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Frequently asked questions

About waiting periods

What is a waiting period?

All health funds have waiting periods. In short, a waiting period is a period of time you need to wait after taking out your cover before you can receive benefits for services or items covered.

You're not able to receive benefits for any items or services you might have obtained while you're serving a waiting period or before you joined Medibank. 

How do I know if a waiting period applies to me?

Waiting periods will apply if you're a new member, you're rejoining Medibank after not having health cover for some time or you're changing to a higher level of cover (either within Medibank or transferring from another fund).

If you're changing to a higher level of cover, you'll still be entitled to benefits at the level of your former cover while you're serving any waiting periods on your new cover if:

  • those services were included under your old cover; and
  • you've already served the waiting periods that applied under your old cover.

How long is the waiting period?

It's important to note that not all services listed below are included on all covers. That depends on the types of services or items included on your cover. Have a look at the following table for a guide.

Waiting periods for Young Visitors Health Insurance.

Waiting period Services
No waiting period Outpatient Medical services (e.g. GP visits)
2 months* All services (including ambulance services) except as specified below:
12 months Pre-existing condition

Waiting periods for Working Visa Hospital Insurance, Working Visa Hospital and Medical Insurance and Top 85 Working Visa Health Insurance

Waiting period Services
No waiting period
  • All services (including Ambulance services) except as specified below
  • Outpatient Medical services (e.g. GP visits)
2 months*
  • In-hospital psychiatric treatment, rehabilitation treatment and palliative care, regardless of whether or not the condition is pre-existing
  • All extras services (excluding ambulance services) except as specified below:
6 months Optical items
12 months
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Obstetrics-related services
  • Major dental services
  • Orthodontic services
  • CPAP type devices
  • Endodontic services (eg. root canal)
  • Surgical dental procedures
  • Nebulisers
  • Peak flow meters
  • Spacing devices
24 months Blood glucose monitors and blood pressure monitors
36 months Hearing aids

* If you have an accident after joining us or changing cover and require hospital treatment, we'll waive the 2 month waiting period.