What is the difference between public and private care?

Healthcare costs can vary depending on if you choose to be a public patient in a public hospital or a private patient in either a public or private hospital. Your choice will depend on what options are available to you and what you are most comfortable with.

Private health insurance provides peace of mind knowing that you have the support when you need it. Private health insurance gives you the opportunity of seeing the doctor of your choice throughout your whole pregnancy journey – bump, birth and beyond!

The Australian Government offers a universal medical cover called Medicare. Medicare gives you access to certain medical care and hospital treatment for public patients in public hospitals.
  Private Health Insurance Public
Waiting Periods 12-month waiting period. No waiting period.
Practitioner of choice Your choice of obstetrician. You do not have a choice.
Your doctor or midwife will be allocated to you by the public hospital.
Appointments Check-ups will be held in the private consultation rooms of your chosen obstetrician or midwife. Check-ups as an out-patients at your public hospital or with your GP.
What are my out-of-pocket costs? You will be charged for your obstetrician and midwife appointments. You will also be charged for tests and scans, which are partly covered by Medicare.

More details
Hospital accommodation, including theatre or labour ward fees, will mostly be covered by your private health insurance depending on your level of cover. However, you will have to pay for personal items such as newspapers, TV or medication provided to you on discharge or unrelated to the birth of your baby.

Doctor's fees which are outside the Medicare Benefit Schedule fee.
Your out-of-pocket costs will be minimal.
Choice of hospital Private or public hospital of your choice. Public hospital in your area.
Choice of room Private room, subject to availability. Generally, in a shared room.
Who will be at the birth of my baby? Your obstetrician and private hospital midwives. Public hospital rostered obstetrician.
Do I have to pay for hospital accommodation? Covered by private health insurance. Covered by Medicare.

Cover Features

Peace of mind

Peace of mind

Peace of mind in the lead up to, when and after your baby arrives.
Pregnancy guide

Pregnancy guide

Checkout our guide on welcoming your new family member. Download now
Nourish Baby program

Nourish Baby program

Access to our Nourish Baby program.


Having a baby in Launceston?

Why not try St.LukesHealth Private Post-Natal Service.

From Monday, July 27, we will reinstate our hotel post-natal service for members in Northern Tasmania.

St.LukesHealth temporarily suspended its hotel post-natal service in April due to COVID-19, instead offering a home-based service for members with telehealth services.

We are unable to access the Mantra Charles Hotel for the post-natal service until September, however we are pleased to partner with Peppers Silo Hotel in the interim period where our members will enjoy a special stay and meals from the Grain of the Silos restaurant.

One change to this service during this period is that we are unable to transfer members to the Silo Hotel once they are discharged from the Launceston General Hospital. Instead, we ask members to make their own way to the hotel.

To be eligible for this service, you need a be a member of St.LukesHealth, to have delivered your baby at the Launceston General Hospital and be covered by a hospital product that includes pregnancy and related services. A 12-month waiting period applies to new members and members transferring from another fund.

St.LukesHealth members who live interstate or in Southern or North-West Tasmania can continue to be served by private hospitals in those regions and are not eligible for this service unless they deliver at the LGH.

"The midwives have been fabulous. We have felt so spoilt and well cared for!"
Anna 27, Newstead

The offer includes:

  • An escort and car to pick you up from the Launceston General Hospital.
  • A three-night stay at the Mantra Charles Hotel with room for you, your baby and your support person.
  • A special pamper pack.
  • Visit from a midwife or lactation consultant twice most days.
  • Visit from a physiotherapist to help with your recovery.
  • All meals for the mother are included, plus have your someone special join you for a complimentary dinner during your stay.
  • A free welcome home house clean by a professional cleaner can be arranged if you live within 25 kilometres of Launceston.
This room includes:
A comfortable bed for two people. Breast pump and kits.
A baby bassinet and change mat. Sterilising options for formula feeding.
Nappy change area. Baby weighing scales.
Spacious bathroom. Kitchenette.

Home-based Post-Natal Service

As an alternative to our hotel-based service, Northern Tasmanian members who live within a 25-kilometre radius of the Launceston General Hospital can return home after discharge and still receive support.

This service includes:
  • Up to three days of home support.
  • A pamper pack.
  • Up to two home visits a day from a midwife or lactation consultant.
  • A free home visit from a qualified physiotherapist.
  • Dinner can be provided for the whole family for up to three nights.
  • A free welcome home house clean by a professional cleaner can be arranged.
For members who live beyond a 25-kilometre radius, you can still enjoy some home support once you have been discharged; however, we suggest that for those who live further away that you enjoy the full benefits of our hotel service before returning home.


Home service for those beyond the 25-kilometre radius includes:

  • Up to three days of home support.
  • A pamper pack.
  • Up to two phone calls a day from a midwife or lactation consultant.
  • A free consultation from a physiotherapist at the PhysioFit Launceston practice rooms.
  • A free food voucher for your local supermarket to help with meals.
For more information about this post-natal service, contact St.LukesHealth on 1300 651 988.

