Why have private health cover?
This is a great spot to start if you’re not exactly sure about what it is, how it works, or whether you should even have it at all.
People usually fall into one of three categories when it comes to private health insurance:
1] they wouldn’t be caught without it
2] they can’t see the point of it
3] they kinda think it seems like a good thing to have, but are not completely convinced.
In Australia we have a very good public healthcare system, and as Australian residents we all get to use as much of it as we need. We pay for access to the public system through our income taxes, which can make it seem like we’re getting our healthcare for ‘free’, because we often don’t have to pay anything on the spot when we use it.
It’s a very, very good system, but it does have its limitations.
For example, as a public patient you may be limited in your choice of when you can be treated, where and by whom, plus, there are a range of healthcare services that private cover can help you pay for that aren’t provided by the public system.
10 great reasons
These are the top ten reasons why people who have private health insurance wouldn’t be caught without it. If any of these mean a lot to you, it might be time you joined us.
Do you sleep better at night knowing you’ve taken care of ‘just in case’?
Like other types of insurance, health insurance gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that if the unexpected happens, you’re covered; you have choices, options, control.
Would you prefer to be in control of when you go into hospital for treatment, rather than having to sit on a waiting list?
While we may be entitled to go to a public hospital under Medicare, what we often can’t control is the timing. As a privately insured patient you get into hospital faster. Industry research shows that public patients wait an average of more than 100 days for admission to hospital; privately insured people are admitted within the month.
Do you want the ability to choose who treats you or your loved ones if you need to go to hospital?
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.
Would you be comfortable in a shared hospital ward or would you prefer the privacy of your own room?
Have you ever visited anyone in a public hospital? There you are, 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 a stressful enough experience without the added pressure of having to share your bed space with people you don’t know – and all their visitors – while you’re recuperating.
If you earn over a certain amount, you’re going to have to either pay more tax, or take out private hospital cover. Wouldn’t you rather get something back for that extra expense?
People who earn over a set threshold each year, and who don’t have private hospital cover, get charged an extra tax, it’s called the Medicare Levy Surcharge and it increases as your income does. To avoid paying more tax, take out hospital cover.
#6 Lifetime health cover
Do you want to lock in the lowest possible price for your hospital cover?
A lot of young people say they plan to take out hospital cover when they’re older, and more likely to need it. The trouble with this is,
1] it’s not just older people who 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 government loading that you’ll have to pay for the next ten years.
If you want to lock in the best price for your hospital cover, join when you’re younger and you’ll be paying less for it when you’re older.
Can you really afford to self-insure?
Some people say they prefer to self-insure by putting money aside for health-related 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. That’s a lot of money to have to put aside for a rainy day.
Who’s going to help you pay for those other very important healthcare costs?
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 insurance is the only way to go.
Would you like a bit of support to help you 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, quit smoking, travel vaccines and many, many more treatment types designed to help keep you in good health, this is for you.
Here’s the bottom line, private health insurance is the ace in your pocket.
With private health insurance you have control over what’s happening to you. Even if you think the public health system is great and will suit you perfectly, with private health cover you hold all the cards. If you choose to go public but you aren’t happy with the hospital, with the doctor or 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.