The potential to save on tax or additional life health cover charges are usually reasons enough to get private health insurance for the affected individuals, but what else do you need to consider?
Well, without private health care, it can be hard to pay for medical services when you really need them. Do you want to spend a substantial amount of money out of pocket when you fall ill? Probably not.
Here are some of the reasons people subscribe to health insurance:
Save some money when it comes to tax.
For families, couples and single parents with an income of over $180,000 ($90,000 for singles), the Australian Tax Office charges an additional 1% in tax. This is known as the Medicare Levy Surcharge and happens when you do not have private health insurance.
If you are single and earn over $105,000 or $210,000 for families, single parents and couples, the Medical Levy Surcharge increases to 1.25% and 1.5% if you earn over $140,000 or $280,00 for families, couples and single parents. This means that depending on your situation, it is possible to purchase a private health cover that's cheaper than the Medical Levy Surcharge.
The Waiting Periods
How long do you wish to stay on the waiting list in order to get the treatment you deserve? Australia's public system has a notoriously long waiting list for individuals who are not facing a medical emergency. For knee replacement surgery alone, you wait for at least 6 months. However, with private health insurance, you can forget the waiting list and be treated as soon as you wish. You also have the chance to choose your doctor or surgeon as well as the hospital, as long as it is included in your policy.
Choose the Right Policy and Live with a Peace of Mind
Picking the right health insurance can put you at ease knowing that those unforeseen illnesses and conditions can be covered, depending on the type of policy, level and other limitations that may apply. You and your loved ones have greater control over the services that you get.
Lifetime Health Cover
If you do not take hospital cover before July 1st after your 31st birthday, you may end up paying more for health insurance over your lifetime. If you join after this age, you may have to pay an additional 2% on your premium every year and don't have a hospital cover.
For instance, if you subscribe for private insurance cover at age 45, you may end up paying 30% more than an individual who took it at age 30.
However, the law now includes a provision that requires health insurers to stop including the 2% loading to the premium after a decade of continuous private health cover.
The Healthy and Fit
Individuals who are about to become seniors, or think that they might require elective treatment may deem private health cover as more valuable for them. Some individuals consider the comfort factor in private medical facilities as well as the need for extra' services and even the ability to pick the hospital of your choice. Depending on the chosen hospital, some may ideally offer luxuries like single rooms, TVs and private bathrooms. However, such services call for additional charges.
If you take regular trips to the physiotherapist or dentist or require glasses, you may want to opt for the extras cover as well. Extras cover can be purchased with or without health care coverage. You can ideally get extras cover that pays a benefit for therapies such as naturopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, etc.
Keep in mind that extras cover is one section where you can get something back in order to minimize your out of pocket expenses like dental, chiropractic care, glasses, massages, etc.
So, if you do not have private health insurance, now might be the time to consider it.