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What’s an excess? Is it different from a co-payment? 

OSHCStudents – What’s an excess? Is it different from a co-payment? Why are there excesses and co-payments? Here are the details 




If you have private health insurance, an excess is a one-off payment you make if you need to go to hospital. You pay it before you go to hospital, and before your insurer covers the rest of the costs your policy includes.

This should be on the paperwork for your policy, and should have been agreed on before you took out your policy.


Things to check with your insurer:

  • How many times per year is it paid per person?
  • Most excesses apply once per person per year. They may also then limit how many times excesses are paid for your whole policy per year. This could be calendar year, or depending when you join.
  • If I transfer health insurers, do I need to pay it again?
  • Say you paid your excess after going to hospital in January, then changed insurers in March. If you need to go to hospital again that year, even though you’ve paid your excess with your old insurer, you may need to pay it again with your new insurer. If you know you need further hospital treatment, you could save money by considering this before you switch your cover.
  • What happens if I change my cover to one with a higher excess?


You will usually need to pay the difference between your lower excess and your higher excess, the next time you are admitted to hospital. The table below gives an example of how this might work:

Cover type On cover with $250 Excess Move to cover with $500 Excess in June
Hospital Admission Date In April In August of the same year
What you would pay $250 Excess You’d pay a $250 Excess (the difference between the excess on your old cover and your new cover).



If you have private health insurance, a co-payment is a set amount you pay each day that you are in hospital, usually up to a maximum number of days. It usually applies every time you are admitted to hospital.

Things to check:

  • How many times per year is it paid per person?
  • If I transfer health insurers, do I need to pay it again?
  • What happens if I change my cover to one with a higher excess?
  • How many days I have to pay it?

Usually there will be a maximum number of days you need to pay a co-payment.


Why are there excesses and co-payments?

These work in a similar way to an excess on car insurance.

When you select your private hospital cover, you can choose whether you’d like to have an excess or co-payment on your policy. If you do have one, you’ll usually pay a lower price for your cover (often called a ‘premium’). That way, you only pay this amount should you need to go to hospital.


If you are visitors who want buy OVHC or switch OVHC, you can check out the prices and purchase insurance please contact our Team for further information and assistance at info@oshstudents.com


OSHCStudents (Source: Bupa)

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