Public and Private Insurance in Australia

Providing adequate health coverage for citizens and resident workers is a problem that many developed nations share. As life expectancy continues to increase and the incidence of chronic disease continues to grow, the burden on many public healthcare systems may become untenable. Many private systems are not faring much better. The private system in the United States has become so expensive and left so many opting not to purchase coverage, that the Affordable Healthcare Act was passed in an attempt to extend universal coverage.

As world populations continue to grow, the problem may only grow worse. The percentage of GDP that goes to cover healthcare costs is increasing around the globe. The stagnation in the world economy has only served to exacerbate the problem.

While Australia’s situation is less dire than that of some other developed nations, but the debate here rages on nonetheless. Decisions made over the next few years are likely to have far-reaching consequences extended into the second half of the century.


For the most part, dental care is not covered by Australia’s public health insurance plans. Those wishing for routine dental examinations and cleanings must either pay out-of-pocket or they must pay for private insurance. They can purchase stand-alone dental insurance or purchase it as part of an insurance package. Some emergency dental care, and non-elective surgical procedures might be covered under the public health plans. Most Australian citizens retain some form of private dental insurance.

Dentist's Visits

Dentist’s Visits

Most cosmetic surgery is also not covered under public healthcare in Australia, not surprisingly. Elective procedures like facelifts and breast augmentation are not covered. In general, these types of procedures are also not covered by private insurance and most be paid for out-of-pocket. There are certain exceptions. Reconstructive procedures that are repairing damage as the result of an accident may be covered by either public or private health insurance plans.

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