Author Topic: Health insurance Australia  (Read 912 times)

deborah

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Health insurance Australia
« on: June 29, 2020, 01:18:38 AM »
Iíve been thinking about our health insurance. Almost everyone seems to say that we shouldnít have it. The public system is pretty good, and it doesnít cost much if you donít want to wait. Given that weíve been retired for a long time, and donít pay much tax, the tax implications are different to what they would be for a high income worker.

What do you recommend? What do you do, and why?

Nudelkopf

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2020, 03:31:22 AM »
I'm young (29) and have no major health concerns. I spent a week in hospital last year after being hit by a car ("cycling is good for you!" they said). Zero out of pocket expenses.   My dad has early onset Parkinson's disease... without private health, they'd be fucked. So... are you healthy?

marty998

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2020, 05:43:01 AM »
I'm young (29) and have no major health concerns. I spent a week in hospital last year after being hit by a car ("cycling is good for you!" they said). Zero out of pocket expenses.   My dad has early onset Parkinson's disease... without private health, they'd be fucked. So... are you healthy?

My dad too @Nudelkopf  :(

Private Health Cover is worth its weight in gold for my parents.

Hope you're ok after that accident! Sounds terrible, so sorry to hear.

mrmoonymartian

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2020, 05:46:34 AM »
Parkinsons? They just worked out how to cure that. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2388-4

Coming soon to a private hospital near you.

ozbeach

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2020, 03:18:00 PM »
I went to the GP last Thursday for an issue that's been troubling me for a while. After checking if I had private cover she referred me to a specialist surgeon who I saw yesterday and I'm booked into hospital Friday for exploratory. Eight days from go to whoa. This one episode would have cost more than my annual premium. (Of course, I've gone many years without claiming anything, so...)


I worked with a guy years ago that had been wearing a truss for 18 months while he waited to get an umbilical hernia operated on. No thanks.


For me, the risk I'm insuring against is not so much the cost as the waiting periods. There's also the loading to consider if you opt back in to private at a later date.

Gremlin

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2020, 06:49:15 PM »
I went to the GP last Thursday for an issue that's been troubling me for a while. After checking if I had private cover she referred me to a specialist surgeon who I saw yesterday and I'm booked into hospital Friday for exploratory. Eight days from go to whoa. This one episode would have cost more than my annual premium. (Of course, I've gone many years without claiming anything, so...)


I worked with a guy years ago that had been wearing a truss for 18 months while he waited to get an umbilical hernia operated on. No thanks.


For me, the risk I'm insuring against is not so much the cost as the waiting periods. There's also the loading to consider if you opt back in to private at a later date.

This!

FIRE is about enabling me to live my best life.  I don't know how many more sunrises I'll see, but spending a disproportionate number of them on a public hospital waiting list is not that.  Private health cover is a must for me and is in my FIRE budget without a doubt.

mjr

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2020, 08:22:02 PM »
Don't forget you don't need to have PHI in order to use a private hospital.

The calculation you need to be doing is whether or not you'll be ahead of the game in saved premiums even if you have to pay once or twice in your life when the public system doesn;t suit your needs.

deborah

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2020, 12:27:54 AM »
This is very odd! I was expecting everyone not to have health insurance, and to advise me against it. I was talking to a financial advisor the other day, and he advised against it, yet the MMMs are advising for it!

mrmoonymartian

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2020, 02:14:29 AM »
Will it increase your happiness compared to whatever else you could do with the money? If so, then it's mustachian-approved.

It's really no different to coke and hookers.

marty998

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2020, 04:12:59 AM »
Will it increase your happiness compared to whatever else you could do with the money? If so, then it's mustachian-approved.

It's really no different to coke and hookers.

Paying bills will not ever increase my happiness.

Funny thing is cocaine and hookers wouldn't increase my happiness either.

mrmoonymartian

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2020, 08:59:26 AM »
Will it increase your happiness compared to whatever else you could do with the money? If so, then it's mustachian-approved.

It's really no different to coke and hookers.

Paying bills will not ever increase my happiness.

Funny thing is cocaine and hookers wouldn't increase my happiness either.

It's a metaphor for any kind of drugs and prostitutes you're into. Whatever gives your zeppelin buoyancy.

TassieFI

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2020, 05:16:40 PM »
I think the other important thing to take into consideration is where you live and your access to private hospitals.  Where I live itís not worth the money to have private cover, and I find the cost of private cover for what you get in return to not be worth it, especially as we donít need it for tax reasons.  Instead we have an automatic monthly deduction and it goes into a dedicated ďhealth accountĒ which we will use either for buying cover once we are older and deem it to potentially be of value, or for using it to cover treatment that we donít want to wait for in the public system.  My husband was diagnosed with cancer 7 years ago (when we did have basic private cover) and it was of zero benefit and he was treated quickly in the public system.  That was definitely a bit of an aha moment for sure.

