Guide to Private Health Insurance in Tasmania

Chris Stanley

Chris Stanley

Updated 21/04/2021

Looking for health insurance in Tasmania? To get you started, here is an overview covering everything from the largest health funds to ambulance cover.

Guide to Private Health Insurance in Tasmania

Guide To Private Health Insurance In Hobart & Tasmania

Half of Tasmanians living in residential aged care have 5–8 long-term health conditions. This is why private health cover is important in Tasmania.

Private health insurance premiums vary across the country, and Tasmanians experience different rates compared to residents in other parts of Australia.

Key Points

  • 41.7% of Tasmanians have private hospital cover.

  • 49.4% of Tasmanians have extras cover.

  • Tasmanians are covered for ambulance services, whether they have private health cover or not.

Hospital cover premiums in Tasmania are higher than the Australian average across most coverage tiers.


Can I get Medicare in Tasmania?

All Australians - and some people on a residential visa - are covered by Medicare, nationwide and this includes Tasmania. Medicare typically covers you for:

  • Outpatient Clinic appointments in public hospitals.

  • Diagnostic tests such as blood tests or x-rays in public hospitals.

  • Costs may apply to pharmacy, medical supplies, or equipment, with details provided by the respective service.

  • Inpatient diagnostic tests like blood tests or x-rays are covered by Medicare and private health insurance if applicable, with any difference (gap) to be paid by you.

  • Private patients without insurance are responsible for their hospital accommodation costs and certain services if treated as inpatients.

  • Inpatients can claim diagnostic test costs through Medicare, but fees may apply for overseas residents or those pursuing a compensation claim.

Medicare also pays a rebate towards outpatient tests such as blood tests or x-rays and doctors/specialist outpatient consultations.

There are exclusions to Medicare coverage in Tasmania (and all of Australia). You fall into the category of 'Medicare ineligible patient' if you’re an overseas visitor or student and:

  • Do not have a valid Medicare card.

  • Are not an asylum seeker or refugee.

  • Are not a visitor from a country with a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement with Australia.

As a Medicare ineligible patient, you will incur charges for hospital treatment. Upon hospital admission, you must furnish:

  • Passport and visa details

  • Health insurance policy information

  • Proof of overseas residential address and contact numbers

  • Details of your stay location and sponsor information during your Australian visit.

If you’re ineligible for Medicare, and/or you believe you will need medical care while you’re in Tasmania, it’s advisable to take out your own private health insurance policy. In some cases this is a condition of your visa.

The Cost of hospital cover in Tasmania:

State standardisation ensures that all Tasmanians pay the same premiums throughout their state for a given level of cover.

The average cost of health cover premiums in Tasmania is slightly higher than the national average:









Note: These average monthly premiums are for a single woman earning under $93,000 a year and living in Hobart. All rebates have been applied. A $750 excess applies to hospital admissions.

What are the top health funds in Tasmania?

The top four health insurance providers in Tasmania, ranked by market share, are as follows:

  1. Bupa (31.3%) – Operates internationally.

  2. Medibank (26.5%)

  3. St Lukes Health (22.1%)

  4. HCF (5.5%)

While a larger insurer will generally have a wider network of practitioners and member benefits, it's worth comparing with smaller providers, especially if you're based in regional Tasmania.

Once you determine your specific needs, you'll be in a good place to weigh up which fund is best for you.

What are public hospital waiting times like in Tasmania?

The Tasmanian Department of Health administers the public healthcare network in their state. Waiting times vary by region:

  • Southern region

  • North West region

  • Northern region

The average wait time for urgent hospital care is around 94 days. For non-urgent medical procedures the waiting time can blow out to over two years. The average waiting time across all categories, and all of Tasmania’s public hospitals, is close to 360 days.

Does Tasmania have public dental health care service?

No, like the rest of Australia, Tasmanians who want to access health cover that includes dental care will need to take out extras cover. There are currently over 15,500 Tasmanians awaiting oral care services across the state.

What types of cover can I get in Tasmania?

All health funds offer a range of policies. There's hospital cover offered as Basic, Bronze, Silver and Gold tiers, based on your specific needs.

Taking up hospital cover could also help you avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge at tax time.

The majority of Australians opt for a combined package with hospital cover and extras, which gives you benefits on everyday treatments like dental, optical and chiro.

These policies tend to give you the best value.


How much does ambulance cover cost in Tasmania?

Ambulance Tasmania provides a free service to Tasmanian residents across the state.

The only exceptions are when insurance already covers motor vehicle and workplace accidents, or cases involving war veterans.

But if you regularly travel to the mainland, you may want to consider health insurance that comes with ambulance cover -- Tasmanian residents don't get free ambulance services outside of their state.

Are there any rebates for Tasmanian residents?

Yes. From 1 April 2021, Government health insurance rebates for Australians under 65 years range from 8.202% for a single earning $105,001-$140,000 (and couples/families earning $210,001-$280,000), to 24.608% for singles earning $90,000 or less (and couples/families earning $180,000 or less).

How long do I have to wait for elective surgery in Tasmania?

It will come as no surprise that COVID-19 has had a big impact on waiting times for elective surgery.

In 2019-20, around 90% of public (Medicare) patients in Tasmania were admitted within a year (363 days to be precise).

This is a lot longer than states such as Victoria and SA.

How do I find the best health insurance in Tasmania?

The best way to find good value health cover is to compare health insurance providers.

Compare Club does all the hard work for you.

We'll evaluate hundreds of policies from our panel of trusted insurers, taking into account inclusions, benefits, premiums, waiting periods and more.

We'll even take care of the paperwork.

Over the last 5 years, we've saved our customers an average of $300** off their annual health insurance cost when they switched policies through us.


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


Private Health Insurance Ombudsman, 2020 State of The Health Funds Report*

Ambulance Tasmania, Fees and Accounts.

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Elective Surgery Statistics.

*Australian Tax Office, Income Thresholds and Rates For The Private Health Insurance Rebate*.

**Based on 136,746 customers between 1 Jan 2018 - 23 December 2022.

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