When you are fit and healthy, the last thing you think about is what would happen to you if you ever suffered an injury or illness.
But you can never be too careful and ensuring your medical expenses are covered when you are healthy will save you a lot of stress worrying about it if the time ever comes.
Australia’s healthcare system, Medicare, covers many healthcare costs but Aussies are also given the opportunity to purchase private health insurance.
Your need for private health care cover will depend on many things such as your medical history and health, your current lifestyle and future plans, your individual and family needs and your budget.
Medicare vs Private Health Insurance
Medicare covers you for basic and emergency medical care. It allows you to received medical treatment in a public hospital free of charge, reimburses you for GP consultations and visits, pays for eye tests and will even cover most of the cost of prescription medication under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
However, there might be some aspects of your health that are of concern to you and any help with these concerns isn’t covered by Medicare. That is when you should seek Private Health Insurance.
Private Health Insurance gives you access to Private Hospitals as well as Public. It allows you to choose your own doctor and will generally get you into hospital sooner for elective or non-urgent treatment.
Private Health Care also comes with an option for extras which will cover most of the costs for things like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, chiropractic services, podiatry or psychology services, acupuncture, dental, hearing aids and glasses or contact lenses.
In many States and Territories, you will also need to purchase Ambulance cover through a Private Health Insurer.
Selecting the right cover for you
Before you start looking around for Private Health Insurance you should write down what you need from your cover.
Do you need reading glasses?
Do you need a lot of dental work done?
Do you regularly visit a physio therapist?
Would you rather visit a naturopath then a doctor?
Do you have underlying medical conditions that require you to go to the hospital?
Are you planning on falling pregnant?
These are all questions which will help you find the best cover available. You also need to know how much you can afford to spend on Private Health Insurance each month.
Things to keep in mind
Although you are paying for Private Health Insurance, you could still face some out of pocket expenses down the track.
Know exactly what you are purchasing before signing the dotted line and review your policy inside and out.
That way if you are ever faced with an emergency, you will know how much extra you will need.