Private health insurance – do I need it?

When you are healthy and rarely see a doctor, it may seem unnecessary to have private health insurance, especially as we have a public health system and Medicare. Nobody likes to think or plan that they (or their family) will get sick or have a nasty accident, but private health insurance is there to provide you with complete peace of mind should the worst happen. Private health insurance in most cases is paid monthly and you know upfront what the costs are periodically. If you don't have private health insurance though and you need treatment it may lead to significant out-of-pocket expenses which may leave you with hefty bills that need to be paid.

Bronze Hospital & Bronze Extras Set Benefits

Entry level hospital cover. Includes preventative dental and optical.
$ 20.35*
per week
Select

Bronze Hospital & Silver Extras Set Benefits

Entry level cover. Cover for a range of popular services that suit your lifestyle.
$ 24.35*
per week
Select

Silver Hospital Plus & Bronze Extras Set Benefits

Moderate cover. Includes private hospital with some exclusions. Includes cover for preventative dental.
$ 29.90*
per week
Select

Bronze Hospital & Bronze Extras Set Benefits

Entry level hospital cover. Includes preventative dental and optical.
$ 20.35*
per week
Select

Bronze Hospital & Silver Extras Set Benefits

Entry level cover. Cover for a range of popular services that suit your lifestyle.
$ 24.35*
per week
Select

Silver Hospital Plus & Bronze Extras Set Benefits

Moderate cover. Includes private hospital with some exclusions. Includes cover for preventative dental.
$ 29.90*
per week
Select

* The price shown is per week and applies to a Single living in VIC with a $500 excess. It excludes LHC loading and includes a Base Tier Government Rebate.

Choose your own extras provider.*

*With GMHBA, you have the choice to use any extras provider with professional qualifications recognised by GMHBA.

With private health insurance you also have more control over your treatment. If you what to determine the doctor/specialists that treat you and where you are treated it's best to have private health insurance. Hospital cover allows you the freedom to choose your preferred doctor and surgeon and to be treated at most hospitals Australia-wide.

With private health insurance you get access to elective surgery without needing to wait months or even years as is often the case with the public system. Private health insurance gives you peace of mind and puts the choice in your hands – so you may be able to pick the doctor, the private hospital and where available, the type of room you want.

In Australia, the public health care system, Medicare, covers many medical and hospital costs. Under the system you can be treated as a public patient, in a public hospital by a doctor appointed to the hospital. However, as a public patient you have to wait your turn. Whereas if you have private health insurance you may get your choice of doctor, and at times there may be shorter waits for elective surgery. You can even get treated in a public hospital but as a private patient with added benefits.

Ancillary or Extras cover also helps you pay for the cost of outpatient medical treatments that are not covered by Medicare. Policies cover costs such as:

  • Hospital expenses
  • Dental care
  • Glasses
  • Podiatry
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Physiotherapy
  • And lots more ...

Private Health Insurance is optional however if you do not purchase hospital cover by the 1st of July following your 31st birthday, you will pay the Lifetime Health Cover Loading on top of the premium of any hospital cover you later purchase. This amounts to a loading on the premium of 2% for every year you are over 30 so getting the best health insurance early can be your best long term option.

Some people take out hospital cover to avoid paying more tax. The Medicare Levy Surcharge is levied on payers of Australian tax who do not have private hospital cover and have a taxable income over the amount set by the Government.

So choosing the best health insurance can help put you at ease so that any unexpected eventualities will be covered and you have greater control over the medical services you receive and the timing of those services. The decision to get private health insurance can be challenging, so at GMHBA we are here to help you at every step of the way, looking at the specific needs of you and your family to help determine the best cover for you.