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Old Jul 10th 2017, 12:28 pm   #16
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Default Re: Health Care Insurance

There's not really any right or wrong answers regarding the desirability of taking out private health insurance, it all depends on your individual circumstances.

For me, it was well worth it. An older person in a high paying job meant that I was more likely to need hospital treatment, the Medicare surcharge would have been a whack, and I could afford the premiums. It paid off for me, as the year after I joined my health fund I had two major surgeries on my back. One was an emergency, but I was turned away from the casualty department of the public hospital because they had no beds. It was only because I had private health cover that my GP was able to contact a surgeon and have me admitted to a private hospital the same day. I hadn't slept for 60 hours as I couldn't lie down due to the pain - after the surgery the neurosurgeon told me that I'd had the largest disc herniation he'd ever seen, and it had completely knocked out a nerve root. Hence the bloody excruciating pain in my groin and thigh - and because it had been left so long I've lost all feeling down that thigh.

My circumstances weren't always like that, when I was younger I didn't have two cents to rub together and relied on Medicare. My last child was born with a severe disability, and her care under Medicare has always been fantastic. I've had to push a couple of times for appointments, but all in all I don't think she would have got better care anywhere.

I would say that Medicare's fantastic for admittance to hospital following an accident, a life-threatening emergency or serious illness. It also works well for people whose local public hospital generally has the capacity to take new patients, and many of them do. But there are some areas where public hospitals are regularly overwhelmed and people need to wait for elective surgery.

If the peripheral things are important to you, such as a same sex shared ward or a private room, or choosing your own specialist/surgeon, or not waiting until an appointment is available are important to you, then private health cover might be worth considering. I also think private is good for older people - my Mum's had bowel cancer and she's supposed to have a colonoscopy every 12 months. Despite regular pushing by her GP, she'd waited just over two years for the last one, so we all clubbed together and she had it done privately.

As I say, different strokes for different folks and there are no right answers. Your finances, your state of health, the availability of care in your region and your age are all factors in making the right decision for you and your family.
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Old Jul 12th 2017, 12:20 am   #17
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Default Re: Health Care Insurance

Agree with the last post. In my case, I'm planning to do a Cochlear Implant in both ears for the next year and for that I'm paying Private Health Insurance.
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Old Aug 3rd 2017, 1:58 am   #18
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Default Re: Health Care Insurance

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Originally Posted by spuddyo View Post
Stick the monthly premiums in a bank account and forget about it for a rainy day, its a gamble but so is insurance. At least you hold the bank that way.
This is my advice too. Oz health insurance is a scam and doesn't cover you for anywhere near the cost of treatment like a UK policy does. The only advantage seems to be you can go to a private hospital instead of one full of plebs. But as everyone here has private health insurance the private hospitals too are full of people!

You can tell something is poor value and a scam when a government has to penalise you via tax for not having it.

Pay the tax hit for not having it and and put some aside for a rainy day. Better that than pay for something that leaves you more out of pocket than you would be for not having it.
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Old Aug 4th 2017, 2:09 am   #19
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Default Re: Health Care Insurance

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Originally Posted by rammygirl View Post
With private you should get it quicker and be able to choose your surgeon but may well have to pay out extra that insurance doesn't cover.

Basically Medicare is similar to the NHS. In the U.K. We did not have private insurance but had savings that allowed us to go private when we wished. We do the same here, have our own private fund.

Much will depend on your own personal circumstances and earnings.

You will have 12 months after arriving to decide, after which you may find it will cost much more depending on yo ur age.

When I consider how much we would have had to pay in premiums, we are well up on the deal here after 3 and a half years. We have had physiotherapy , dental work, scans and other bits and pieces. Still cost us less than premiums would have, plus we may well have had gap to pay!

If you are higher earners then it makes more sense, but to be honest to avoid big gaps you need expensive cover.

I have some friends that swear by private and use it to the hilt ( often more than really necessary) and others that have never had private and manage just fine, paying for the odd thing.

One thing to note is that ambulance cover can be worth getting in most states as they are not free!
Who was the provider you used?
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Old Aug 4th 2017, 6:55 am   #20
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Default Re: Health Care Insurance

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Originally Posted by Robbo25 View Post
Who was the provider you used?
We didn't. That was my point. We have no private health insurance. We have a budget for it as we have savings we can use. We have never spent that and we set the budget at less than premiums would have cost.

You can pay your premiums into your own savings fund and then if you don't use them you still have the cash.

In the U.K. Some companies had set up their own health funds which employees and or employers paid into, but if they didn't use it they got a refund. Also acts as an incentive to stay healthy which was also supported by healthy food offers and a free gym. They were fed up of bupa and co putting up premiums for employer schemes and this meant they could still provide cover cheaper with full control over the funds. I forget the name of the company that set up the schemes for employers but it was a neat idea.
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