Private Health Insurance – page 2/2 – benefits
4. Choice. Members can choose their preferred doctor / specialist / surgeon.
5. Little ‘luxuries’. Private cover often contributes to the extra cost of single rooms, private bathrooms and sometimes even TVs.
6. Extras. These vary from policy to policy but usually include dental (note above), optometry, physiotherapy, remedial massage, chiropractic, and sometimes even gym memberships and some alternative therapies.
7. Avoiding the Medicare Levy Surcharge. This is charged to singles earning over $90,000 per year or couples earning over $180,000 per year, and starts at 1% of total annual income including fringe benefits and superannuation contributions (increasing to 1.5%). As 1% of $90,000 is $900, which is enough for basic hospital cover, the choice for those on higher incomes is clear.
8. Life Time Health Cover Loading. If you’re approaching 30 years of age, give special thought to taking out private cover. Under Lifetime Health Loading, funds are required to levy a loading on top of the basic premium, based on the age at which a member first purchases cover.
The loading adds 2 per cent for each year the member’s age is above 30 yrs when they first take out hospital cover. The loading is applied for the first 10 years of membership. For example, someone who first takes out cover at age 40 will pay an additional 20 per cent (40yrs-30yrs = 10yrs x 2% = 20%) premium for 10 years.
If you are considering taking out private health cover, have a look at choosing the right level of health cover.
MORE AND MORE OF US ARE GOING PRIVATE
Back in 1999, about a third of Australians had private health insurance, but the numbers have steadily increased since then.
Now, just under half of us have private hospital cover (47.3% according to the latest figures*) and just over half have private extras, or ‘ancillary’ cover (55.6%).
* As of March 2015 according to the Private Health Insurance Administration Council.
Want a helping hand?…
We want to help (we know how hard it is). Take a few minutes to complete our survey and go in the draw to win $1,000!