Author Topic: Private Health Insurance - Australia  (Read 4972 times)

limeandpepper

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Private Health Insurance - Australia
« on: January 25, 2018, 12:23:50 AM »
I think it would be nice to have a general thread (i.e. this one!) discussing private health insurance in Australia? And not just in relation to tax stuff!

I found a bunch of old threads if anyone wants to refer to those:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/private-health-insurance-in-australia/
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/australian-private-health-insurance-a-mustachian-perspective/
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/value-of-health-insurance-australia/
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/does-this-aussie-need-private-health-insurance/

I'm interested to hear more about whether other people here have private health insurance or not, and whether you'll switch to getting it or quitting it in the future, and reasons why.

I'm also curious about what private health insurance basic hospital cover provides that Medicare doesn't. This is something that I have always been a bit unclear about.

limeandpepper

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2018, 12:30:19 AM »
I'll start!

Me: permanent resident (not citizen), in my 30s, below the income threshold. I have read through the old threads about private health insurance and it seems that many people think it's not worth it, so I've been reconsidering whether to keep mine. My private health insurance with basic hospital and extras cost me less than $1k/year which seems reasonable so I feel inclined to keep it, given that I get two free dental checks a year, free or discounted contact lenses and glasses, plus discounted physiotherapy and remedial massages etc. I'm sure there are pros and cons to both keeping or quitting it, I just feel like I don't know enough to navigate through it all.

TassieFI

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2018, 03:50:19 AM »
Hi there, we are in our late 40ís and are dual Canadian/Aussie citizens and have been living in Australia for the last 8 years.  We have basic hospital cover for tax reasons only and once our 19 year old daughter has her wisdom teeth out we will drop it all together as our income has declined so we donít need it for tax reasons. 

Our experience has been that it is expensive, complicated and covers virtually nothing when it comes to going into a private hospital.  Our plan is to put away the money that we would normally spend on monthly insurance premiums into a savings account to use if needed in the future.  Where we live pretty much all specialists do not bulk bill, very few GPís do and same with diagnostic services such as ultrasound, etc., so we are always paying a substantial gap not covered by Medicare. 

Luckily we are both really healthy (and do as much as we possibly can to keep it that way...lol) and when we did have a medical emergency 5 years ago (my DH had multiple clots in his lung brought on by a combination of factors, but the most significant one being an undiagnosed thyroid cancer), he was treated in the public health system for both the clots (a trip to the emergency dept) and the two ops and radiation treatment for the thyroid cancer.  Our private cover basically covered nothing with regards to the two ops and treatment.  Maybe if we were on the mainland it would be a different story, but where we are in Tassie and from my vantage point working in healthcare, from a financial and health point of view at this point in our lives, itís definitely not worth it.

marty998

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2018, 01:55:19 AM »
Oooh I was on my parents plan for my wisdom teeth too. Good idea and well worth it.


I'm also curious about what private health insurance basic hospital cover provides that Medicare doesn't. This is something that I have always been a bit unclear about.

In terms of what does provide that medicare doesn't.... you can get your own private room away from the druggies and mental cases. Again... well worth it.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2018, 02:38:48 AM »
Oooh I was on my parents plan for my wisdom teeth too. Good idea and well worth it.


I'm also curious about what private health insurance basic hospital cover provides that Medicare doesn't. This is something that I have always been a bit unclear about.

In terms of what does provide that medicare doesn't.... you can get your own private room away from the druggies and mental cases. Again... well worth it.

Unless you get admitted to a public hospital via emergency and end up stuck with the druggies and mental cases anyway.

marty998

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2018, 02:46:41 AM »
Oooh I was on my parents plan for my wisdom teeth too. Good idea and well worth it.


I'm also curious about what private health insurance basic hospital cover provides that Medicare doesn't. This is something that I have always been a bit unclear about.

In terms of what does provide that medicare doesn't.... you can get your own private room away from the druggies and mental cases. Again... well worth it.

