It has been 10 years since the federal government began a series of financial motivators to encourage Australians to take out and maintain private Krankenversicherung, despite the high price that comes with it. By introducing a premium of 33 percent that makes it more expensive to buy private health insurance after age 30, and by introducing a tax — a Medicare levy — for high-income people who don’t have a private health insurance plan. These rules gave high-income individuals and those under the age of 30 an additional incentive to purchase and maintain private health care.
When comparing private insurance policies, how do you know if you will benefit from the health insurance plan you choose?
Researching healthcare options in Australia is your first step in ensuring you are getting the best value for your healthcare insurance. Regardless of how you look at it, getting private health insurance doesn’t come cheap. Data from the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (privatehealth.gov.au) shows that coverage for a family can range from $141 to $245 per month and can be as high as $413 depending on the policy and benefit level chosen. Extras like optical, dental, chiropractic and alternative therapies like acupuncture add to the price of your premium.
Less expensive policies
Buying cheaper policies can be more budget-friendly for many Australians. However, it’s important to weigh the benefits of choosing a cheaper policy if the coverage limitations will hurt you later if you or a family member is injured or ill. In order for your health insurance to be both comprehensive and affordable, it’s important that you are well informed when it comes time to compare plans. The more you know about the options available to you and your family, the better you can get coverage that meets your needs.
Purchase private health insurance
Avoiding the supplement makes getting private health insurance a sound financial decision. Consider this: If you’re a single person making more than $77,000 annually, you’ll be hit with a 1 percent tax increase if you don’t have private insurance, a valid financial reason for high earners to keep private hospital insurance. If you have a spouse and children and your total taxable income is $154,000 or more, your supplement increases by $1,500 for the second dependent child and each additional child. When comparing insurance plans, remember that there are medical policies that actually cost less than paying the one percent surcharge. Although these policies most likely won’t cover as much as other more expensive plans, they will give you the coverage you need to avoid the Medicare tax. Make sure the policy you choose is Medicare levy exempt, as not all private insurance plans are.
Avoid extra charge
We all know that avoiding a supplement is not the best reason to get private health insurance. If you or a family member is injured or ill, you have options for your treatment, making comprehensive private health insurance excellent value for money over the long term. Private health insurance ensures that public hospital waiting lists are avoided if you prefer private hospital care. Remember that you still have access to public hospitals if you prefer. With private health insurance, you have a choice.
Your health insurance also relieves you and your family of the burden of having to deal with the high costs of treatment in the event of illness or injury.
However, getting the cheapest private health insurance doesn’t give you the security that comprehensive coverage offers. When comparing insurance policies, look for the best coverage you can afford that is recommended for your life stage, and make sure you consider the needs of you and your family for coverage.
To get the most benefit from your private health insurance plan, it’s important to know what you’re paying for. The value of these benefits determines the value of maintaining your private health insurance.