold, silver, bronze and basic. Silver health insurance will offer benefits for categories including heart, vascular system and dental surgery.
Silver health insurance provides a middle ground between the top coverage of Gold and the partial coverage of Bronze.
Hospital cover is an important component of your private health insurance. Given it covers your emergency care like ambulance services, and the cost of same day and overnight stays in hospital, it’s likely one of the most compelling reasons we take out private health cover in the first place. There are four tiers of hospital cover available via private health insurance:
NOTE: The four tiers of health cover only apply to hospital cover. Out-patient services, like dental check-ups and physiotherapy consultations are covered under Extras policies, which is a different type of insurance to your hospital cover. Health funds offer both types, and most people choose differing levels across both kinds of cover.COMPARE & SAVE
What is the health insurance tier system?
The tier system that came into effect on 1 April 2019 required health funds to place each of their hospital policies into one of the four tiers: Basic, Bronze, Silver, or Gold.
Each tier has minimum requirements that the policy must meet in order to fall into a category.
Funds also have the option of offering 'Plus' tiers: Basic Plus, Bronze Plus, and Silver Plus.
You may see a health fund offering a benefit that's a minimum for the Silver tier in a Bronze Plus policy.
Strategies like this can help attract new customers to their health fund.
The result of these changes is that it will be easier to compare health funds going forward.
The competition will be more transparent, and what is and isn't covered will be a lot clearer.
Be aware that these product tiers will only apply to hospital cover, not extras cover.
What is Silver tier hospital insurance?
Silver health insurance, as the name suggests, is the second highest tier of hospital cover you can purchase. Silver tier health insurance offers cover for a wide range of in-hospital care, including:
Tests and examinations (e.g. x-rays, blood tests, surgeries).
Some of the services/procedures covered are:
Coverage for surgeries and treatments relating to: the brain and nervous system.
ear, nose and throat.
Heart and vascular procedures. Lung and chest operations.
Back, neck and spine surgeries.
Implanting of hearing devices.
Medically necessary plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Silver tier also covers you for:
Hospital psychiatric services.
Your cover for these services varies widely between funds, as your fund has the freedom to nominate its own benefit level. It's important to check the specifics of your policy if these are services you believe you’ll need.
What does the silver tier cover include?
Silver health insurance offers benefits for categories including heart, vascular system and dental surgery.
Who is Silver tier health insurance best for?
Not everyone is going to need a Silver tier-level of health cover. Sometimes there’s no point paying for Silver tier cover if you’re relatively young and healthy. If that’s you then you may as well save your healthcare dollars. If, however, you:
Have a family history of heart trouble:
Are often at risk of injury (whether from the work or you do, or the sport you play, etc.)
Have specific health needs but have no wish to start a family (so why pay for Gold-tier pregnancy cover?)
Then the fairly comprehensive Silver tier health cover policy may suit you.
What is Silver Plus
Silver Plus offers cover for additional services compared to the usual Silver tier offerings. This might include procedures like cataract surgery and joint replacements. Some funds only cover these under their Gold tier hospital insurance.
For the funds that include these in their Silver Plus tier, it’s a way to access some parts of Gold tier cover, without paying for the higher Gold premium. Silver Plus cover does come at a higher priced premium than Silver cover, but it is still cheaper than a Gold tier.COMPARE & SAVE
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Basic health cover enough?
Some of the Basic tier policies aren't very useful in a practical sense as they offer very limited cover. Generally, these policies are only good for avoiding the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS).
Bronze vs Silver vs Gold health insurance - what is best?
Bronze tier hospital cover offers cover for a limited range of services/procedures compared to Silver and Gold tiers. While bronze may suit you best if you’re seeking a more affordable premium, this will come with a narrower cover.
Silver and Gold tiers, on the other hand, provide cover for a broader range of treatments.
Choosing between hospital cover tiers depends on your individual healthcare needs and your budget considerations. Silver and gold tiers offer a higher level of security and protection, making them preferable for those prioritising comprehensive health insurance.
This guide is opinion only and should not be taken as medical or financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions. Compare Club does not compare all products in the market. The availability of products compared may change from time to time. Not all products available from our partners are compared and not all products are available to all customers.