Unless you get admitted to a public hospital via emergency and end up stuck with the druggies and mental cases anyway.

Of course... elective only :)

krustyburger

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2018, 02:53:45 PM »
Does anyone have experience with dental and private health cover?

I'm 32, earn $87K, never had private health cover.

I went to the dentist last week, at some point this year I need several small fillings and $2000 "minor surgery" (probably classed as major dental).

None of it is urgent. Should I take out private health cover and wait? What are the rebates like?

deborah

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2018, 05:19:27 PM »
I have never had Extras, because I've never thought it was worth it, so I haven't had dental covered.

I had a good provider, who covered all the bill when I went into day hospital (once for dental work, and later for colonoscopies). Each place had advised me that most cover didn't cover the total bill, so I was pleasantly surprised each time. However, that provider got swallowed up twice, and they were going to change the coverage so I moved. That said, each time I have changed providers I have read the comparison chart and decided  that the one I wanted wasn't exactly the one that came on top in comparison sites (and lately the comparison sites really don't compare very many providers).

Before I retired, it made a lot of sense to have health insurance. I'm not sure that it does now, but inertia has stopped me from working it out!

Eucalyptus

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2018, 04:38:15 AM »
Oooh I was on my parents plan for my wisdom teeth too. Good idea and well worth it.


I'm also curious about what private health insurance basic hospital cover provides that Medicare doesn't. This is something that I have always been a bit unclear about.

In terms of what does provide that medicare doesn't.... you can get your own private room away from the druggies and mental cases. Again... well worth it.

Unless you get admitted to a public hospital via emergency and end up stuck with the druggies and mental cases anyway.

Of course... elective only :)


For me, my local public hospital is literally the New Royal Adelaide Hospital. I'm 1km away. Enormous, single patient private rooms, better than most private hospitals in the state. So the point is moot :-)


I have a basic hospital and electives, mainly for tax avoidance reasons (now 33). Also kind of an old habit, always had it as a kid through my parents. Looking at it recently it really doesn't benefit me much, I don't get my money back at all for the extras. If anything, with the extras, its mainly a "Murphies Law" type thing. Also I should try sort my wisdom teeth out and some final orthodontic before i consider removing it. Oh I do get Ambualnce with it which I would definitely buy anyway locally in SA. My ex and I recently went over private health for her and our daughter, and decided to retract back to basic hospital and basic extras. Just not worth it. Often the stuff past basic is irrelevant anyway to relatively young and otherwise healthy people. Like Obesity surgery (daughter is almost 5, has a 6 pack, both her parents not far off...), hip replacements, obstetrics (sister and Aunty are midwives. Everyone unanimously agrees that public is far better in SA for having a kid...if anything is wrong/complicated, the private hospitals all send you to the Public Women's and Childrens!!!), etc. Rehabilitation...I know someone who does lower body rehab. State expert in use of robotics. She's public, works with adults. There's someone else who does it at Women's and Childrens-publci. There is an old robotic somewhere with some consultant somewhere in private but it costs a fortune, you can bet the gap on your fancy top tier private health will be thousands of$$$ short. Major trauma? Go public.


Private health is such an inefficient waste in Australia its not funny.


« Last Edit: January 29, 2018, 05:45:02 PM by Eucalyptus »

limeandpepper

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2018, 02:20:41 AM »
So interesting to hear everyone's thoughts about private health insurance so far! Thanks for giving your take on it. I'm still in two minds about it...

Does anyone have experience with dental and private health cover?

I'm 32, earn $87K, never had private health cover.

I went to the dentist last week, at some point this year I need several small fillings and $2000 "minor surgery" (probably classed as major dental).

None of it is urgent. Should I take out private health cover and wait? What are the rebates like?

I had two of my wisdom teeth taken out in Australia and... that was years ago so I don't remember much, but it was much cheaper because I had private health insurance. You'll have to check the details of different plans. I don't know if your situation might be considered a pre-existing issue and may not be covered.

