Bronze hospital cover health insurance explained

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If you’ve been looking at all the various private health insurance options out there, you might be feeling a little confused. Especially when you realise that all the different health insurers have their policies separated into tiers – from Basic right up to Gold. We’ve already covered what a Basic health policy looks like, so let’s take things to the next level by breaking down Bronze cover – including Bronze Plus options.

Once you understand exactly what Bronze hospital cover entails and who it’s most beneficial for, you can start to look for the best health insurance for your needs. So let’s take a look at the features and advantages of Bronze policies, and see whether it’s the most appropriate tier to match your budget and your healthcare needs.

What is Bronze hospital cover?

Bronze hospital cover is the second-lowest level of health insurance available in Australia, just one step above Basic plans. It’s something of a middle ground between Basic and more comprehensive options like Silver and Gold. With Bronze hospital cover, you’ll get access to a range of hospital treatments and services at an affordable price.

While specific benefits will vary between insurers, Bronze policies will include essential medical services like surgery, hospital accommodation and emergency treatment, as well as a few extras. However, compared to higher-tiered policies like Silver and Gold, Bronze cover will also have more exclusions on the types of treatments you’ll be covered for.

One of the biggest drawcards of Bronze hospital cover is how affordable it is. It gives singles, couples and families the opportunity to protect themselves against unexpected medical expenses without paying the higher premiums associated with comprehensive plans. Bronze policies are particularly popular among young and healthy Australians who want some level of health coverage without breaking the bank. It’s also great for people who are generally in good health and don’t expect any frequent medical treatments or hospital stays in the near future.

Overall, Bronze hospital cover provides a good balance between cost and cover, making it a practical choice if you’re looking to safeguard your health without overspending on insurance premiums.

What does Bronze health insurance cover?

While the exact amount of cover you can expect from Bronze will vary from insurer to insurer, and depending on any changes you make to the policy, Bronze plans almost always include benefits for common hospital procedures, surgeries and treatments. These may include visits to the emergency room, in-patient hospital stays, as well as any surgeries deemed medically necessary by a doctor.

Here are some of the most common things covered under Bronze health insurance policies:

  1. Surgery: Bronze plans often cover surgical procedures like heart and vascular, medically necessary plastic surgery, appendix removal, bone-marrow transplants and more.
  2. Hospital stays: If you have a Bronze policy you can get covered for the cost of your hospital room or bed during your stay for any eligible treatments.
  3. Emergency care: Most Bronze insurance includes cover for ER visits for sudden illness or injury, which can give you much-needed peace of mind in the event of an unforeseen medical emergency.
  4. Medically necessary treatments: Basic medical treatments deemed necessary by a healthcare provider, such as tests, wound care and medicines, are usually included in every Bronze health insurance policy.

Bear in mind that while Bronze plans do indeed provide you with valuable cover for the most essential medical issues, they are limited and won’t give you as much cover as Silver, Gold or even a Bronze Plus policy. Elective surgeries and cosmetic procedures, for example, usually aren’t covered under Bronze health insurance. You might also have to foot the bill for any out-of-pocket costs.

How much does Bronze hospital cover cost?

That depends on one very important factor: the insurer you choose to go with. While some providers may offer bargain Bronze policies, they may have fewer inclusions than policies from other private health insurers. It’s up to you to do your research and see exactly what is and isn’t covered under the proposed policy – as this will have a direct influence on the amount you pay each month on your premiums.

On average, Bronze policies sit around the $98 mark per month, or a little under $1,200 annually. However, depending on where you look, you might be able to find Bronze cover for as little as $86 every month.

As always, it pays to shop around and compare health insurance online to find the best deal for your particular needs.

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What is Bronze Plus cover?

Bronze Plus is an extra tier of health insurance that is essentially one step up from basic Bronze plans. In return for slightly higher premiums, you’ll get additional benefits and coverage options. While Bronze Plus plans are still quite affordable compared to higher tiers, they include better coverage than standard Bronze policies, which makes them a great choice for those who want a little extra protection without putting a huge dent in their wallet.

In terms of what you’ll get on Bronze Plus plans, you can expect all the usual suspects from a standard Bronze policy – e.g. hospital treatments, surgeries and emergency care. However, there will be some tasty extra benefits and services that might not be available in basic Bronze plans. These can include a wider range of medical procedures, increased benefit limits, higher cover for certain treatments, as well as the potential for additional services and more customisation on your plan.

Who is Bronze hospital cover best for?

Ultimately, Bronze hospital cover is ideal for all types of people who want more comprehensive health insurance than Basic but at an affordable price. These can include:

  • Young adults: Young Aussies who are generally healthy but want protection against unexpected medical expenses will love the flexibility of Bronze cover. It has that great balance between cover and cost, with a wider range of services than Basic policies. It also won’t be too painful on your hip pocket.
  • Families: Families who have finished having children (i.e. no longer have need for pregnancy and obstetric services) may find Bronze hospital cover suitable. It can give parents peace of mind while remaining budget-friendly.
  • If you have a chronic condition: Those with chronic health conditions who require regular medical care may find Bronze cover does just enough while still keeping premiums low. Bear in mind that it won’t cover all treatments, so it pays to do your research. That being said, Bronze policies often include cover for essential services like hospital visits, tests and some specialist consultations.

Is Bronze hospital cover worth the higher premiums compared to Basic?

Whether Bronze hospital cover is worth the higher premiums compared to Basic depends on your current lifestyle, your individual healthcare needs and – perhaps most importantly – your financial situation. While Bronze plans tend to be slightly more comprehensive than Basic policies, including extra services and higher benefit limits, they also come with slightly higher premiums.

If you expect you’ll be needing specific healthcare services beyond what Basic cover provides, then Bronze cover may be worth the extra cost. However, if you're generally healthy and only require basic hospital coverage for emergencies or accidents, Basic cover may just do the trick – and the lower premiums are certainly appealing for the cost-conscious.

Final word

The decision to go with this tier of health insurance should be taken only after you’ve weighed the benefits of Bronze cover against the higher and lower tiers. Make sure you consider factors like your current health, medical history, budget and any major lifestyle changes on the horizon (e.g. planning to start a family) when deciding which policy is best for you.

If you’ve done all the legwork and decided that Bronze is the best policy option for you, then you can start comparing health insurance today and get covered!

Simon Jones
Written by
Simon has spent more than 15 years covering the technology and finance sectors as both a journalist and content marketer. He is fascinated by the convergence of AI and big data, and spends what little free time he can scrape together either wrangling two kids or expanding his gin collection.

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