What if I need help to conceive?

St.LukesHealth understands that the journey to parenthood may have a few bumps in the road and that you may need fertility assistance. Difficulty with falling pregnant is a common reason couples present to their doctor when planning for a family.

If you have been trying to conceive for longer than a year, or for six months if you are over the age of 35, it is recommended that you seek medical advice on what might be causing the problem.

Assisted reproductive technology refers to a range of treatments that can be used to assist people hoping to have a family of their own such as ovulation cycle tracking, ovulation induction and assisted insemination. Depending on the cause of the infertility, a number of treatments may be suggested - including in vitro fertilisation (IVF). IVF is when eggs that have previously been collected from the ovaries are fertilised with sperm in a laboratory and then transferred back into the womb.

St.LukesHealth covers members for obstetric-related services providing the 12-month waiting period has been served.


What if I am having twins or triplets?

If you are expecting twins or multiple births, at least one baby will be admitted to hospital, even if both babies are healthy. If your policy has no excess on child dependants, you will not be charged an excess for the baby’s admission, however there will be fees for their time in hospital.

What St.LukesHealth hospital products cover pregnancy-related services?

St.LukesHealth has a range of products that can assist you grow your family.
The following Hospital products cover pregnancy and assisted-reproductive services. These hospital products can be paired with our Extras products to make a combined Hospital and Extras package.*

*Subject to change
Gold Hospital
Gold Hospital 300
Gold Hospital 500
Gold Hospital 750

- Top hospital cover for all clinical categories. This includes things like:

  • Hospital psychiatric services
  • Gynaecology
  • Pregnancy and birth
  • Assisted reproductive services
  • Pain management with device
  • Miscarriage and termination of pregnancy
  • Sleep studies
  • Ear, nose and throat
  • Tonsils, adenoids and grommets
  • Bone, joint and muscle

- $750 excess on overnight hospitalisations
- $375 excess on same-day hospitalisations
- No excess on child dependants
- Accommodation and theatre fees

For more information, visit

Gold Hospital 1000*
Planner Silver Plus Hospital 250
Planner Silver Plus Hospital 500
Nourish Baby Program

Going private. What you need to know.

Does my policy cover pregnancy and obstetrics-related services?

If you have private health insurance, please ensure that your product includes pregnancy and obstetrics-related services.

Waiting Periods

There is a 12-month waiting period for pregnancy and obstetric-related services on applicable St.LukesHealth hospital products.

If you are not currently insured and are already pregnant, you will not be covered for any treatment relating to your pregnancy. You should take out an appropriate private health cover at least three months before you are pregnant so that you can serve the 12-month waiting period before giving birth.

Premature births or complications arising from pregnancy, where a medical practitioner confirms your baby’s due date is after the 12-month waiting period will be covered, subject to any excess that applies to your cover.

If you have had a single policy for hospital cover for more than 12 months, you will be covered but your baby will not. To cover your baby from birth, you should upgrade your cover to a family policy from the baby’s date of birth. This should be done within the first 30 days of your baby’s birth. St.LukesHealth will not apply waiting periods to newborns if they are added to the policy within 30 days of their birth.

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"This was a fantastic way for us to transition into family life after the hospital. It has made our first time as parents that bit more special."
Cathryn 26, Invermay

Out-of-pocket Expenses

Going to hospital can be a stressful experience, especially when you are uncertain about what out-of- pocket costs you may have to pay. When you are having a baby, you must pay for medical services that occur outside hospital, including specialist consultations and obstetrician check-ups.

In some cases, a paediatrician will check on your baby’s process. Unless your baby has been admitted to hospital, the fee for a paediatrician visit cannot be claimed through your private health insurance policy.

These costs can only be claimed through Medicare.

To avoid out-of-pocket costs, St.LukesHealth has created a checklist of questions you should ask before you are admitted to hospital for the birth of your baby

Ask Your

  • What is the expected cost of treatment?
  • Ask for a written quote that includes the Medicare Benefits Schedule item numbers that will be for your treatment and what your out-of-pocket costs will be.

Ask St.LukesHealth

  • Am I covered for pregnancy under my current product?
  • Have I served all the appropriate waiting periods?
  • Is the private hospital where I am having my baby contracted with St.LukesHealth? If not, what impact may this have on my bill?
  • Are there any out-of-pocket costs that I should be aware of?

Ask the Hospital
Admissions Officer 

  • Will you be staying in a private room?
  • Are there additional costs for items like newspapers and television?
  • Are there other out-of-pocket costs you should be aware of?
  • Is there an additional cost if your partner or family member wants to stay with you at the hospital but are not receiving treatment?

Begin your pregnancy journey with St.LukesHealth

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