Understanding your hospital birth options

Making the choice between public and private.

Choosing where to have your baby is a big decision. You might feel attached to the idea of going somewhere where your friends or family went to. Or it might be important to you to give birth at the closest hospital, or have choice over who treats you. Or maybe cost is an important factor. Whatever your motivation, you’ll need to decide whether you want to give birth in a private or public hospital, and whether you want a private obstetrician.

Here we explain what decisions you need to make about where you give birth, and which Medibank health cover is most suitable to meet your needs.


What is pregnancy and birth cover?

Some Medibank hospital covers pay benefits for pregnancy and birth services – these are services you receive in hospital during your pregnancy, birth and after the delivery. They also pay benefits towards the delivery of your baby and any complications that might happen during your pregnancy that require a hospital admission. Medibank has the following Hospital cover options that include pregnancy and birth services:

  • Gold cover – where Medibank pays benefits towards pregnancy and birth related services, in either a public or private hospital.
  • SilverBronze and Basic cover – where Medibank pays no benefits for pregnancy and birth related services.

Your hospital options

One of the main decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want to have your baby in a private hospital or a public hospital. Here are your options:

  • As a private patient in a public or private hospital. In this scenario, you need to have pregnancy and birth services included in your policy in order to claim benefits. If you do not have pregnancy and birth services included in your cover, Medibank does not pay any benefits and you will need to pay for all costs associated with the pregnancy, birth and delivery.
  • As a public patient in a public hospital. In this scenario, you do not need cover that includes pregnancy and birth services as this is funded by Medicare.

One of the main things to remember if you're planning to have a baby and would like to use your health insurance to give birth as a private patient, is that your cover must Include pregnancy and birth services. There is a 12-month waiting period for pregnancy and birth hospital admissions. Babies can come early, so it’s important to take this into account when planning your family.

Making your decision

When it comes to making the decision, talking to your family and friends about their experiences can help. So can getting advice from your GP. But it’s important that you are aware of the pros and cons of each option so you can make your decision based on what’s most important to you. The table below helps you to understand your options.


Need a little extra support?

Health Concierge

Eligible members with hospital cover can now talk to a member of our Health Concierge team for advice and guidance on how to have a healthy pregnancy, at no extra cost on 1800 789 414.#

Got a health question? 24/7 Medibank nurse phone service

Members with hospital cover can chat to experienced and qualified nurses over the phone to discuss any health questions or concerns and get professional advice on what to do next. Our nurses are available on 1800 644 325~ for round-the-clock health advice.

Medibank Mental Health Phone Support

Members with Hospital cover can talk with a mental health professional over the phone in relation to any mental health or emotional concern, 24 hours a day 7 days a week by calling 1800 644 325.~

Looking for something else?

Visit Medibank Planning, Pregnancy and Parenting for a range of tools and advice to help you at every stage of your pregnancy journey.

Help the way you want it

Contact us 

Call us on 134 190 to speak to a consultant. Alternatively, chat to us 24/7 online.

Self-service options

Login to MyMedibank or Download the MyMedibank App for self service options.

Find a specialist

Find a specialist or Member's choice hospital using our find a provider tool.  


* Medibank 2021 data. Data is based on all births at private hospitals between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021. 

** Medibank 2021 data. Data is based on all Medibank-funded births at public hospitals between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021. 

*** Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2021. Admitted patient care 2019-2020: How much activity was there? Canberra: AIHW. 

**** Medibank 2021 data. Data is based on all Medibank-funded births at private and public hospitals between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021. 

Things you should know

Cost Disclaimer

Private Health Insurance Funds are only permitted to cover inpatient services. This means you need to have been admitted to a hospital in order for the benefit to be paid. During pregnancy, you are likely to have many outpatient appointments (when you are not admitted to hospital), including scans, tests, and visits with your obstetrician/GP. Private Health Insurance Funds are not able to provide benefits for these appointments.

~ OSHC members should call the Student Health and Support Line on 1800 887 283.

# Health Concierge is available to all eligible Medibank members who hold hospital cover. Excludes Overseas Visitor Health Cover, Working Visa Health Cover and Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Some referred services may involve out of pocket costs.

While we hope you find this information helpful, please note that it is general in nature. It is not health advice, and is not tailored to meet your individual health needs. You should always consult a trusted health professional before making decisions about your health care. While we have prepared the information carefully, we can’t guarantee that it is accurate, complete or up-to-date. And while we may mention goods or services provided by others, we aren’t specifically endorsing them and can’t accept responsibility for them. For these reasons we are unable to accept responsibility for any loss that may be sustained from acting on this information (subject to applicable consumer guarantees). 

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