The other two of my wisdom teeth were taken out in Malaysia. That was even longer ago but safe to say that dental is cheaper in Malaysia than Australia. I believe some people actually purposefully go overseas to get major dental done (I think Thailand is a popular choice), though you do have to be careful and choose a reputable facility.

Eucalyptus

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2018, 04:11:34 PM »
I thought I'd check up on vasectomys under the public system in South Aus.


Found this reddit thread. Worth a read if you want a chuckle about guys making fun about them getting the snip!


https://www.reddit.com/r/Adelaide/comments/5ydmkm/affordable_vasectomy/


The take home is that its not hard to get one done basically free if not free just by shopping around a little.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2018, 09:04:39 PM »
I thought I'd check up on vasectomys under the public system in South Aus.


Found this reddit thread. Worth a read if you want a chuckle about guys making fun about them getting the snip!


https://www.reddit.com/r/Adelaide/comments/5ydmkm/affordable_vasectomy/


The take home is that its not hard to get one done basically free if not free just by shopping around a little.



Quote
Feel free to submit a bid, if you're in the industry, or point me to your medically qualified friend, relative, overambitious dentist, etc. Anecdotes of your experience also welcome, because I don't want to hear "My mate Kev will do it for a slab of Pale Ale" if it also goes with "He's never done it before, but he's pretty handy with a 5-iron, and he'll give the beer back to your estate if you die".

I'm dying!

middo

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2018, 09:23:19 PM »
We have always had top-table private with the teachers federation.  It is one of the cheaper options, and does pay reasonably well.  We use private for most things that my wife or kids have needed doing.  We do not have extras.  We had it many years ago, but when we looked at it, it just didn't add up.  Even with the three kids having braces, we are still ahead.

One reason we have for keeping the private health insurance is a family story.  A relative had a growth that was benign, but easily operable, but because she was public, and without any means of paying herself, she went onto the wait list.  She ended up waiting 15 months for the removal, and the growth had become as large as a football, which meant a much larger operation to remove it.  She only really had the operation when the doctors started getting concerned that it was growing quickly, and may have been turning from benign to malignant.  For us, the ability to just get things sorted quickly without too much financial concern is worth it.

We pay $340 per month before any tax rebates.

limeandpepper

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2018, 09:59:40 PM »
One reason we have for keeping the private health insurance is a family story.  A relative had a growth that was benign, but easily operable, but because she was public, and without any means of paying herself, she went onto the wait list.  She ended up waiting 15 months for the removal, and the growth had become as large as a football, which meant a much larger operation to remove it.  She only really had the operation when the doctors started getting concerned that it was growing quickly, and may have been turning from benign to malignant.  For us, the ability to just get things sorted quickly without too much financial concern is worth it.

Thanks for sharing this story. That reminds me, I know of a case where someone spent a few days in bed a public hospital for something that probably could've been all done and dusted in one day.

My private cover is just basic hospital (and basic extras) so I don't think it covers much* and I'm not sure if it does anything much beyond what the public system will do. :/

*ambulance, hernia repair, removal of tonsils and appendix and wisdom teeth, joint investigations, and immediate treatment after an accident.

Fresh Bread

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2018, 10:33:48 PM »
We have top hospital cover specifically because it covers joint reconstruction as they cost $30k plus.

We still have extras even though I've worked out it's not worth it. I've been saying I'll cancel it for years.

From my experience, if you get private health you MUST find the specialist / surgeon etc that is in network. You can end up paying very little if they have a no-gap arrangement. If they aren't in your network, you may as well not have the insurance as far as specialist fees and extras go. You still get the nice private hospital for just an excess payment though :)

For example, my dental check up costs hundreds of dollars in one surgery, or $30 at the in-network one, including x-rays. I've wasted so much money not realising this.

I had an emergency op a few years ago and all private insurance got me was a few hours wait while the top guy got off the golf course. I'm still haunted by those shared bathrooms...

PS Who wishes they were an anaesthetist - $400/hr I seem to pay!

