Hospital Cover can give you the freedom to choose the hospital where you’d like to receive your treatment, as well as choosing the doctor or specialist who will take care of you throughout the process.1 In the private system you may also have reduced waiting times.
However, there can be out-of-pocket costs if your doctor choses to charge above the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) when admitted privately to hospital,2 but without Hospital Cover, you run the risk of having to pay further costs in the event you need to use the private hospital system.
When choosing Health Insurance, your choices should reflect your budget, any specific health needs, and your general lifestyle.
If you’re looking for extra coverage beyond what is provided by the public healthcare system, then you’ll be pleased to know there are many benefits to finding a Health Insurance policy that suits you.
Everyone is different, which can make choosing appropriate coverage overwhelming. If you’re wondering how to pick suitable Health Insurance, you can start by looking closely at your individual health needs.
Whether you’re a couple planning a pregnancy, a student who’s active and healthy, or you’re getting older and in need of regular medical attention, you need to consider that budget, age, lifestyle, and relationship status can all play a part in the decision-making process.
For Australians keen to take a proactive approach to their healthcare, Private Health Insurance offers more flexibility and security, which in turn can allow you to live a fuller life.
Let’s say you’re a keen runner and you’ve just signed up for your first marathon. While a well-considered training plan is key, pounding the pavement week after week can take a toll on your body.
It’s no surprise then that the option of taking out Extras cover, which can include physiotherapy and podiatry, could help you cross the finish line without injuries.
Please note that the graphic below, and the use of the “age 31” is only in relation to Lifetime Health Cover loading (LHC).
Choosing Health Insurance and purchasing a policy before you turn 31 will ensure you won’t have to pay an extra loading if you decide to take out private Hospital Cover later on in life.
If you wait until later in life to take out Hospital Cover (any time following the July 1 after your 31st birthday), you will have to pay a 2% premium loading that increases annually by 2% for every year you don’t have private Hospital cover, which is capped at 70%.8
Known as Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading, it is added to your premium if you purchase Private Hospital cover for the first time following the July 1st after your 31st birthday, and is removed once you’ve had hospital cover for 10 continuous years. You won’t need to pay it again as long as you continue to keep your private health Hospital cover.
Think about your health needs now and into the future.
For example, if you want to be covered for obstetrics (pregnancy and birth-related services) in a private hospital and with a private obstetrician, you need to take out or upgrade your cover to include pregnancy before you even start trying for a baby! This is because pregnancy and birth-related services generally have a 12 month waiting period before you can claim.9
Everyone’s situation is different, so being able to choose a suitable level of Private Health Insurance to fit your lifestyle and budget is key.
Here are some questions to consider when comparing policies:
Based on your income, you may be eligible to receive a rebate from the Australian Government to help make private hospital cover more affordable.
From 1 July 2023, if you’re on a taxable income of under $144,000 as a single, or $2888,000 as a family, then you could be eligible for a government rebate on Hospital Cover.11
Please note that the names and people mentioned below are fictional characters.
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