Why 50% of Australians take out health insurance
All Australians have access to the public system at no additional cost. All taxpayers pay a Medicare Levy that funds it for everyone. So why pay for health insurance as well?
Health insurance provides you with more choice and control when it comes to your healthcare, and it may provide tax benefits. But it can also be expensive so it’s important to understand what you need before you sign on the dotted line.
Each type pays benefits for different types of treatment. Most people take out combined hospital and extras cover, but you can choose one or the other depending on your needs.
1. Hospital cover – pays benefits toward the cost of treatment in hospital. It gives you control over:
· WHO you’re treated by – some people prefer a surgeon recommended by their doctor
· WHERE you’re treated – access to a private hospital close to home and a more comfortable environment
· WHEN you’re treated – because waiting times are usually shorter in the private system
The level of hospital cover you choose determines the types of procedures you’re covered for (like pregnancy or heart surgery). The higher the level of cover, the more procedures you will be covered for.
When a procedure is “covered”, that means that 100% of the cost (minus any excess) of your hospital visit – if you’ve been admitted – is paid by your health fund.
Extras is all about your lifestyle and it’s the area where you can save the most money and be confident that you’re paying for health insurance that you’ll actually use.
There are two different ways that health funds contribute to the costs of different services:
· as a percentage proportion of the fee charged by the provider (eg. 65% back from a dental consultation), or
· as a fixed dollar per visit (eg. $30 per Physio visit)
The most important thing you need to enquire about is the total annual limit your policy will contribute across different services. If you never use these types of services, then maybe extras cover isn’t a ‘must have’ for you.
Here’s a big tip: think cover first, health insurer second
While there are over 30 health insurers to choose from, think first about what you need from your cover before you get caught up in the different funds’ brand pitches and gimmicky giveaways.
Once you figure out whether you want hospital or extras cover, or a combination of both, you can then think about which health insurer will give you the best peace of mind and best value.
There are also two types of health funds you need to be aware of:
1. Not-for-profit or mutual funds are run to benefit their members, so premiums are invested back into increasing benefits and improving customer service.
2. For-profits insurers, like Medibank, BUPA and nib, answer to their investors and focus on their business goals of delivering the best customer service.
The not-for-profits give their members more than the big for-profits, so it’s kind of a no-brainer
It’s a fact that the Compare Health Insurance Online health funds are a collective of funds that provide superior value through better coverage and more benefits, which is why they have happier members.
Now, here’s one of the best kept secrets in health insurance
There are also not-for-profit funds connected to specific industries that millions of people qualify for but many Australians don’t realise they are eligible to join them.
This is a big deal because some of these funds (also known as ‘Restricted’ funds) can provide the best value. You can find out more about these health funds through the Compare Health Insurance Online Health Funds comparison service.
Finally, don’t underestimate how much time and money you’ll save by speaking to a real person that works for a company that is more concerned with your needs than anything else
The Compare Health Insurance Online service is a brilliant way of identifying the top policies for your needs, and you can finish off the process by talking to one of our health insurance experts.
They can ensure that you’re going to be able to benefit immediately from your health insurance by exploring your waiting period options and taking the time to properly explain the tax benefits you’ll receive.
You can use our online comparison service to do most of the work for you, or give us a call on 1300 73 96 92, and we’ll find the best health cover for you from our panel of health funds.