DO YOU NEED SENIORS HEALTH INSURANCE? BEFORE YOU MAKE A DECISION, HERE’S A COMPLETE OVERVIEW OF ALL THE PROS AND CONS TO HELP GUIDE YOU.
The cost of health insurance ranges from $2300 to $2800 for mature singles and from $4600 to $5600 for mature couples. The premiums will be based on the level of your coverage you select for your hospital cover and extras cover. However, there could be cost additions or cost reductions to your health care budget based on your health insurance history and rebates you are eligible for.
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 may require you to upgrade or change to a different policy. If you could need non-PBS medicines, you may also want to upgrade the extras covers to minimise your out-of-pocket costs.
You can survey the various insurance products on our site to find one that packages services most suitable for your needs.
Other potential costs to consider
If you get a private health insurance plan after 30, you become subjected to 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 to consider getting private health insurance even if you are considering it for the first time after the age of 30. The benefits in terms of accessing faster services and having more options of high-quality hospitals and physicians could easily outweigh the higher premiums since mature adults are more likely to need more medical services.
Insurance providers are prohibited from discriminating based on age, gender or genetic predispositions. Thus, they cannot increase the premiums because of your age. So you don’t need to worry about paying higher premiums (with LHC loading on top of it). In addition to LHC, you could also be subject to the Medicare Levy Surcharge for not holding sufficient level of cover from a private health fund based on your income level.
Rebates to help you offset the cost
Seniors are often entitled to higher Private Health Insurance rebates since their pension incomes are often lower.
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 these rebates and see if you qualify.