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What is Hospital Excess

Discover how hospital excess works and how it can help make health insurance cheaper.

Last updated 7 January 2020

Hospital excess is the amount of money you contribute upfront (out of your own pocket) before you can claim a benefit on hospital treatment.


  • A higher excess means you’ll pay less for your cover (the higher your excess, the lower your premium)
  • It’s only payable if you, or someone on your policy, go to hospital.
  • An excess does not apply to Extras cover.

When and how often it needs to be paid?

You only need to pay the excess when you or someone else on your policy needs to go to hospital. You don’t have to pay hospital excess if you go to an extras service provider, like a dentist or physio.

An excess applies to both day and overnight surgeries, so even if you go in for a simple procedure (like a colonoscopy) you will still have to pay it.

The good news is that with HBF, you only pay hospital excess once per person, per calendar year (to a maximum of twice on a family policy) when you’re admitted to hospital.

How it works?

Some hospital insurance policies have a set excess amount, while others give you the option to choose the excess. An optional hospital excess is designed to help reduce your premiums.

For example, a hospital insurance policy might let you choose to pay no excess, $250 excess, $500 excess or $750 excess. If you choose a higher excess, you will have a greater reduction on your premium. When going to hospital, the amount of excess you chose will be the sum you are required to pay upfront prior to claiming a benefit from your health fund.

You may want to consider a higher excess if you:

  • Are young and healthy
  • Have never been to hospital before
  • Think its unlikely that you’ll end up in hospital
  • Can afford to cover the excess in the event of a claim

You may want to consider a lower excess if you:

  • Have a history of health concerns
  • Have had multiple hospital claims in the past
  • Can’t afford to cover the excess in the event of a claim i.e. you have no savings you can dip into if necessary

Still unsure? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Contact us and we’ll help choose the best excess for you.

Get in touch with HBF

We'll help you find our best cover that suits your needs.

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