Should I Get Private Health Insurance?

With the entire cost of living going up, one might be a little concerned about whether you actually do need private health insurance. I mean, what’s the point of having both Medicare and private health insurance? Before you decide to take out private health insurance, or even cancel your private health insurance policy, here’s some questions you need to ask yourself. Of course, the best way to decide is to do a private health insurance comparison through Billy Explores! It’s the easiest way to compare health insurance in Australia and make sure you’re getting the best deal for your needs. So, let’s answer these questions below (and also answer any questions about differences between Medicare and private health insurance).

Are You Happy To Rely On Medicare And The Public System?

When you get private health insurance for hospital coverage, the main benefits are that you can pick your own doctor and avoid waiting lists at public hospitals. If you go under Medicare, not private health insurance then you will more than likely have to go on a long waiting list for services.

If you have private health insurance, it usually means you won’t have to wait as long as you would in the public system. In 2019–2020, the government said that the average wait time for elective surgery in the public system was 39 days.

Most routine surgeries can be scheduled quickly, but some can take a long time. Nearly 3% of patients have been on waiting lists for more than a year.

One good thing about the public system is that it is free. Even if you have private health insurance, you may still have to pay a gap payment on top of your premiums. This will depend on the procedure and the level of coverage you have.

Another thing to remember is that hospital cover doesn’t pay for services outside of the hospital, like diagnostic images and appointments with specialists. This can quite often be done under Medicare (not private health insurance). This is where extras health insurance comes into play as well.

Would It Be Better To Pay For “Extras” Yourself?

Health insurance companies can offer “extras” coverage with a hospital policy or as it’s own policy (and you can compare extra cover health insurance by itself too).

People often use these policies to pay for glasses, dentist visits, and services like physiotherapy. Most extras plans won’t cover the full cost of these services, but they may give you a rebate for some of the cost.

The best thing to do is to think about how much you will use in extras then do an extras insurance comparison. You can easily compare extras cover in your health insurance through Billy Explores. This includes if you think you will need a lot of dental, to do a dental insurance Australia comparison.

Are You Okay With Wait Periods?

One thing to think about is that if you cancel your insurance and sign up for it again later, you may have to wait for a while.

There is normally a 12-month waiting period for pre-existing conditions and pregnancy is normal for insurance policies. 

Most of the other services, like mental health care, can be claimed after two months. After two months, you’re usually covered for most things on your policy, so it’s not necessarily a long time,” she says.

A good idea still is to think about comparing health insurance in Australia and the wit times offered by each fund.

Do You Mind Paying Extra For Lifetime Health Cover?

The Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading isn’t as scary as it sounds.

It’s basically a government fine that adds 2% to your future premiums for every year after you turn 31 that you don’t have private health insurance.

If, for example, you don’t have insurance on your 31st birthday and decide to get it 10 years later, you’ll have to pay 20% more each year.

But the loading goes back to zero after 10 years of continuous cover.

Do You Mind Paying Extra for Medicare with no Private Health Insurance?

If you make a lot of money and don’t have hospital insurance, you may have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS).

This is an extra tax that is taken out of your total income and can be anywhere from 1% to 1.5%. It starts if a single person makes $90,000 or if a family makes $180,000.

For example, if you are single and make $100,000, you would have to pay an extra $1,000 in taxes because of the MLS. Some insurance companies offer “basic” policies with very few features that might be cheaper than paying the MLS.

Are You Happy Not To Compare Health Care Providers And Use Medicare?

Okay, this one can be a big decision. Are you  happy not to be able to compare health providers and use your own provider, and simply use the health care providers Medicare gives you? This is a large difference between Medicare and Private Health Insurance. If you want to be able to compare health providers to select your own service provider, then you’re probably better going for private health insurance instead of Medicare.

Have You Thought About Comparing Health Insurance in Australia?

If you still want private health insurance or to keep your private health insurance, comparing policies could save you money. Even between policies that cover the same things, there can be a huge difference in value. The best way to compare health insurance in Australia is through Billy Explores. Not only to do just a health insurance Australia comparison for hospital cover, but also compare extras cover health insurance. It’s so easy!

What’s The Verdict – Staying With Medicare vs a Private Health Insurance Policy?

So what’s the verdict? Will you stay with Medicare or get private health insurance? Even if you think you’ll just stay with Medicare, and not get private health insurance, why not still compare health insurance in Australia? You might actually be able to get a great policy that meets your needs. To start comparing health insurance in Australia, just click here.