It’s one of those topics that often pops its head up around the financial new year, but for some people, it regularly plays on the mind: Is private health insurance worth it for you and your family?
Quite frankly, the system in Australia is confusing, particularly when you’re not at all familiar with how it works in terms of the government, your insurer, and your personal bottom line. So, this article is intended to demystify some aspects of private health insurance and make it easier for you to figure out whether it’s something you need, or something you can do without.
First Up – Medicare
All Australians are covered by Medicare, which we pay through via our taxes. Medicare is far from a perfect system, but most people get by on it alright. It covers most emergencies, but it is a little thin on elective procedures. Before assuming you’ll be covered for something, we recommend digging into Medicare, and actually getting a good understanding of the system. It also pays to keep in mind that the government has been making promises to reform Medicare for some time now, and you can almost guarantee that those reforms won’t necessarily make things easier for everyone.
At the moment, the big things that Medicare doesn’t cover, which you’ll probably notice as a family include:
- Ambulance services (depending on what state you are in)
- Private hospital costs
- Non-bulk billing GPs
- Most dental exams and treatments
- Most physiotherapy, including occupational, speech, eye, chiropractic, podiatry or psychology
- Glasses and contact lenses
- Hearing aids and similar appliances
- Home nursing support