“Health is better than wealth.” ―Spanish Proverb
Yes Indeed! Health is wealth they say. On the other hand, many Australian are paying unnecessary Health Insurance Premiums for the Health Care that they don't need. With Private health insurance premiums increased again this April, it's your money down the drain when you have a policy that you don't really need.
Why go private?
Australia has publicly funded universal health care insurance system, Medicare. Health care is available to all and is financed via the 2 per cent tax on our wages (the Medicare levy). Some of the benefits include access to general practitioners and public hospitals. Australians have different reasons for taking out private health insurance. For some, it makes sense financially to take out policies to avoid paying the Medicare levy surcharge. Others choose to take out policies to avoid waiting times for any elective treatment, to choose their own specialist or hospital, better food or more attractive facilities.
Finding the best policy for your specific needs is the first step:
The Australian Government website PrivateHealth.gov.au or the Choice health insurance finder are good places, to begin with. These include all registered health funds in Australia and allow you to compare what is covered in each policy.
Tips to fend away getting ripped off by health insurers:
- Take the Do I need health insurance? a health check to see if you're actually financially better off taking out a policy.
- If you already have health insurance, look at increasing your excess. Increasing excess can reduce your monthly premiums significantly. Insurers are able to offer cheaper policies with a $750 excess, up from the previous $500 maximum.
- Consider Paying your annual premium as a lump sum in the month of March to avoid the 1 April price rise.
- Find out if you can join a restricted membership health fund for your industry.
- Look at extras cover as a budgeting tool. If the benefits are less than what you're paying in premiums, it may not be worth the money.
Author: Div Acharya
About the Author: Div Acharya is a Social Media Marketing Consultant, Blogger, Digital Media Strategist.