Cost of health insurance for seniors
Health insurance costs and coverage levels often do and should evolve based on the life stage. Depending on the health insurance coverage you’ve had, the costs of your coverage after your 50s would vary.
Your annual costs of holding a private health insurance policy could be anywhere between $3000 to $5500 depending on:
- When you got private health insurance
- Whether you are on individual or couples plan
- The level of coverage you need
- Rebates you are entitled to
When you got your private health insurance
If you’ve had a private health insurance plan since before you were 30, then you don’t have to worry about the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) which levies a 2% loading on top of your premium for every year you are aged over 30 without private health insurance. If you take out private health insurance after the age of 65, you may have to pay the max loading of 70% on top of your premium. LHC loading goes away after 10 years of continuous hospital cover.
This shouldn’t discourage you even if you’ve been on Medicare until 50 and are now considering getting private health insurance. Insurance providers are prohibited from discriminating based on age, gender or genetic predispositions. Thus, they cannot increase the premiums because of your age.
You can still access Medicare services even if you hold a private health policy. Thus, you can assess the right coverage level based on your budget with the LHC loading in mind and the benefits of the private health insurance, especially at a later stage in life.
Whether you are on individual or couples plan
Being on an individual plan or couples plan doesn’t necessarily impact your premiums. Being on a couples plan could give you more flexibility in your coverage since you could better leverage the limits on a wide range of benefits. However, it could impact the Medicare Levy Surcharge you pay and potentially increase the Private Health Insurance Rebate you receive.
The level of the coverage you need
As a mature adult, you may want to make sure you are covered for certain treatments you could need as you get older. Similarly, you may no longer need some of the treatments you had in your hospital cover earlier in life such as maternity and reproductive services. Since pregnancy and birth is often only covered in the Gold-tier (the most expensive tier), dropping this benefit could help you move on to a cheaper plan with cheaper premiums.
However, the additional treatments and procedures you want covered for your future needs such as heart and vascular system, chemotherapy and joint replacements which may require you to upgrade or change to a different policy. You can survey the various insurance products on our site to find one that packages services most suitable for your needs.
Rebates you are entitled to
Seniors are often entitled to larger Private Health Insurance rebates since their pension incomes are often lower than that of the adults working full-time.
In addition, seniors could be entitled to other special rebates or support programs such as:
- Commonwealth Seniors Health Card (CSHC)
- Special Benefit Payment
- Health Care Card
- National Disability Insurance Scheme
- Home Care Packages (HCP)
See our rebates page for more details about the various rebates you could take advantage of.