Having a health insurance plan is a crucial safety net for anyone to have. While you may be able to attain coverage through private health insurance provided by your employer, self-employed Australians may be left searching for other options that are out there for health insurance coverage. There are a few things for a patient of any age to figure out about their health plan to make sure they are getting the best bang for their buck with the proper protection from injuries and ailments.
Medicare and Public Healthcare
As an Australian resident, you should have public health coverage via Medicare. This allows access to an insurance plan, but puts significant limits on preventive care through primary care providers, and the hospitals and clinics you may be able to utilize through your health coverage. However, some patients want more comprehensive coverage for themselves and their loved ones within their budget. Private hospital cover gives you the choice of the doctors and hospitals you wish to utilize, even when you want to see anyone in a provider directory for an appointment.
While the federal marketplace may be tempting based on access, policyholders feel more at ease sometimes knowing they aren’t forced to wait in line for appointments. That’s why the Australian government implemented initiatives, like the private health insurance rebate and waiving the Medicare Levy Surcharge, to encourage patients to find the best fit in private health insurance coverage. This also alleviates pressure on the public health care system.
Factors When Choosing Coverage
Choosing a private health insurance policy may seem overwhelming, but it’s important to evaluate all terms and conditions when looking for the best health insurance for your situation. It’s important to assess things where they are right now, and where they may be in the future. Be sure to consider the level of insurance coverage you may be seeking, particularly if you have a pre-existing condition. You’ll want to make sure you can access medical services through your primary care physician as well as a network doctor who can help you with your treatment plan.
If you’re turning 31, you need to be wary of the Lifetime Health Cover, or LHC. This is a 2% loading that is applied to private hospital policies from July 1st following your 31st birthday. This increases by 2% annually if you don’t have private cover. That means if you put off getting a private health insurance policy until you’re 40, you could be paying an additional 18% in health insurance expenses. To avoid the LHC, you might consider a basic medical plan with a lower monthly premium that you can update later on for additional benefits.
What’s important to you?
No matter what part of the country you’re in, you may want to consider your medical facilities and your plans for the future in figuring out private health insurance options. If you’re operating a small business, you may want a plan that makes it affordable for you and your employees to have a proper safety net for essential benefits, including mental health care. Be sure to assess total costs monthly for coverage, as well as annual as a business operator.
If you are looking to expand your family, be sure to consider options for a family insurance plan within the health care marketplace to understand the out-of-pocket maximums certain policies require, as well as the deductible that may come with a particular level of coverage. While Medicare provides a safety net, be sure to explore what a private health insurance company may have to offer for the long run. After all, your health and the health of your loved ones should always be a priority.