Do I Even Need Health Insurance?
So it’s the age old question. If you’re young and healthy, do you really need health insurance? You may just want the cheapest private health cover to avoid extra tax and the life-time cover loadings. Or perhaps you’re planning to start a family soon and want to make sure you’re covered for private treatment. Then there’s extras – is it all really worth it? Well, you’re luck as Billy Explores is here to help you! Then he will also be able to help you compare health insurance options through our policy of providers!
Billy knows that private health insurance comes with an awful lot of questions, so he’s here to help you find answers, and then help you compare health insurance to make the right choice for you.
I’m Young and Healthy? Do I Need Health Insurance At All?
If you’re young and healthy, and not planning a family anytime soon, you might decide you don’t actually need private health insurance for both hospital and extras cover. But you can’t forget about the tax man, and the tax surrounding private health insurance in Australia.
Many young people actually will find there’s a tax benefit for them having it!
Beware The Marketing!
Great work! You’ve decided that getting a private health insurance policy is worth it – just be careful to believe all the hype and marketing and choose a policy that’s being marketed to healthy young people.
There are many health funds that advertise policies with a very low cover to young singles and couples. This is because young people are most likely to want health insurance not so much for the cover but to avoid paying extra tax. To help you out with this tax topics – we’ve got all the information on the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS), and to avoid the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading which comes into effect after you turn 31.
Billy Explores recommends against these policies, which are now termed as Basic cover (the lowest type of health cover beneath Bronze, Silver and Gold), as they’re often poor value.
These policies don’t usually cover treatments in private hospital for the most common serious diseases such as cancer, stroke or heart disease, and won’t give you access to private rehabilitation facilities in case of an accident, or private psychiatric facilities in case of mental illness.
Any cover the Basic policies do provide is often of questionable value. For example, accident cover can expire before treatments are finished. It’s best if you’re serious about buying a health insurance policy to compare health insurance polices and providers through Billy Explores.
Should I Get Insurance To Avoid The Lifetime Health Cover Loading?
If you take out hospital cover after you’re 31, or if you have any long gaps between cover, you’ll have to pay the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading on top of your health insurance premium. That means a lot of extra dollars out of your back pocket.
How much will that be? Well, if you’re taking out hospital cover for the first time after you turn 31, you’ll pay an extra 2% on your premiums for every year you waited.
If you never get private health insurance, the LHC loading will never affect you.
It’s better to think it through though, and crunch some numbers to figure and if you’re probably better off paying the loading later when you really want insurance, instead of buying insurance you don’t want right now just to reduce your bill later on.
Keep in mind that getting extras cover (dental, optical, physio etc.) won’t help you avoid the LHC loading.
Can I Get A Discount On My Health Insurance Because I’m Young?
In an effort to bring in young people, some health funds are offering discounts to new customers who sign up before they turn 30.
You can get 2% off your premium for every year you’re below 30, up to a maximum of 10% for people aged 18–25. If you stay on that policy, you’ll keep getting the full discount until you turn 41. With some funds you can even keep it when you switch cover.
Check with your provider or ask when you’re comparing policies what discounts might apply for your age, but keep in mind you may find a suitable policy that’s still cheaper than one with a discount.
Should I Get A Private Health Insurance Policy That Includes Pregnancy?
If you’re planning a family and want to have private health cover for birth-related services, you need to get Gold hospital insurance at least 12 months before giving birth (this is to make sure you’ve served the 12-month waiting period before you can use the cover).
Once you’re pregnant, check with your health fund on when to upgrade to a family policy if you want your baby to have private health cover from birth. You generally need to have a family policy 1–3 months before they’re born, but some health funds require up to 12 months.
I Play a Lot of Sport – Do I Need Health Insurance?
Yes, we would definitely recommend buying a private health insurance policy if you play a lot of sport. You never know when or how you might be injured, and Medicare doesn’t normally count sport-related injuries as emergency surgery. This means you could be waiting months in the public system for surgery. Also, you might be more inclined to use extras cover inclusions.
Is Extras Cover Worth It?
Obviously extras cover will give you some money back on things like dental, optical or physiotherapy, but many people pay more for extras cover than they receive in benefits. This also means you might be better off downgrading or dropping it altogether.
One thing to remember when you’re deciding is that unlike hospital insurance, extras cover has no bearing on the Medicare Levy Surcharge or the Lifetime Health Cover loading. This means that extras cover has no tax benefits for you.
Once you have children, though, extras insurance can be good value as kids are usually insured for free. Some funds also offer them no-gap cover for services such as dental, so this can be a great saving. We’ll explore do children need health insurance later.
You need to work out whether you’re going to get value from your extras cover and if you really need it. Another option of course is to compare health insurance extras cover through Billy Explores, and you can save time and effort exploring a better deal from our panel of health insurance providers.
Compare Health Insurance Policies Today
So – you’re ready to go and compare health insurance! Yay for you! This is where Billy Explores will be of even more help. You can save time and effort and explore potential savings or the best value health insurance policy for you through Billy Explores and our panel of providers. It’s quick, easy and even better – FREE! Compare health insurance today!