Is Hospital Cover Worth It?

October 2020 Update

Once a year, most people look into their finances and ask themselves, is hospital cover worth it?

Hospital cover does three key things:

  1. Get timely access to important health services, without the long public waiting lists (for services on your cover)
  2. Avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge – an extra tax for high-income earners
  3. Choose your specialist

There are a bunch of other great things Peoplecare hospital cover does such as give you amazing cover for pricey ambulance services (included on any Peoplecare extras and/or hospital cover) and helps you improve your health with our fantastic health programs.

We actually have 10 key reasons to keep hospital cover, but we really must be cracking on with the fresh stats in the October 2020 update. Without further ado, here it is.

Hospitals in Australia, 2017-18 [1]

Public hospitals


Private hospitals




Commentary: Private hospitals equate to just under half of Australia’s total hospitals (49%). If you don’t have hospital cover, you could miss out on using half of Australia’s available facilities. That means available beds and specialists!

Key private hospital info for 2018-19 [2]

  • More than 66% of all elective surgery procedures were conducted in private hospitals
  • Private hospitals don’t just perform routine treatment. Private hospitals performed 59% of surgical hospitalisations and 60% of mental health hospitalisations
  • 83% of hospitalisations in private hospitals were funded by private health insurance

Hospitalisations between between 2014-15 and 2018-19 [3]

  • Public patient hospitalisations increased by an average of 4.3% each year.
  • Private health insurance hospitalisations increased by an average of 2.5% each year. They increased by 2.0% each year in public hospitals and by 2.6% each year in private hospitals

Commentary: Demand for our hospitals is increasing. That means that hospital cover is useful to cope with that demand and get your treatment when you need it.

Private health insurance in 2018-19 [3]

  • Nationally, for all hospitals combined, 41% of hospitalisations were for private health insurance patients

Commentary: Think that on any given day, 2 in 5 patients nationally are in hospital using their health fund cover.

Peoplecare’s hospital claims stats for the 2020 financial year

Top 5 hospital claims
Admission reason Total benefit paid
Digestive system $129,327
Heart and vascular System $124,624
Joint replacements $122,859
Back, neck and spine $119,784
Gynaecology $116,082

Want to learn more about hospital cover?

Our hospital cover guide runs you through all the key info and shows you all our available covers.



[1] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, "Hospital resources 2017–18: Australian hospital statistics," 26 June 2019. [Online]. Available:

[2] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, "Admitted Patients," 9 July 2020. [Online]. Available:

[3] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, "Spending on admitted patients," 9 July 2020. [Online]. Available:


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Member give-back

As a not-for-profit and member-owned health fund, we’re committed to giving back claims savings we made due to COVID-19 restrictions. Members will receive their refunds in the same bank account that we pay their claim benefits to. Members don’t need to do anything to receive their refunds.

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