The stated aim of the Australian national health care funding system is to provide universal access to quality health care while allowing choice for individuals.

The Australian national health care system is truly unique in the world. The information below provides an overview of the key elements of Australia's health care funding system—and access to further information.


The backbone of the national health care system is called "Medicare" which provides affordable and accessible health care to all Australians. It is financed largely from general taxation revenue, which includes a Medicare levy based on a person's taxable income. Read more

Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance is an integral component of heath care in Australia, with substantial private sector involvement in the delivery and financing of health care services and facilities. Private health insurance provides added benefits to insured individuals such as choice of doctor, choice of hospital and choice of timing of procedure. Private health insurance can also assist with meeting the costs of private services which are not covered by Medicare, such as dental, optical, physiotherapy and podiatry services. Read more

Private Health Funds

There are over 35 private health insurance funds registered by the Commonwealth. Most of these are open to everyone, but some only offer cover to restricted groups such as employees of a particular firm. Read more

Government Regulation of Private Health Insurance

The Commonwealth regulates insurance offered by registered health insurance organisations to ensure that the legislated principle of community rating is maintained and to monitor the affordability, stability and attractiveness of private health insurance. Community rating means that health funds must charge everyone the same premium regardless of the health status or claims history. This ensures that private health insurance is open to a wide range of people in the community and remains accessible to the aged and chronically ill. Read more

Government Incentives

In order to maintain a healthy balance between the Private and Public components of the national health system, the Commonwealth Government has introduced a number of measures to promote participation in private health insurance. These measures include the Federal Government Rebate, Lifetime Health Cover Loading and the Medicare Levy Surcharge.