Astatine

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2018, 05:32:09 AM »
Just found this thread. Will write more when I’m on my laptop. I have Opinions, lol.


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stashgrower

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2018, 05:59:17 PM »
limeandpepper, I'm in a similar situation (except I'm a citizen). I have often wondered whether to opt out of private, and instead pay out of pocket for extras and put aside savings for other. I did my calcs for annual extras and regular foreseeable expenses. For me it's cheaper to drop the insurance and save up. So the reason I have it is "just in case". But since I'm on the lowest plan, there are lots of exceptions! I haven't dropped it yet, probably will keep it, but I've been on the fence about it. I hate dealing with the insurance co.

deborah

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2018, 09:49:12 PM »
I just got my renewal notice. They are a non-profit, and in their advertising blurb, they say they give "$0.97 in benefits for every $1.00 of premium received - compared to an industry average of $0.86", so it sounds like, for most people, most funds are not worth it.

mjr

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2018, 12:39:49 AM »
I suspect when I go to a lower income in retirement and not get hit with the surcharge, I'll be bailing on private health insurance.

In my mid-50s, right when I start to actually need it, no doubt.

Astatine

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2018, 01:01:54 AM »
My thoughts:

I have top hospital and no extras. I self-insure for extras (they tend to have a tight cap on pay outs for extras and I did the maths and it made much more sense for me to self-insure). So things like glasses and physio I pay out of pocket.

One of my reasons for top hospital is to be able to get an insulin pump (~$10k) without waiting if I ever want to get one.

The other one is to have access to private surgery with no waiting. Which I greatly appreciated for my unexpected breast cancer diagnosis (I was in my early 40s - much younger than average age of diagnosis) and then for having my ovaries removed to significantly reduce the chance of it returning.

While I could probably have afforded the out of pocket expenses for my private surgeries, it definitely made it cheaper plus it made the path easy and smooth at an incredibly stressful time. And both surgeons were very good, both in the quality of their surgical abilities and in terms of their interpersonal skills for their patients at such a difficult time.

However, I did go public for chemo and radiation at the local big cancer centre (you tend to get better outcomes in big centralised cancer centres), and I still see my oncologists through the public system.

In terms of experience of nurses in the private and public systems, my general experience has been that nurses in the public system are more likely to go the extra mile for you. But of course, YMMV and everyone is different.

misterhorsey

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2018, 10:09:26 PM »
Good little article on Private Health insurance popped up on The Age the other day.  I used to start a new thread until Stashgrower alerted me to the existence of this one (thanks Stashgrower!)

https://www.theage.com.au/money/saving/dont-be-fooled-by-the-private-health-insurance-industrys-pitch-to-30yearolds-20160719-gq8w5p.html

It does the maths on whether it's worth paying for private health insurance before you are 30 to avoid the % loading for those who don't take out private health insurance before 30 (assuming you aren't obliged to pay the Medicare Surcharge if you earn above the threshold and don't take out private health insurance).

Luckyvik

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2018, 02:44:33 PM »
We (DH) and I have a junk hospital and extras policy for ) $275/month or $3300/yr, we do get $2k back of it in extras reimbursement but the hospital part is junk and only to avoid the Medicare surcharge.
Last year I needed minor surgery and had to wait a year in the public system for it, everything was excellent and free but it would have been good to get it sorted straight away.
We are contemplating getting a proper hospital policy, no extras now that we are approaching our 40’s, the cheapest I can find is about $330/month.


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marty998

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2018, 03:09:26 PM »
My premium went down this year!!!!

Holy shit I never knew that was possible. An insurance company voluntarily reducing my premium :D

$60 a year or $1020 down to $960.

Wonderful

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2018, 03:26:16 PM »
My premium went down this year!!!!

Holy shit I never knew that was possible. An insurance company voluntarily reducing my premium :D

$60 a year or $1020 down to $960.

