What does private health insurance do for you, you ask? A lot of people, especially the young ones, are now again faced by the conundrum of whether to keep their private health insurance and pay higher premiums or scrap the policy altogether and rely on public health services. But before you decide, please consider the following:
Accidents and emergencies
In Australia, this event does not call for private services, as emergency workers drive you to the nearest public hospital as an emergency ward patient and receive free high-quality care.
Ambulance services differ between states and territories, and whether private health insurance helps when this happens:
QLD & TAS – Free from the state governments
VIC, NT,SA, Regional WA – Subscription is separate from Private Health Insurance
NSW, ACT, Perth Metro area – Can be covered by Private Health Insurance
Premiums regularly increase (in April every year). You can avoid an increase by obtaining a policy in March and pay a lump sum premium to avoid the increase in April for every subsequent year in the same policy.
When you have private health insurance, the government exempts you from paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge. This is an additional 1-1.5% tax paid by high-income earners (from $90,000 for singles and $180,000 for couples). If you are a high-income earner, you may consider taking out an insurance that would cost less than the tax you would need to pay otherwise.
It is important to know that Australians are covered by the public system called Medicare. It is, in the end, a personal choice and as with most personal choices we make, it is important that these are well though-out and budgeted for, so that you can get the value for your hard-earned money.
Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) Loading
This affects you if you take out hospital cover for the first time after your 31st birthday. You will have to pay 2% more on your premiums for every year you have waited to obtain the cover.
You might need to consider paying for a policy that has a higher excess. A higher excess translates to a lower premium.
It is important to know that Australians are covered by the public system called Medicare. It is, in the end, a personal choice and as with most personal choices we make, it is important that these are well thought-out and budgeted for, so that you can get the value for your money. If you have any further questions around Private Health Insurance, we recommend you speaking with the Insurer direct as to what is and is not included in their policies. Make sure to shop around.