As March approaches, Australians who have private health insurance (or are interested in purchasing it) eagerly await the State of Health Fund Report, which is released annually by the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman. This report evaluates the private health insurance industry and helps citizens make an educated decision when they compare health funds.
Purpose of the State of Health Fund Report
The Australian government highly encourages people to purchase private health insurance. When enough people do, this helps to raise the level of health care in the country and increases living standards for everyone. It also keeps more people in the workforce, helping the economy and allowing for a more active society.
With enough people paying for private health care, the Medicare system is also better able to provide treatment for people who can’t afford private health care and are truly in need of a free public health care system.
To this end, the government provides various incentives to purchase private health insurance. They also put out the State of Health Fund Report to make it as easy as possible for customers to choose the best health fund for their needs, thus becoming satisfied clients and continuing to maintain and make use of private health funds.
The State of Health Fund Report addresses a variety of factors in its evaluation. Of course its writers assess the type of cover offered, such as hospital cover, extras cover and services offered. However, they also compare private health fund operation and financial management standards.
Information is obtained from the most up-to-date sources available and re-evaluated annually to stay current and accurate, as features of each fund may change from year to year. Data is gathered from independent sources to ensure impartiality, and the results are made easily understandable so that the average consumer can use them to her advantage without needing any outside help.
The report does not rate funds, and does not put them in any type of order. It also does not recommend specific funds or tell you what to avoid. It simply presents each fund and what it can do for its customers according to the various evaluations that have been conducted over the course of each year.
Private Health Insurance Comparison
Before you look into each health fund, you may want to first learn about the different factors that affect private health insurance in general, such as private health cover waiting periods, excesses, and restrictions. It’s essential to know what these terms mean and how they pertain to you before you can make a decision about which fund fits your needs.
Using the State of Health Fund Report, you can cross-check the more than thirty health funds now available for Australians. You can also use the PHIO web site, at www.phio.org.au, where you will find all the information in the report. Most of the information is general, and you’ll need to check each fund’s web site or promotional materials for more detailed information.
One method to select the right fund for you is to narrow down your options based on the information provided in the report, and then more thoroughly compare health funds that seem to be potentially good for you.