The best and cheapest health insurance for Seniors.
- November 1 will see Bupa, Medibank, HCF, and NIB increase their premiums so now is a good time to do a private health insurance comparison and compare health insurance insurance to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible.
- Top tier private health insurance policies usually only cover conditions like cataracts and knee or hip replacements
- Some private health insurance funds may not charge you an excess for day surgery for procedures such as cataracts, colonoscopy or endoscopy
As you get older, your health care requirements will more than likely change. This is why it’s important you stay on top of your private health insurance, its inclusions and whether you have the best health insurance for your needs. Be aware of course, the cheapest health insurance for seniors may not always be the best for your needs so it’s still important to do a private health insurance comparison.
Billy knows how important it is to be aware of your private health insurance. Which is why we’ve created this article to help you understand if it is the best health insurance for your needs as you get older. Then of course, we can also compare health insurance in Australia and do a health insurance comparison to see if you can get a better deal.
On November 1, health insurance premiums from NIB, HCF, Bupa, and Medibank will increase. Because of this, it’s important to do a private health insurance comparison
Billy’s helpful article and advice will help you to understand whether or not you have the necessary coverage and then do a private health insurance comparison to see if you can lock in a better deal for the coming premium year (albeit, it might not be the cheapest health insurance for seniors though).
What levels of cover is available in private health insurance?
A few years ago the Australian government regulated health insurance into four tiers:
- Basic – very little if any cover in a private hospital
- Bronze – low cover
- Silver – medium cover
- Gold – full or top cover
These four tiers have additional ‘inbetween levels’, with policies known as Silver Plus, Bronze Plus, and Basic Plus that may be purchased in between these three primary tiers. These policies cover at least one additional service than the standard Silver, Bronze, or Basic private health insurance. For instance, a Silver Plus policy might offer coverage for pregnancy or cataract removal (services usually only covered under Gold policies). It’s important when you compare private health insurance in Australia to understand the differences between all of these, as different health funds will more than likely have different inclusions.
Do You Have The Right Level Of Cover?
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that as we age, we will need specific types of surgery and medical treatments.
For example, did you know that over 65 percent of hip and knee replacement surgeries performed in Australia are on patients aged over 65 years of age? Even though people aged 65 or over make up 15% of the population, they account for more than 40% of day and overnight hospital admissions.
What is the best tier for common treatments?
For all major treatments you will need Gold cover.
As an example the below treatments required:
- Joint replacements
- Palliative care
It’s best to do a private health insurance comparison and compare health insurance that has heart surgery in either silver of gold tiers.
Here are some things you should take into consideration when you do your private health insurance comparison.
- There is a possibility that you will obtain coverage for certain therapies at lower level tiers, but this is not a given. If you decide to go with a more affordable insurance, such as Silver Plus, make sure to keep a careful eye on it to ensure that it still provides the level of protection you require.
- If you are upgrading your coverage, there is a waiting period of one year before ailments that you were not covered for under your previous insurance can be treated as claims. If you do need surgery, be sure that you arrange it for after you have completed the required amount of time in the waiting room.
Should you downgrade your private health insurance policy if it includes pregnancy?
Even when you have reached the point in your life where you no longer wish to have children, determining whether or not you should downgrade to a policy that does not offer coverage for pregnancy and fertility is not as straightforward as it may initially appear. Which is why it’s important to be aware of your health insurance policy (and potentially do a private health insurance comparison).
Pregnancy and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) are covered under the highest-tier Gold policy, as well as under some Silver Plus policies. However, these tiers are also suitable for individuals over the age of 65 who want to be covered for surgery that is typically required later in life, such as cataract surgery or hip or knee replacements.
Only a few health insurance companies provide Silver Plus policies that do not include coverage for pregnancy, but before purchasing one, make sure you check out the following:
It’s really cheaper than the cheapest Gold insurance—we uncovered a lot of rip-off Silver Plus policies that are incredibly expensive—and it beats out even the cheapest Silver policies.
There are no other restrictions on things you do need, for example many Silver Plus policies do not pay for hip and knee replacements or rehabilitation in a private hospital.
Is it better to increase your excess to get a lower monthly premium?
Prior to the changes that were made to health insurance policies in the previous year, the highest deductible that you could choose was $500. To lower your monthly rates, however, you now have the option to pay a higher deductible of up to $750 for an individual and $1500 for a couple or family.
The portion of the cost of a hospital visit that comes directly out of your own pocket is known as an excess. A one-time excess payment is required for each hospital stay, and the annual maximum is typically either once (for individuals) or twice (for couples and families) respectively.
However, if you believe that you will require surgery within the next two years, it is in your best interest to select a plan that has a low or no excess. Although your monthly premiums will be higher as a result, you won’t be responsible for as many out-of-pocket expenses if you end up having to spend time in the hospital.
Be aware that if you switch from paying a larger excess to paying a lower or no excess, you will be required to serve a 12-month waiting period. During this time, you will still be covered, but you will be responsible for paying the higher excess.
Health funds that waive the excess for day surgery
There are some health funds out there (well, private health insurance policies) that does not impose an excess payments on individuals who undergo same-day procedures, such as cataract removal. This is an important question to ask when you’re doing your private health insurance comparison.
Should you just forget private health insurance and cancel your policy?
In spite of the fact that public hospitals in Australia offer world-class medical care to patients who are suffering from serious or life-threatening illnesses, patients who require elective surgery such as cataract removal or hip and knee replacements may have to wait a very long time. This is why if you have private health insurance and are able to pay for it, it’s a good idea to continue it. Of course, you might be able to get a better deal by comparing health insurance providers and doing a health insurance comparison, Australia!
Think about the below when thinking about
- Australians aged 60–79 use their private health insurance hospital cover more compared than any other age group.
- When you reach 65, you become eligible for a larger rebate, which is the amount the government provides as a contribution towards the reduction of your premiums. You will go from receiving a rebate of 24.6% to receiving a rebate of 28.7% if you are a single person earning up to $90,000 or a couple or family earning up to $180,000.
- Benefits are extended to couples and families when one member of a family or a couple reaches the age of 65 since the government rebate is then applied to the entire family or couples policy.
You have the option, however, of cancelling your additional coverage and paying for the services (dental, optical, physiotherapy, etc.) out of your own pocket. Our research indicates that the annual additional premium for a single person in Australia is approximately $630, whereas the typical benefit (the amount of cash you will receive back from your provider) is only $435.
Extras cover is something you should consider getting if you struggle with budgeting and would rather make a monthly payment to an insurer than shell out hundreds of dollars all at once for a significant dental expense. However, you should be aware that it’s possible you’ll end up spending more than you’ll ever get back.
Because of this, Billy Explores recommends you do a private health insurance comparison and compare health insurance by researching prices from different providers offering hospital and extras coverage separately rather than purchasing a policy that combines the two.
How to do a private health insurance comparison for seniors
So, we’ve given you a lot of things to think about if you’re a senior in Australia. Do you cancel your private health insurance policy, do you compare health insurance and find the best policy for your needs? With 1 November so close, it’s best to do a private health insurance comparison and compare health insurance Australia through Billy Explores! You can find the cheapest health insurance policy for your particular needs. Save time and effort and explore potential savings today.