Wonderful

Can someone please tell Bupa? :D

HappierAtHome

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2018, 03:31:21 PM »
My premium went down this year!!!!

Holy shit I never knew that was possible. An insurance company voluntarily reducing my premium :D

$60 a year or $1020 down to $960.

Wonderful

What have they removed from your cover...?

Fresh Bread

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2018, 06:32:18 PM »
My premium went down this year!!!!

Holy shit I never knew that was possible. An insurance company voluntarily reducing my premium :D

$60 a year or $1020 down to $960.

Wonderful
What have they removed from your cover...?

I heard that joint replacement, IVF and some other things were being removed from lower tier Bupa cover to make the increase lower than it would be. But an actual decrease, that's amazing.

Omg I still haven't cancelled my extras. Please someone kick me up the bum.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #26 on: March 10, 2018, 09:32:56 PM »
My premium went down this year!!!!

Holy shit I never knew that was possible. An insurance company voluntarily reducing my premium :D

$60 a year or $1020 down to $960.

Wonderful
What have they removed from your cover...?

I heard that joint replacement, IVF and some other things were being removed from lower tier Bupa cover to make the increase lower than it would be. But an actual decrease, that's amazing.

Omg I still haven't cancelled my extras. Please someone kick me up the bum.

HBF is supposedly lowering premiums AND coverage for its basic hospital cover... we're waiting to get our official info on what will be taken out so we can decide what to do.

limeandpepper

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2018, 04:16:49 AM »
My premium went down this year!!!!

Holy shit I never knew that was possible. An insurance company voluntarily reducing my premium :D

$60 a year or $1020 down to $960.

Wonderful

Who are you with?

Mine was the opposite, went up by about $60 this year! However, I'm paying about $900 a year so it's still not too steep.

I'm with NIB and I actually have shares with them, the dividends I get from them pay for more than 3 months of premiums. I was saying the other day to my uncle I should've bought more shares back then and receive enough dividends to fully pay for my private health insurance... that would be so sweet!

marty998

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2018, 04:47:39 AM »
My premium went down this year!!!!

Holy shit I never knew that was possible. An insurance company voluntarily reducing my premium :D

$60 a year or $1020 down to $960.

Wonderful

Who are you with?

Mine was the opposite, went up by about $60 this year! However, I'm paying about $900 a year so it's still not too steep.

I'm with NIB and I actually have shares with them, the dividends I get from them pay for more than 3 months of premiums. I was saying the other day to my uncle I should've bought more shares back then and receive enough dividends to fully pay for my private health insurance... that would be so sweet!

I'm with Medibank.

I was looking at buying shares in NIB when they were $1.35 (not long after listing...)

:(

Would have done really well with that one...

limeandpepper

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2018, 05:04:26 AM »
I'm with Medibank.

I was looking at buying shares in NIB when they were $1.35 (not long after listing...)

:(

Would have done really well with that one...

I think I started watching them when they were around that price as well but didn't end up buying until they were around $2.20. Though I could have bought earlier instead of dilly-dallying, I'm still happy with that price and only wish I bought more! Last year I bought a small portion again brokerage-free through a share purchase plan or something at $5.65... again I could have bought more! I got only $1000 worth instead the max of $5000 I think it was. I'm just too scared to put too much into one company. I have considered buying Medibank shares too but haven't.

missbee

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2018, 07:06:40 PM »
At what income threshold does it become worth it to get private health cover to avoid the Medicare Levy surcharge?
I have been doing some rough calcs and I should just squeak under any MLS this financial year, and probably next year as well - and if I am over the threshold next year it would still be cheaper to pay the surcharge rather than fork out for private health cover. I had cover once a few years back (fell for the lifetime loading scaremongering) and got absolutely no benefit from it.

krustyburger

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #31 on: March 15, 2018, 04:34:01 AM »
I'm in the same situation so I've been trying to figure this out too...
For some reason I find the online calculators for this really difficult to understand.
I think that we would be eligible for a rebate, if I got the cheapest 'junk' hospital cover and the rebate then I might be a couple hundred bucks better off?
I'm kind of ideologically opposed to the idea that I pay a private health company for essentially useless insurance when I could pay the government to improve the public health system.

