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Should You Get Private Medical Insurance in Australia?

Getting sick can really put a drain in your pocket. Hospital stays, doctor consultations, medication, and therapy will cost a significant amount of money, which is why aside from avoiding getting sick, getting medical insurance is a must.

While those who are young or who are health buffs can easily say that they do not need insurance or, at worst, that these things are nothing more than a scam, data shows that you will be able to save a lot of money in the long run if and when you do get sick.

Australia has one of the best universal health care systems in the world, even better than other countries like Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States can offer.

Medicare, the public healthcare system of the country, as well as the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, are available to all Australian citizens or permanent visa residents, and these are paid for through your taxes. Still, you may find that these benefits are lacking, which is why you may opt to get private coverage on top of this.

Here are the reasons for why you should be getting private medical insurance in Australia, regardless of your age, health, or social standing.

Your Salary is Too High

While public health care is available in Australia, the government actually encourages its residents to get additional coverage. In order to do so, the country imposes a Medicare Levy Surcharge, where in additional taxes will be imposed on individuals that earn a certain amount but do not own a satisfactory private health insurance coverage based on your earnings.

Those who earn more than 90,000 dollars a year may spend up to 1.5% of your income as additional charges on top of your usual contributions as part of the Medicare Levy Surcharge. As such, it would be much better to get additional insurance rather than pay for these additional taxes.

You Want Top Priority

Waiting around in a line can be a pain, especially if you want to get treated quickly. If you want to skip the queue of public health care, then it would be much better to have private coverage so that you do not have to wait around for weeks or even months for your schedule.

While Australian public health care is known to be quite efficient, it is a sad reality that many are availing of these services. With private coverage, you can jump ahead of the line and pick hospitals and doctors that can look at your more or less at your convenience and not the other way around.

You Are Getting Older

While you may think that you would not need medical coverage at the age of 30, this is actually a good time to get covered. In fact, the earlier you purchase private insurance, the better.

Upon reaching 31, premiums will get more expensive for each year that you are not covered. In some cases, this can reach as much as 2% every year. Of course, you should check both your physical health and your needs as covered by your insurance of choice. In this case, not being able to maximize your yearly insurance coverage may prove to be a valid reason to not get insured in the first place.

You Want More Options

As great as Medicare is, not all types of treatments and services are covered. Ambulances, for one, are typically not covered, and so are home nursing and some elective surgeries like non-essential cosmetic treatments or non-basic dental services.

Public health care is also limited to public hospitals and doctors, and while it does cover general practitioner costs as well as a high percentage of specialist costs, you may find that Medicare is a bit constrictive.

Not only will private medical insurance give you more options, but you may also be eligible to get more discounts for eyewear, more advanced dental procedures, and even massages that Medicare may deem to be out of its scope.

If you would like to get treated in a private hospital with a doctor or specialist of your choice and you feel that Medicare will not cover these expenses, then private medical coverage is the way to go.

What Type of Insurance Should I Get?

Australia has dozens of accredited insurance firms that over private medical insurance to both Australians and non-residents. They are capable of offering thousands of different types of products and policies to choose from.

Costs will depend on your age, health status, as well as the amount of coverage. You may also have to shell out extra money for additional coverage such as for ambulance coverages, coverage for additional treatments, coverage for laser eye surgery, and priority service. You may choose which one suits you best based on your possible medical needs, or you can simply get one that suits your budget.

However, if the reasons above are not applicable to you, then know that Australia’s public health care system is, under regular circumstances, more than enough to meet your medical needs. All you need to do is sign up for Medicare and get your card, and you will already be covered. You may check the Australian government’s website for information on what Medicare is all about, who is covered, and how to enroll.

Conclusion

While Australia’s public health care system is quite appealing, it would not hurt to get additional coverage. In some cases, this can even help you get more savings, especially when you are sick or simply taking advantage of your coverage by availing of products and services that can help improve and maintain your health.

Getting additional coverage by getting your own private medical insurance can be a very big decision, but being able to shop around for the best one and being able to use it to your advantage can really be a great way to get some savings in the long run.

In any case, ensure that you still have savings tucked away as both Medicare and private coverage may not cover anything and everything, and having a rainy day fund will ensure that both your health and financial status will remain in good standing even in cases of medical emergency.

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