How much does caring for a sick child cost?

It’s not just the elderly, or people with chronic health conditions, who need private health insurance. Kids can get sick too and need the timely treatment that private cover enables.

And when it comes to getting children better, you want it to be immediate – not delayed by months on the public hospital waiting list.

Just over 8% of all babies born in Australia (around 25,000 babies) are born prematurely – which is regarded as anything earlier than three weeks before the due date. Prematurity can cause significant health complications for a newborn. And the medical intervention required can be extremely costly.

As can be seen in the infographic below, one Defence Health baby last year needed 72 days in hospital, at a cost of more than $163,600.

And the 15-year-old girl who had a cochlear implant fitted was only in hospital for one day – but the benefits paid by Defence Health were more than $30,000!


sick child



Children are vulnerable. They can be born needing urgent care, or develop serious ailments in their infancy or adolescence. The cost associated with various illnesses can be enormous and without health insurance, few people could foot the bill.

The public health system under Medicare will see that your child gets immediate, life-saving emergency care. But for any treatment that can be delayed at least 24 hours, the child will be placed on the public hospital waiting list.

For the quarter ending 31 December 2016, the number of children waiting for treatment at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital was 2,171. Of these, 78 semi-urgent (category 2) patients had to wait longer than 90 days for their treatment.

These are children that are ready for surgery, but cannot get that surgery in a timely manner.

The public system is clearly under enormous pressure. With private health insurance you have the peace of mind knowing everyone in the family will receive the treatment they need, when they need it.

Ask any parent who has used their private health insurance for a sick child and they’ll tell you, it’s worth every cent.


Category: Your Insurance


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Article by: Defence Health