JLR

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #32 on: March 15, 2018, 04:29:45 PM »
Family of 5 here. DH and I over 30. Two teens, one 'tween'. Two with glasses, two with braces.

We had PHI for a few years. It was starting to nudge $4000/year.

We first used it about 2 months after we took out the policy and our son broke his arm. He was a private patient in a public hospital. We signed up under one of their special "no waiting periods" deals, but were absolutely hounded by Medibank to prove that it wasn't a pre-existing injury, that he hadn't broken his arm 2 months before and we were only getting it fixed now.

On top of that there was a level of bill management we needed to take care of. Bills and cheques coming to our home address that we then needed to work out then forward on to the specialists that were involved in his closed reduction. A pain.

We really got the policy because we knew that at some point at least one child would need braces. They ended up costing around $15 000 for the two of them, but we could only claim $800 per child per year. I think there was a $1200 life time limit, so even if we spread it over two years the max we could claim was $2400 on a $15 000 bill.

We dropped our policy soon after and now just put the amount we would have paid in premiums aside to pay for any out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Medicare.

Earlier this week my husband had some scopes done in a public hospital. They cut out some polyps and we are waiting for the results. It is true, it was supposed to be only a 3-month wait and it ended up being a 6-month wait. But it is also true to say that based on his symptoms and history all the doctors and specialists weren't expecting to find anything and so he was classed as non-urgent. The staff were excellent, we were very happy with the service. The hospital even called him the following day just to check how he was feeling.

I had all three of our babies in public hospitals as a public patient and ended up with my own room each time. For one of them they re-opened the maternity department and I was the only patient. I would have had to travel 150kms to get to the nearest private hospital. When I had my appendix out I ended up in a two-bed room. I seem to remember it being a shared bathroom for the ward, but it was such a non-event it doesn't stand out in my mind.

Fresh Bread

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2018, 04:29:44 PM »
I just got our increase letter. From April 1 (Fool's Day!!) we will be paying BUPA $516 per month for a couple for top hospital cover 2 (ie not absolutely top) plus 'corporate advantage' which is another phrase for 'a really expensive extras package'.

So... we're not paying that. I have a dental appointment on Weds and I'm trying to get hubby to go too. He's going to order some contacts next week. Assuming neither of us need fillings or lots of follow up work then I'm going to call and get quotes for hospital + dental & just hospital. If those are still extortionate I'll shop around for top hospital cover.

Anyone got top hospital cover only and want to disclose the cost of the premium? I'm hoping for under $350.

Also, what other preventative things should I do to make use of the extras before I cancel?? Eye tests and skin checks are both covered by Medicare. I can't think of anything else. Things like colonoscopies are covered by medical insurance.

middo

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2018, 06:22:45 PM »
I just got our increase letter. From April 1 (Fool's Day!!) we will be paying BUPA $516 per month for a couple for top hospital cover 2 (ie not absolutely top) plus 'corporate advantage' which is another phrase for 'a really expensive extras package'.

So... we're not paying that. I have a dental appointment on Weds and I'm trying to get hubby to go too. He's going to order some contacts next week. Assuming neither of us need fillings or lots of follow up work then I'm going to call and get quotes for hospital + dental & just hospital. If those are still extortionate I'll shop around for top hospital cover.

Anyone got top hospital cover only and want to disclose the cost of the premium? I'm hoping for under $350.

Also, what other preventative things should I do to make use of the extras before I cancel?? Eye tests and skin checks are both covered by Medicare. I can't think of anything else. Things like colonoscopies are covered by medical insurance.

Our top hospotal cover has just gone up to $353 per month. That is before the rebates, as I claim it back later.  Teachers Health.

Edit: that's family cover.  We still have student children covered while studying at uni.