Being from Canada originally and only moving to Australia 10 years ago, I find the health system here extremely expensive for everyone (I work in it as well), and very poor value for money spent both in tax dollars and private health cover premiums and out of pocket gap coverage.  I realise Iím totally biased coming from a system where health is a basic right (Canada), to one where itís definitely more of a privilege (and out of pocket costs extremely dependent on whether you live regionally or a large center).  Canadaís system is by no means perfect, but I do believe the system here could be a lot more equitable, if there was the political will to change it.

marty998

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2020, 08:28:26 PM »
Will it increase your happiness compared to whatever else you could do with the money? If so, then it's mustachian-approved.

It's really no different to coke and hookers.

Paying bills will not ever increase my happiness.

Funny thing is cocaine and hookers wouldn't increase my happiness either.

It's a metaphor for any kind of drugs and prostitutes you're into. Whatever gives your zeppelin buoyancy.

Yeah I know... itís that old George Best quote too.

I just found it a little interesting that I have not the slightest desire for either of those.

Now I feel old.

alsoknownasDean

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2020, 02:14:52 AM »
Theoretically if you're able to pay upfront to get anything done rather than join the public queue, then maybe it's worthwhile.

But I've still got private insurance, even though it's a fairly basic level cover for hospital and extras.

Now the extras, that's where I could probably get by without, but the price difference between hospital only and basic hospital and extras is minimal.

happy

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2020, 02:49:02 AM »
I have private health insurance and intend to keep it. If I was in my twenties again I would self insure by saving and investing the premium each year. It really depends on where you live, what resources are available to you and what you want to insure for. There are a wide range of serious illnesses that can be treated in the public health system perfectly well, that are generally NOT treated or not treated WELL  in private hospitals, and if you are insured and in a public hospital it makes not one jot of difference by and large.  That being said being a in a public hospital is like being on a bus...it will reliably get you there in the end, but you won't go the most direct route and there will be stops and starts along the way.

That being said elective and even urgent surgery sometimes, can be treated well and quickly in the private system in comparison to the public. Although I'm pretty healthy, and without going into details ( secret women's business) I've had 6 surgeries, 3 of them urgent in the private system. And probably as many day only minor procedures. Access in the public system would have taken forever.

If you have a large comprehensive private hospital nearby, then you will get better value for money than if you don't. My parents used one in Sydney that had an emergency department and this was invaluable over the years and a vastly more pleasant experience than public hospital EDs. Again if you have a large comprehensive private cancer centre you can access this will be useful, but public cancer centres are also pretty good.

I have bad teeth and bad eyes, so generally break even on my extras cover without anything else. Throw in a couple of ambulance trips and some physiotherapy in recent years and I'm not losing.

However  its not a clearcut question and many folks are happy not being insured and I wouldn't argue with this either.

Model96

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2020, 07:48:14 AM »
I never bought into private health insurance, and am way ahead financially because of it.
Surgeries that we have needed were either covered totally by the public system, or paid up front by us for private hospital and then mostly reimbursed by the public system anyway. Doctors have always seemed flabbergasted when we have said we don't want to wait for elective surgery and we will pay cash for private hospital to beat any public hospital waiting period.....and in the end 80% of costs have been refunded by medicare!
In fact what I have seen over the years leads me to believe that Australian private health insurance in the Medicare era is a massive rort and little else. And doctors and dentists etc are just as bad as mechanics and other repairmen when it comes to overservicing and outright fraud for financial gain from trusting customers.....

TassieFI

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2020, 05:15:45 PM »
I never bought into private health insurance, and am way ahead financially because of it.
Surgeries that we have needed were either covered totally by the public system, or paid up front by us for private hospital and then mostly reimbursed by the public system anyway. Doctors have always seemed flabbergasted when we have said we don't want to wait for elective surgery and we will pay cash for private hospital to beat any public hospital waiting period.....and in the end 80% of costs have been refunded by medicare!
In fact what I have seen over the years leads me to believe that Australian private health insurance in the Medicare era is a massive rort and little else. And doctors and dentists etc are just as bad as mechanics and other repairmen when it comes to overservicing and outright fraud for financial gain from trusting customers.....

+1

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Health insurance Australia
« Reply #17 on: Today at 06:50:37 AM »
PHI is not worth it unless you're having to pay the surcharge.

I pay $1500 a year for pretty basic cover. I get about $250 a year worth of "value" out of it in the form of extras and dental. So really I'm losing $1250 compounded each year. Run that over 10 or 20 years and compound it and it easily pays for the cost of an operation.

Mind you, a lot of surgeries can be had through the public system anyway - you just have to know how to navigate the system of referrals. A lot of private surgeons do operations in public hospitals.