Every financial new year, the question of private health insurance comes up. Is private health coverage worth it? The current system can be confusing, alongside the conflicting information we hear from the government and insurers. There’s no one size fits all solution. But hopefully our tips below will help you determine whether private health coverage is a good choice for you.
Will You Be Needing Elective Procedures?
Medicare is paid for by Australian tax dollars. It isn’t great, but it’s good enough for most common problems and it covers most emergencies. However, it provides little coverage for elective procedures. Elective procedures include cosmetic surgery, medical costs incurred overseas, private hospital costs and ambulance services (unless it’s an emergency). If the elective procedure is covered at all by Medicare, you go on a waiting list, which may take years. This includes most dental exams and dental treatment. You’ll also wait a long time for podiatry and psychology services.
Most physical therapy, home nursing and chiropractic services aren’t covered by Australia’s Medicare. Glasses, contact lenses and hearing aids are either paid for out of pocket or private health coverage. If you’re young and healthy, you may not need private health coverage. But if you’re likely to utilize these health services, then private health coverage is probably worth it. However, not all health insurance policies cover the same things or provide the same level of coverage. To compare the best Health Insurance policies, visit iSelect.
Do You Value Convenience and Choice?
Private health coverage is invaluable if you want to be able to have surgery done when you want it wherever you want. The only question is whether the private health insurer covers the procedure you want done. Private health coverage allows you to choose the hospital or healthcare provider you prefer. And if you pay the premiums, you can also go for treatment overseas. Private health cover would be a wise investment if you’re going to live overseas for an extended period of time.
Does it Make Financial Sense?
Private health cover may get you out of the Medicare levy surcharge, but the premiums for the insurance policy are greater. Note that private health plans won’t necessarily pay for everything, which is why you should run the numbers and determine if the total bill including the health insurance premium and out of pocket costs is worth it. You may save money by paying cash for what you need. Or you could choose a low-cost health plan that only applies when you’re facing steep medical bills or injured while traveling abroad.
Private health coverage is an increasingly popular product. However, each consumer needs to compare the available plans relative to their needs to determine if private health cover is worth the cost or a reasonable umbrella, protecting them against potentially massive medical bills in the future.