Fresh Bread

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2018, 07:47:44 PM »
Before rebates? Awesome. Ours is after rebates. Before is $690.

Primm

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2018, 12:04:06 AM »
After rebates we will (post 1/4) pay $511 per month for absolutely top everything included insurance. I'm totally risk averse when it comes to health care I'm afraid.

That's with Emergency Services / Police Health, so it's a restricted fund. The plus side is the benefits. I go to the physio and swipe, and my $80 bill costs me $5. And we have an $850 per person benefits limit which rolls over (they're the only fund in Aus that does that) so if I don't use it all one year I can use the leftover the year after.

Their hospital only is $334 a month. You can join if you or a family member is or was an emergency services employee or you are a health practitioner with an AHPRA number. So it's restricted, but still pretty open.

https://eshealth.com.au/sites/default/files/2017-03/ESH001_Products%20and%20Benefits%20Guide.pdf

Fresh Bread

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2018, 12:25:14 AM »
I don't qualify... Sounds like a pretty good deal for someone that wants the extras tho.

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2018, 12:55:40 AM »
Just a PSA for those who don't have any private health insurance: it might still be worth having cover just for ambulance trips. DH and I have had 4 ambulance trips in the past 5 years between us for chest pains. (thank goodness, nothing serious each time!) We could have comfortably afforded to pay out of pocket, but I'm not sure what the costs are if you have to be transported by air or by long distance.

mjr

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2018, 01:22:22 AM »
No additional charges for ambulances in Qld ! (We pay through our power bills)

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2018, 01:39:52 AM »
No additional charges for ambulances in Qld ! (We pay through our power bills)

Interesting! What happens if you travel interstate?

Primm

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2018, 01:57:19 AM »
No additional charges for ambulances in Qld ! (We pay through our power bills)

Interesting! What happens if you travel interstate?

We're still covered. QAS (Queensland Ambulance Service) pays for any service provided by interstate services.

We get a bill, we send it to them, we never see it again.

It's sweet. I had a friend who broke a leg snowboarding, got retrieved from Mt Hotham to Melbourne, got a bill for many many MANY thousands of dollars and didn't have to pay.

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #42 on: March 17, 2018, 05:07:46 AM »
Party animal that I am, I've been spending my Saturday night getting health insurance quotes.

Bupa for top hospital cover seems pretty comparable to some other cheap ones to be honest. With the full rebate and no loading it seems to be about $285 and the cheapest comparable is $277, so not really worth the hassle of changing.

What I can't figure out is - with top hospital cover, the maximum they do, it only covers minor gynaecological surgery. That's what it says for a lot of providers, not just Bupa. So I wondered, what is major gynaecological surgery and why isn't it included? I googled and Medibank says it would include hysterectomy and ovarian surgery, two things I can see myself needing at some point.

I am confused. How do I get cover for those things?? Anyone got it?

Astatine

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #43 on: March 17, 2018, 03:32:11 PM »
Party animal that I am, I've been spending my Saturday night getting health insurance quotes.

Bupa for top hospital cover seems pretty comparable to some other cheap ones to be honest. With the full rebate and no loading it seems to be about $285 and the cheapest comparable is $277, so not really worth the hassle of changing.

What I can't figure out is - with top hospital cover, the maximum they do, it only covers minor gynaecological surgery. That's what it says for a lot of providers, not just Bupa. So I wondered, what is major gynaecological surgery and why isn't it included? I googled and Medibank says it would include hysterectomy and ovarian surgery, two things I can see myself needing at some point.

I am confused. How do I get cover for those things?? Anyone got it?

I’m with Bupa and have top hospital cover. I haven’t checked what might or might not be changing. But, i has my ovaries and Fallopian tubes removed in June last year and that was covered. (I still had OOP expenses for the anaesthetist though)

Primm

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #44 on: March 17, 2018, 05:06:53 PM »
The list of procedures they cover is not necessarily exclusive.

