What is the best health fund for Pregnancy in Australia?

One of the most common question we receive at 457VisaCompared is what health fund and policy is best for a 457 visa applicant who is considering having a child. As a parent myself I have done a lot of investigations into this area and have broken down the answer into components.

Health Insurance only works in Australia if your already have cover before conceiving!

The sad truth for many people both coming to Australia and within the country is that they will not be covered for their upcoming pregnancy. This is due to a standard 12 month waiting period existing for pregnancy cover. Therefore, if people find out they are pregnant and then want to take out pregnancy cover they are simply too late! As 457 visa health insurance is compulsory for 457 visa applicants they will have some minimum public hospital cover as long as they get conceive 3+ months after commencing their health insurance.

best pregnancy fund


The first decision is choosing between public or a private hospital.

All 457 visa health insurance policies provide basic public hospital cover. In such circumstances the insurance holder will see a varied number of doctors in the lead up to having the baby and on the day a doctor who is on shift will deliver the baby. Public hospital facilities are limited and stays after having the baby can be relatively short (unless complications occur).

Private hospital deliveries on the other hand are done by a doctor of the patients choice (in most circumstances) and the stay after having the baby is on average one day longer. Naturally the facilities at these hospitals are superior and their are additional services to help the mother cope with this new stage of her life.

Which path you go down is a personal choice but many women find the ‘peace of mind’ of having the same doctor from the first consultation to delivery to be a key reason that they prefer going down the private hospital route.

The second decision is choosing the hospital

This is a small trick I learnt from a anaesthetist! If you have decided to go for private hospital visit a few surrounding options and then discuss with the administration staff which health fund they recommend. In Australia different health funds are aligned with different hospitals. This means you may get more back at one hospital then another depending on the fund your with. In my case the hospital I chose was Cabrini which recommended Medibank who paid for 100% of the hospital costs. I have however friends who went to the same hospital and had significant out-of-pocket’ expenses with BUPA. I have little doubt the opposite could exist at a different hospital.

Once you know which fund is ideal for your situation and hospital you should then review the policy options. Another trick is to ask for ‘item numbers’ which the hospital uses to charge patients and get rebates from the health fund. If you have these numbers you can see how much you will get back at different policy levels to work out which one is best for you.

Portrait of the young pregnant woman

The final decision is considering extra’s!

Any Women that has had a baby will tell you there is a lot more the process then just the delivery day. Having a baby puts a lot of strain the body and its not uncommon for many health services to be required over the period. Example include the requirement for massage for areas such as the back. It’s also critical to see the dentist over this period as it’s quite common for pregnant women to get gingivitis which can lead to serious issues if not addressed early. These services can be quite costly in Australia so having an ‘extras cover’ component to your cover should be considered. 

So overall, I realise that I have not given a simple answer of which health fund to choose but instead the right process to go down if your considering having a baby in 12+ months. Good luck with this exciting chapter in your life!