Private Health insurance over Public Health Insurance: Australia

Private Health insurance over Public Health Insurance: Australia
Private Health insurance over Public Health Insurance: Australia

What bugs you more than disturbed health?

If nothing else, the scary high costs of hospital stay do, for sure. Right?

Be it seasonal flu or something dangerous like accidents, diseases are inevitable. But this is how this living, breathing machine works!

Modern medicine is getting marvelous at its job day by day. But no great things come without cost. As per recent government reports, in 2019-20, the total financial burden in Australia due to ill health was estimated at $202.5 billion. That means an average of $7926 was spent per person, which comprises 10.2% of the total GDP. 

After this, we don’t think there would be any argument about why you should get health insurance to cover your and your beloved family’s health and wellness.

But the next argument immediately arises, public or private – which insurance to choose? Both of them offer numerous great schemes. All that can be confusing.

No worries, we’ve done the hard work, so you don’t have to! Here’s a glimpse of the main features of both insurance types. Keep reading to know who wins! 

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Public health insurance: a gift of love to the people 

The public health insurance scheme, a.k.a Medicare, is immensely popular among Australians. This offers health coverage to anyone with a Medicare card and is often free of cost for most essential treatments. 

The promises this scheme makes sound amazing, like:

  • No out-of-pocket cost for the patients.
  • Get treated by the best doctors the country offers in top public hospitals.
  • Covers many out-of-hospital necessary treatments, like specialist consultation if needed, routine GP visits, regular medications, etc. 
  • Offers services to Australian and New Zealand citizens, people holding permanent residency visas, and even tourists in some cases. 
  • Supportive therapies like rehabilitation, community nurses, and basic dental care for children are covered too. 
  • PBS (Pharmaceutical benefits scheme) is another pillar of Medicare that makes essential medicines far cheaper than their high market price. 

Private health insurance: a premium choice 

Many companies offer private health insurance schemes. These offer you treatment as a private patient, where you can choose the things you desire per your plan, like the hospital or the doctor you prefer, and you can negotiate the charges here. You can still be a patient in public hospitals while being a private insurance beneficiary. 

There are only two rules: buy the policy from a registered health insurer, and pay regular premiums to stay covered.

But, in recent times, why are so many people choosing to pay considerable amounts for private packages over the excellent public service scheme? 

To understand, let’s have a look at the benefits offered by private health insurance system:

Extra cover:

Often, most popular private insurers cover the treatments that are otherwise not covered under Medicare. For example- physiotherapy, rehabilitation, chiropractic care, osteopathy, and more. But make sure to read the documents first, to know what is in the bucket.

And at the same time, private insurers also offer all the benefits of public health services. So you won’t be missing out. 

Avoid levy:

To provide health care for all, the government has imposed a Medicare health levy surcharge that is another 1.5% of extra tax deduction from your total taxable income. This also applies to people who earn money over a certain income level and don’t have private health coverage. 

Get private health insurance to avoid this charge if the taxes are too high. 

Skip the queue: 

Like in all government schemes, public health insurance works equally for all. But, you’ll often find yourself waiting in a queue with other folks waiting for the same treatment. But what if it’s an emergency surgery or something that can have consequences if delayed? Yes, that’s when private health insurance gives you the upper hand with instant healthcare as soon as you need it. 

Get rebate:

If you get private health insurance, the Government of Australia agrees to give you a rebate, especially if you fulfill the criteria like:

  • Your income is below a certain limit
  • you have private health coverage that provides hospital stay, general treatment or both.

This rebate will be available in the form of the following:

  • Lower health insurance premium
  • An offset in the annual tax return to reduce the payable tax

So it can be safely assumed that private health insurance wins the comparison because it covers all that comes under the government scheme and more, like the loopholes and missed-out points in the Medicare facility. 

And that pretty much sums up it all. Why wait any more?

Get your insurance today! Stay safe, and stay blessed! 

Read More: Medicare Advantage Plans 2024 

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