While I don't like BUPA for a variety of reasons (not least because I used to work for them...), other gynae surgery would seem to be covered under this inclusion, further down the list:

"All other inpatient treatments receiving a Medicare benefit".

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2018, 05:28:47 PM »
The list of procedures they cover is not necessarily exclusive.

While I don't like BUPA for a variety of reasons (not least because I used to work for them...), other gynae surgery would seem to be covered under this inclusion, further down the list:

"All other inpatient treatments receiving a Medicare benefit".

Oh I see! That makes sense.

I'm sure there's lots of issues with Bupa. A long time ago we switched to them because of a big corporate discount. It's easier just to stay now if I can get the price I mentioned above. I think they are removing their no gap thing which is annoying but it's also annoying trying to get an appointment / referral to a no gap specialist.

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2018, 05:42:56 PM »
I was reading about private health gap payments on the Choice website. Specialist fees are very negotiable apparently, so it's worth haggling... I did not know that, but one specialist did give me a discount after the op he said would be an hr took 3hrs.

One commenter said that the convo with the anaesthetist that you meet on the day is all about them deciding how much they will charge, so definitely downplay your situation!

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #47 on: March 18, 2018, 02:15:59 AM »
I don't have health insurance.

I'd had basic hospital cover (left over from pre-divorce) but decided to let it drop as a matter of principle - I believe that health care should be a universal right with everyone entitled to the same quality of care.  The Medicare surcharge doesn't kick in until $180k for families so I won't have to pay it for a while, but come the day, I'd rather my money goes into the public system.

I've gone through various reports on waiting times, and they seem reasonable.  Anything serious will be dealt with immediately, and I look after my health as well as I can to try and avoid lifestyle-related illness.  If I really had to then I'd pay, as I do for dental, optometry, psychologists, OT etc.  I suppose I could live to regret it, but I've made my choice and will take my chances.

What Australia needs is a public holiday to celebrate Medicare!
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 02:20:37 AM by Julard »

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #48 on: March 18, 2018, 05:30:51 AM »
I don't have health insurance.

I'd had basic hospital cover (left over from pre-divorce) but decided to let it drop as a matter of principle - I believe that health care should be a universal right with everyone entitled to the same quality of care.  The Medicare surcharge doesn't kick in until $180k for families so I won't have to pay it for a while, but come the day, I'd rather my money goes into the public system.

I've gone through various reports on waiting times, and they seem reasonable.  Anything serious will be dealt with immediately, and I look after my health as well as I can to try and avoid lifestyle-related illness.  If I really had to then I'd pay, as I do for dental, optometry, psychologists, OT etc.  I suppose I could live to regret it, but I've made my choice and will take my chances.

What Australia needs is a public holiday to celebrate Medicare!

That's fair enough. Interestingly, I have private health insurance for the same reason as you don't! I can afford it, and we use it when we are admitted to a public hospital as a public patient (not applicable to me thank goodness, unfortunately Husband has had many admissions over the past few years for kidney related issues culminating in a transplant).

When he is admitted to hospital we elect to use our PHI to pay his bed fees. We really don't get anything out of it apart from free TV, but doing this means the health insurance fund is essentially paying for his bed, as well as subsidising the costs of other inpatients. The daily payment from the PHI fund to the hospital is more than what the hospital gets from Medicare, so it's our extra contribution to the public health system.

Using our PHI for procedures (my shoulder surgery last year, for example) frees up a spot in the public system for someone who can't afford PHI, and keeps the public waiting lists down.

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Re: Private Health Insurance - Australia
« Reply #49 on: March 18, 2018, 09:54:35 PM »
So for a single tax payer, Tier 1 MLS is 1% on a 90-105K income, or $900-$1050
The cheapest junkiest policies for a single cost somewhere between $850-$1200 per year and don't cover anything really except one emergency ambulance ride.
An emergency ambulance ride here costs $949.
So I think I will continue to take my chances with fate and our excellent public health system until if and when I hit Tier 2 income (105,001 - 140k) at which point I will redo the maths.