Since the COVID-19 outbreak, people are increasingly taking charge of their health. The best way to ensure you have access to quality care is to carry health insurance. Australia has a renowned health system that provides quality, safe, and affordable patient care. The country has a Medicare and public hospital system that provides Australians with free or low-cost access to key health care services. Many Australians also choose to have a private health insurance policy which gives them the choice of providers outside of the public system.
Everyone Has Access To Medicare.
Australia’s health care scheme consists of three main parts: medical services, public hospitals, and medicines. Citizens of Australia and New Zealand, permanent residents in Australia, and those from countries with reciprocal agreements all qualify for Medicare. Medicare covers patients for the cost of all public hospital services, as well as some or all of the costs of other health services. This includes treatments from general practitioners, medical specialists, and community nurses, as well as physiotherapy and basic dental care for children. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme of Medicare provides financial assistance for some prescription medications.
What Is Private Health Insurance?
Having a private health insurance policy in Australia gives you the choice of being treated in the hospital as a private patient. The private cover also helps cover health care costs that Medicare excludes. The amount of coverage and the insurance premium you pay depends on your policy. Private health insurance covers a range of health treatments, and you have the choice of extras cover. This add-on covers some or all of the costs of treatment provided by ancillary healthcare providers, like dental care and optical services.
Private insurance gives you the choice of being an unrestricted or restricted patient. Unrestricted means you’re treated as a private patient in a private hospital, whereas restricted means you’re treated as a private patient in a public hospital. Restricted patients enjoy their choice of health care providers, but they can’t always choose the health centers or skip waiting lists for services.
It’s never too late to sign up for a private health insurance policy. As you get older, it’s important to stay on top of regular health care and have access to trusted doctors. It’s a good idea to get regular dental and optical exams in your 30s. Taking out extras insurance will help cover the costs of services including dental treatment, glasses and contact lenses, chiropractic treatment, hearing aids and audiology, diet and nutrition, and psychology.
Australians can get a list of health funds and answers to all of their questions about health insurance at iSelect.com.au. The trusted comparison site explains all you need to know about health insurance waiting periods, hospital and extras cover, the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS), family health insurance, dental cover, and how to switch your health fund. It’s always a good idea to review your policy annually to ensure you have sufficient coverage for your needs.
Private Health Insurance Has Many Advantages.
Most private health insurance covers or provides financial assistance for treatment in public or private hospitals as a private patient. It also covers health services that are excluded by Medicare, such as physiotherapy, dental, and optical. There is the possibility that private insurance gets you faster access to some hospital services.
Taking out private health insurance means you may be exempt from paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS). Australians who don’t have private hospital cover or who earn income over a certain level are subject to paying up to 1.5 percent of their taxable income. Patients with private health insurance are entitled to a private health insurance rebate from the government. You must have a private insurance policy that has hospital cover, extras cover, or both, and your income must be below a certain threshold.
Before buying private health insurance, compare policies from different providers to find the right coverage for the best price.