What Is the best health insurance and 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 feel they need to plan about falling ill or having a nasty accident, but private health insurance is there to provide you with complete peace of mind should the worst happen. The best 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 time waiting in the public sector or 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

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With the best private health insurance you also have more control over your treatment. If you what to determine the doctor/specialists that will 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 the best private health insurance you get access to elective surgery without needing to wait months or even years which may be the case with the public system. Private health insurance gives you peace of mind and puts the choice in your hands – so you can pick the doctor, the private hospital and 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 the best private health insurance you get your choice of doctor, access to a private hospital that is more comfortable than a public one and a shorter wait 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 can cover costs such as:

  • Ambulance fees
  • Dental care
  • Glasses
  • Podiatry
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Physiotherapy
  • Some non PBS Pharmaceutical costs
  • 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 to suit your needs 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 earn above a certain income. If you are an individual and earn over $88,000 or family and earn over $176,000 per year you will be charged between 1-1.5% of your income extra in tax for the 2014/15 financial year.

So choosing the best health insurance for you can help put you at ease so that any unexpected episodes will be covered and you have greater control over the medical services you receive and the timing of those services. The decision to get the best 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.