Healthcare in Australia – You & The Private Health System
In Australia, you can choose to be treated as a public patient, even if you are privately insured. In private health care you may be able to choose your own doctor, obstetrician or independent midwife, and choose a private hospital or a public hospital with private wards, for the birth. You will need to check with your own private health insurance policy to determine exactly what areas of care and accommodation are covered by your particular fund.
Some health insurance funds will give rebates for services by independent midwives – something that Medicare does not cover. It is important to note that most funds don’t fully cover all the expenses a private birth will incur. Emergency medical procedures such as caesareans also come with additional expenses such as surgery time and anaesthetic, among other things.
Also, some funds only allow a total number of days in hospital however some births may require a longer period of rest which would become an out-of-pocket expense for you. It is vital that you check your private insurance policy to see exactly what it does and does not cover so that you can make an informed decision as to whether to use the public or private system to have your baby.