Insurance in Australia

Hi all,

Just looking to get my insurance ducks in order before I start the cochlear implant process with Nextsense. With that:

  • I only just signed up for Bupa private health insurance in Australia (with implantation), and was wondering does it mean I have to wait 1 year before I can clear the waiting list and start the process?
  • I am also aware that the Medicare public health system caters for implantation but may have a waiting list. Is this dependent on the area you are in (I’m currently living in Canberra but need to be in Sydney for three days a week).
  • Does Medicare/private health only offer one implant? I’m reading it can be beneficial to have both ears done?
  • Will Medicare/private health cover the cost of a hearing aid in the non-CI ear and also the speech therapy and subsequent therapy required to make full use of the CI?

•BUPA private health- yes you need to wait a year as your hearing loss is pre existing.
Just be aware BUPA only allows upgrades to your processor every 5 years. Where as MBP or AHM and some others also allow you to upgrade every 3 years. (Think about transferring to another private health) AHM is the cheapest.

•Medicare allows only one implantation and processor through the public system, to the best of my knowledge. No it’s not dependent on the area you’re in. It’s an Aus wide scheme and regulation. It’s about a 4-5 month wait at the Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne

• Private health cover will cover 2 devices and any subsequent procedures required. I’m bimodal so can’t say about bilateral devices. Maybe @Raudrive might chip in here.

• No Medicare/Private health won’t buy you a hearing aid. If your on any sort of a Government pension/health care card Hearing Australia will give you a free hearing aid that will pair with your processor. If you don’t have a pension card and you’re under 65 yrs you need to apply to NDIS. To get the best support you can for you and your CI contact this group of people.

They will do the NDIS application for you, do your plan and manage it for you as well.
I didn’t need any sort of speech therapy or any sort of therapy either. Just sheer hard work at the rehab.

Check if Nextsense bulk bills your mapping sessions? Or they charge you? If they charge Speak to the people in Wagga with regard to places that bulk bill mappings for you.

Hope I’ve answered all your questions


Wow, you did a great job of explaining Australia CI services.

In the US getting two CI’s is based on having two ears that are both CI candidates. I have Medicare and and a supplemental that is very nice insurance. This may be different with other insurance plans here in the US, not sure at all about that. Medical insurance here is crazy.

@Deaf_piper amazing info!

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@Raudrive whats it like having 2 CI’s to just being bimodal. What differences have you noticed from when you were bimodal.

Comprehensive reply by @Deaf_piper on Australian health insurance!

Though, do check the policy regarding hearing aids. I’m with BUPA too, and they do cover some of the cost of purchasing a hearing aid (which I discovered long after the purchase of my last aid before going CI). Waiting periods apply also.

Side-stepping a bit, also consider having contents insurance with the CI covered as a specific item in case it gets damaged and needs to be replaced. More so initially when you only have one of them.

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Sheryl, I can not say how it is to be bimodal.

Within a week of my first implant activation I took the hearing aid off the other ear and never put it back on. I realized it was competing with the CI learning.

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That’s a very good point @garenio about insuring your processor. I have mine covered with RACV house contents. You have 2 options with insurance,

  1. For just inside the house.
  2. For anywhere outside the house. This option covers you when you travel, interstate or overseas. This is the option I chose.
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