If you are a family with a Health Care Card, then you get most things covered by Medicare. This is great for low income earners. The things not covered are things like dentists, optical, chiropractic , and physio services. Most health care cover considers these as essentials or extras. These are all expensive if you have no health cover. You can get all of these covered on a basic health care policy with most Australian Private Health Insurance Companies. The amount of coverage offered varies and this is where you need to do your research. Some providers will cover up to a certain amount per year which if you have a large family can be less than the per person per year amount.
Example: We will cover up to $700 per person per year or $1400 per policy. If you have 5 people on your policy you are technically only getting covered for 2.
You can get this basic cover for as little as $17 a fortnight for a family.
The next level of cover will give you all of the extras for a higher cost. You can get coverage for physio , chiro, dental, optical, major dental, prescriptions, podiatry, complimentary therapies, dietician, phycologist even for any appliances or medical aides you may need you can get a rebate on. This costs from $60 per fortnight for a family. depending on how much you spend in your family there are a range of covers that can actually help you save money.
Once you have looked at all of the out of hospital covers you move up to hospital cover. You can have just hospital or hospital and extras cover to suit your needs. Hospital covers also start from more basic coverage to more complex depending on your needs. Basic hospital for a family will start from around $80 you save on your hospital premiums by only paying for health services you feel you are likely to need, including maternity. It includes cover for your shared room costs (private room for maternity patients), theatre fees and the doctor of your choice with limited cover for IVF/ARS and psychiatric, and can exclude some types of surgery. You can then go up to the highest level of cover which includes the highest level of hospital only cover, your choice of a single or shared room, you select your doctor and hospital and you’re covered for a full range of hospital services, costs starting at $100 a fortnight for a family.
You may decide to get extras or hospital cover alone or together. Look around and find the plan that suits your needs. The government also gives a 30% tax rebate for private health cover and this can either be calculated into the cost of your payments or claimed at the end of the financial year as a tax offset. these prices have the 30% rebated deducted already and they also have a $0 excess.
Whatever you do make sure there are providers in your area for the insurance company you choose as you will get a higher rebate for an approved provider. You also need to make sure you use everything you are paying for otherwise it is not value for money and you may need to look into cutting back you plan.
Make sure you:
- Shop around
- Really think about what your family needs!
- Read the Product Disclosure Statement – cover to cover!
- Get all quotes in writing first
- Can afford the premium