2012 is looking to be an interesting and perhaps even exciting year for Australian health care. There are many options available for excellent health care and many health funds competing for your dollars, upping the quality and bringing it within reach of Australians who want a superior health experience.
Private Health Insurance Rebate
Although debate continues to stir regarding the government Private Health Insurance Rebate, you can still cash in on this rebate. This is a tremendous incentive for Australians to purchase policies from private health funds. The government will give back a full 30% of the cost of health fund membership for those who take one out. For anyone that can afford it, taking advantage of the government rebate allows you to get high quality care without spending too much.
Medicare offers an adequate level of coverage for someone who doesn’t make a lot of use of the heath care system. However, public health insurance is lacking for a high percentage of the population, especially for those who want extra coverage in niche areas such as dentistry, reconstructive surgery or infertility. People that don’t opt for private coverage may be hit for large sums of money if a serious medical problem arises and the public health system doesn’t cover it.
In addition, even for those who require only minor services, having access to private doctors and hospitals affords them the ability to choose their preferred providers and care. When you factor in the 30% rebate mentioned earlier, private health care becomes a more affordable way to get peace of mind about treatment costs.
The Medicare levy is a fact of life for Australians who earn a living. Although the one percent deducted from their incomes is not within their control, it allows them to take advantage of a highly sophisticated public system that gives all citizens access to health care that would otherwise be prohibitive for many people.
In addition to the levy, there is a 1.5% surcharge added on for people who opt not to register for private health insurance. This, in addition to the private health insurance rebate, is to stimulate more people to purchase private health policies. Why pay the extra surcharge when instead, you can purchase a health policy that provides takes care of your financial obligations in your moment of need?
Obviously, it’s not quite that simple and each person must come to their own decisions about what fits into their budget. The government, however, is certainly encouraging the use of private health funds, and it is trying to meet the needs of all Australians while keeping budgetary constraints in mind.
Health Insurance Comparison
Still not sure if private health insurance is right for you? To evaluate your options and get the best sense of what’s available, compare health insurance funds. Each fund offers a unique package of products and services that suit different customer needs. Often they can be customized, so if you don’t see exactly what you want, you can perhaps still get it by asking the insurer to prepare a custom package.
To properly assess each fund, you can find a lot of information online. Most insurers are proactive about recruiting new consumers and provide a wealth of information about their products and services. They also have telephone representatives available to answer your questions and market the health fund services to potential customers. As more Australians are being courted to purchase private health care, funds are in heavy competition to attract them as customers, and are providing better services and competitive pricing to entice them to join.
Switch as Necessary
If you already have a private health policy, review and reconsider. Since funds are actively recruiting new customers, they are constantly improving their offerings and pricing. What was a good deal last year may have been outdone by much better ones in 2012. Compare health insurance funds to find out what’s being offered this year and if your current policy matches the advantages of other available funds.