Are you convinced you need private health insurance?

People fall into one of three camps when it comes to private health insurance:

1) wouldn’t be caught without it
2) can’t see the point of it, and
3) kinda think it seems like a good thing to have, but not completely convinced.

The reason we can be comfortable not having private health insurance in Australia is because we have a very good public health system, and as Australian residents we all get to use as much of it as we need, basically for free. Under Medicare, you can be treated in a public hospital by hospital-appointed doctors for free. It’s very, very good. But it does have its limitations.

These are the top ten reasons why people choose to have private health insurance. If any of these mean a lot to you, it might be time you joined us.

#1 Security
Like other types of insurance, health insurance gives you peace of mind. If the unexpected happens, you’re covered. You have choices, options, control. If you sleep better at night knowing you’ve taken care of ‘just in case’, then this is for you.

#2 Access
While we may be entitled to go to a public hospital under Medicare, what we can’t control is the timing. As a privately insured patient you get into hospital faster. The latest research shows that public patients wait an average of 103 days for admission to hospital; privately insured people are admitted within the month*. If you want some control over how long you’ll be waiting if you need to go to hospital, then this is for you.

*Health Care & Insurance, 2009, Ipsos Australia.

#3 Choice
It’s funny, a lot of people wouldn’t dream of taking their car to any old mechanic, or even going to a hairdresser they don’t know – and yet they’d accept any doctor that’s appointed to them as a public patient. If you’re a bit fussy about who you’d want operating on you, private health insurance gives you the ability to make that choice.

#4 Facilities
Have you ever visited someone in a public hospital? You’re sitting in a room full of strangers, all with their own serious health issues and only a thin blue curtain giving you any privacy. Being in hospital can be distressing enough without the added pressure of having to share your bed space with people you don’t know – and all their visitors – while you’re trying to recuperate. If you’d prefer the privacy of your own room, private hospital cover can give you that option.

#5 Tax
Cold hard cash. If you earn over a certain amount each year, and you don’t have private hospital cover, you have to pay more tax. If you want to avoid paying more tax – take out hospital cover. Read more about the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

#6 Lifetime Health Cover
A lot of young people say they plan to take out hospital cover when they’re older, and more likely to need it. There are two problems with this, 1) it’s not just older people that get unexpectedly sick, or have an injury that requires hospital treatment, and 2) if you don’t have private hospital cover by the 30th of June following your 31st birthday, you’ll get stuck with a loading that you’ll have to pay for the next ten years. If you want to lock in the best price you can for hospital cover, join when you’re younger and you’ll be paying less for it when you’re older. Read more about Lifetime Health Cover.

#7 Reality
Some people say they prefer to self-insure by putting money aside for health expenses, and that sounds like a pretty good plan. The problem is, people generally have no idea what the costs of hospital procedures are. For example, did you know a caesarean birth in a private hospital would set you back $12-15,000; or that a knee operation averages around $25,000? When you get to the really big procedures, like heart bypass operations, you’re getting close to the $70,000 mark. Our single largest claim in the past year was $250,000. Can you really afford to self-insure?

#8 Extras
Apart from a very small number of services, there is no Medicare or other coverage for things like dental, optical, physio, chiro, podiatry, pharmaceuticals and the dozens of other things you’re covered for with extras. If you’d like some assistance with those types of healthcare costs, private health cover is the only way to go.

#9 Lifestyle
While there are a lot of services around to help people when they’re unwell, there’s not much out there designed to help us live a healthy lifestyle. With extras cover, you’re supported with great rebates on a big range of preventative and natural therapies, to help you take good care of your health. If you’d like a bit of help paying for things like massage, acupuncture, naturopathy, exercise physiology and many, many more treatment types designed to keep you in good health, this is for you.

#10 Control
Here’s the bottom line. With private health insurance you have options that give you control over what’s happening to you. Even if you think the public health system is great, and will suit you perfectly, private health cover is an ace in your pocket. If you choose to go public but you aren’t happy with the hospital, with the doctor, with the length of time you’ll have to wait – you’ve always got your health cover to call on. If you like the idea of being in control when it comes to your health, this is for you.

Ready to join us?
It’s easy to join rt health fund, and if you’re switching from another health fund we’ll even deal with them for you. To join, simply:

If you'd like to talk to someone who can help you decide which of our covers is best for you and answer any questions you have about how it all works, give our member care team a call on 1300 886 123 or email us at

We look forward to having you on board!

TELEPHONE 1300 886 123   :  DISCLAIMER   :  PRIVACY POLICY  : © 2015 railway + transport health fund ltd (abn 93 087 648 744) is a registered health benefits organisation
The materials on this website have been prepared for general information only. The information on this website, or any other website accessed via this website or otherwise, may not be accurate, complete or current. rt health fund ltd does not accept any liability to any person for the information that is provided.