For many of us, private health insurance is worth obtaining, especially given in most circumstances it costs around about the same price as the Medicare levy. However expensive health insurance does not necessarily guarantee a quality (or suitable) insurance policy, so here are a few things to keep an eye out for when considering private health insurance.
Traditionally, private health insurance to a lot of us meant having your choice of doctor, independent rooms in private hospitals and skipping the queue for elective surgery. However as insurers become increasingly savvy, various and continually changing exclusions within policies means a lot of the benefits you may expect to accompany your private health policy may actually be missing.
The most important step you need to take, well before any in-depth comparison between the array of policies available on the market, is to figure out exactly what you require from your policy. Your age, number of dependants, number of assets and liabilities, income and of course your health are all salient factors to think about before window shopping for your insurance.
Rather than comparing the similarities and differences between the various policies out there, the best place to start is to consider the extent to which a particular policy matches the underlying needs of you and your family. The next big question is how much cover is enough for you?
The answer to this question is never straight-forward because it depends on a number of key variables, many the same as those used to consider what policy you need in the first place. Insurers today use a number of convoluted algorithms and mathematical equations to calculate and justify the level of cover you need. Inputs such as your age, occupation and any pre-dispositions or pre-existing conditions you may have will contribute to the level of cover you are recommended and the cost that comes with it. Other factors include the fund and specific policy you select, your family group and where you live.
While it is really important for you to pay attention to what your policy excludes, it is equally important to look at what it DOES include. For example, if you are young and active, you may not need to pay for pregnancy cover, but you may want to have extras such as physiotherapy included in your cover.
Or, if you have perfect vision, you shouldn’t be paying for vision care as one of your extras. This may seem like common sense but you’d be surprised just how many people are paying for cover they do not need and missing out on extras they might need. In the 2018 Financial Year alone, Australians paid $4 billion more in private health insurance premiums than they got back in benefits.
So whether you are considering acquiring private health insurance or your existing policy needs review, it is really important that you consider your specific needs not only now but into the future to ensure your policy is suitable to you. If you would like to discuss private health insurance with the team at Wealth Depot, give us a call or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be pleased to help.