Australia’s public health care system strives to ensure that every citizen has access to quality medical services. Although Medicare guarantees every Australian will see a health care practitioner even when no private health plan is in place, waiting times for certain procedures, including elective surgery, can be extremely long.
Your health insurance plan offers additional coverage to take care of procedures and expenses not covered by Medicare, and probably allows you to bypass the lengthy waiting periods experienced by individuals who depend solely on Medicare for their health cover. However, different health cover providers offer different waiting time options, which is why it is so important to compare health plans to find the one that best suits your needs and the needs of your family.
The Australian government has been trying to address the problem of long waiting times for elective surgery, since so many Australians have no private health cover and depend on Medicare alone for their health care. But change takes time, particularly when it is dependent upon increased funding at the national level. Since private cover is widely available, and different providers offer a variety of plans and options to suit every budget, your health insurance premium doesn’t have to be beyond reach.
By comparing health cover policies, you can find insurance that will safeguard you and your family if you have unexpected health care costs not covered by Medicare. Elective surgery doesn’t always mean cosmetic surgery; cataract removal, gall bladder removal, coronary bypass graft, tonsillectomy, repair of a perforated eardrum all fall under the category of elective surgery. Many conditions that require elective surgery are painful, making the waiting period very difficult.
No one is immune from illness or injury; your health insurance can provide peace of mind when it is most needed.
An added incentive to purchase private insurance is the 30 percent rebate available to policy owners through the Australian government, which was set up to encourage Australians to purchase private health cover. The rebate increases to 35 percent when you turn 65, and 40 percent when you turn 70. Your health insurance monthly premium will be established according to the cover package you choose, which is why it’s important to compare health plans before choosing one. You may tailor your private plan to your individual needs in order to save money and avoid paying for unnecessary coverage. For instance, if you’re under 35 and beginning a family, you probably don’t need coverage for cataract surgery or hip replacements.
When comparing health cover policies, it’s important to understand life stage concerns, which helps determine what coverage is best suited to you according to your age, lifestyle, and level of protection you are looking for. Insurance needs change as we age, and it’s always best to review your health insurance plan yearly to make sure you have all the coverage you need, and aren’t paying for coverage you no longer need.
Remember, you can’t put a price on good health. Compare health cover plans that meet your needs and the needs of your family, and rest assured that the safety net you put in place will protect you and your loved ones when the unexpected happens.
Author Liz Ernst writes on health insurance matters in Australia and the U.S.