Saving on additional lifetime charges is often a compelling enough reason to purchase health insurance, but what else should you consider?
Without health insurance, you may not be able to afford expensive medical services when you need them. Do you really want to be out of pocket when you are sick?
Here are some of the top reasons people get health cover:
Can you afford to 'self' insure? Self insurance may be a risky and costly exercise if you have a major health or medical problem, for example self funded knee surgery could set you back up to $13,000 to save this money before the surgery would be impossible for some.
How long do you want to wait to be treated? Are you prepared to stay on waiting lists for long periods to be treated in the public system? With private hospital insurance you have a much greater chance of having your choice of doctor. If you’re admitted as a public patient, the hospital assigns a doctor to you. Another benefit is that private patients typically have shorter waiting periods for elective surgery. Elective surgery refers to conditions that aren't life-threatening, but that doesn't mean it's not a painful condition or that it is unnecessary surgery. For example, if you need a knee operation or kidney stones removed neither condition is usually considered life-threatening but the shorter the wait the better!
You are buying peace of mind. Choosing an appropriate private health insurance policy will put you at ease so that any unexpected eventuality is covered your family will have access to high quality medical services when they're required and without a huge financial burden.
Government penalties for not covering you and your family. You could end up paying more if you don't purchase before you're 30. If you join after your 31st birthday you pay a two percent surcharge per year up to a maximum surcharge of 70 percent. So, for example, if you join at 45 you pay 30 percent more than someone who joined at 30. However recent changes now mean that if you’ve held cover for 10 continuous years the loading will be removed.
For the fit and healthy. If you’re young and healthy and your concerns are accidents or emergencies, you’re unlikely to have a significant wait for any hospital treatment, regardless of whether you have health insurance or not. People approaching an age where illness is considered more likely, or those who think they might need elective treatment, may decide private health insurance is valuable for them.
Hospital luxuries. Some consider the ‘comfort factor’ in private hospitals and the need for ‘extra’ health services and the ability to stay at a hospital of your choice. They may also offer ‘luxuries’ such as single rooms, private bathrooms and TVs.
Extras cover. If you have regular trips to the dentist or physiotherapist, or you need glasses (now or potentially in the future) you may want to consider extras cover, which you can buy with or without hospital cover. You can also get extras cover that pays a benefit for natural therapies like acupuncture or naturopathy. Remember extras cover is the one area where you can actually get something back and reduce your day to day out of pocket expenses such as glasses, dental, chiropractic, massage and more.
Content provided by iSelect. iSelect is the easy way to select and buy health insurance, finding you a great policy for your budget and needs. Searching over 2000 policies across many health funds, iSelect help you to find a great policy for your budget and needs. iSelect helps take the hassle out of finding health insurance. And what's better, it's free! Visit http://ninemsn.iselect.com.au/ for more information or phone 1300 735 255.