The following post is a guest post courtesy of HBF Health Limited Australia.
If you are planning on moving to Australia, or you have recently arrived, there are numerous factors to consider and plan for. One important thing to think about is health insurance. While there is a public Medicare system that you may be eligible for, getting private health insurance can give you more choice on the treatment you receive, and peace of mind that you and your family is covered.
Mix and Match
When you are choosing health insurance, you can choose hospital cover, extras cover or a combination of both. You can choose hospital cover from one insurer, extras from another insurer, you could get combined cover from one insurer, or you could choose to only have one type of cover.
You can also tailor your policy to suit your needs. If you are planning on starting a family, you can get pregnancy-related cover, or if you are older, you can get cover for joint replacements and other age-related conditions. If you want the best health insurance in Australia, compare all your options and choose the policy – or policies – that provide the cover you need.
Choice of Extras
When you choose extras cover, there are generally a number of options to choose from. From optical and dental, to chiropractic and alternative services. Think about the extras you and your family would benefit from, and find an extras policy that gives you want you need.
Shorter Waiting Periods
Waiting lists in the public healthcare system can be long. However, if you have private health insurance, you may have shorter waiting periods for elective surgery, and you may be able to choose your doctor. Find out more about waiting periods from your insurer before you sign up.
Private Health Care Rebate
If you sign up for private health insurance in Australia, you may be entitled to a rebate. This rebate can go towards the cost of your health insurance, reducing premium prices. The private health insurance rebate is determined by your income, and can be claimed in a number of ways. Find out more are about the rebate on the government website.
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|Medicare Levy Surcharge|
The Medicare Levy is also means-tested. Depending on your income, you will pay a certain levy to the government to help cover the costs of Medicare. However, if you have private health insurance and you meet certain criteria, your Medicare Levy may be waived.
Lifetime Health Cover Loading
Lifetime Health Cover loading is designed as an incentive to encourage Australians to buy private health insurance. Get hospital cover before July 1 following your 31st birthday and you can avoid loading. If you miss this deadline, you will pay an extra 2% on top of your premiums for every year you are over 31 when you do sign up for health insurance.
For example, a 40-year-old who signs up for health insurance for the first time will pay 20% more for their policy than a 30-year-old. Loading is capped at 70%. Migrants to Australia have one year from their Medicare registration, or until July 1 following their 31st birthday to get private health insurance and avoid loading. Again, check the government website for more info.
Peace of Mind
Private health insurance can offer you peace of mind that if something bad were to happen to you or a member of your family, your health fund could cover your treatment (depending on your cover type and level). By choosing the right health insurance policy, you can relax in the knowledge that you are covered, no matter what.