Insurance is an important safety net to have in just about every facet of our daily lives. You may not realize it when you’re younger, but it’s better to get coverage just in case. You may think that as a millennial you don’t need a health insurance plan, but it doesn’t hurt to look into the options that are out there in the private health care marketplace. Let’s take a closer look at what you may want to keep an eye out for as a younger person in search of health coverage.
Private Health Coverage
While you may not be thinking about health insurance when you’re in peak health, it does provide financial cover for all or part of the cost of various health-related treatments and services. Private health insurance coverage provides beyond standard coverage that a Medicare patient may receive through community-based coverage. This acts in a similar fashion to other forms of insurance you might already have. Private health insurance plans are like auto insurance plans in that they are community-based, not risk-based.
There are two main types of health insurance policies: hospitals cover and extras cover. These can be purchased separately or combined into a single policy with your insurer. One of the greatest benefits of this coverage is the choice and flexibility that comes from being a private patient. With private coverage, you can choose your health care provider, as well as where you are treated and when you get your treatment. This keeps you from having to wait in line with fellow Medicare patients across Australia to address your needs.
Medicare vs. Private Insurance
While you are already on Medicare and may find that to be enough coverage, you may want to look into the advantages and disadvantages of Australia’s hybrid public-private health care system. Private health coverage can cover a range of treatments depending on your individual policy and provider that Medicare will not. For example, when it comes to hospital insurance, Medicare covers 75 percent of the Medicare Benefits Schedule for associated medical costs. However, a private health insurer can cover an additional chunk of those expenses for things like diagnostic tests, pharmaceuticals, and intensive care.
The flexibility of private health insurance coverage is perhaps its greatest benefit, as you have more choice in your care plan. However, there’s the added benefit of being rewarded for signing on to a private insurance policy. The Australian government will waive the Medicare Levy Surcharge for those Australians who opt for private health insurance coverage instead of Medicare. It’s seen as a thank you for putting less pressure on the public health system. It’s also a substantive leeway for those above a certain annual salary who can spring for private health coverage.
The amount of coverage that comes with your private health insurance plan will determine your annual premiums. However, it’s important when looking at your private insurance options to look out for the deductibles of the policy, as well as any exclusions and limits that may be in place. You can look into additional coverage for dental work or, for those expecting, coverage for pregnant women to take care of unexpected out-of-pocket costs.
It also doesn’t hurt to have a health insurance plan through private coverage now if you plan on growing your family. Upon marriage and the birth of your children, some private insurers will work with you to expand coverage options upon contract renewal to take care of all of your dependents as well. Additional rebates may also occur if you have been with a particular insurance company for an extended amount of time. In the end, get the coverage you need, and continue to pursue the coverage that is right for you.