Most citizens covered by Medicare are content to use it exclusively, and can be compared to people who travel coach in that these individuals virtually always find it satisfactory in the basics it provides.
However, the country is also home to a network of private insurers who offer expanded coverage at a premium, leading to the inevitable question of what in particular distinguishes them.
While standard Medicare coverage is sufficient for the emergency use of most people, private insurance coverage delivers a number of benefits to justify its added cost. This first class insurance can be built to your individual needs and give you more treatment options when you need them most.
Unlike Medicare, hospital cover with private medical insurance allows you to choose your own doctor at any partner or public hospital and receive treatment at a medical facility as a private or public patient.
If you choose to be treated as a private patient, Medicare will cover up to 75% of your associated medical costs such as hospital stay, medications and diagnostic tests according to the Medicare Benefits Schedule. The remaining costs are passed to you or your private insurer.
Some providers also offer Gap Coverage, which guarantees that you will not be responsible for any expenses outstanding between your Medicare and private insurance coverage.
Further, while Medicare provides for most basic hospital treatment, it does not cover the majority of dental examinations and treatment while a private policy can be tailored to include it.
Coverage for many other specialist services such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, home nursing and aids such as glasses and hearing amplifiers lie outside the reach of Medicare but can be easily obtained with the right private insurance policy.
This type of policy is known as general cover, and is often offered as a bundle with hospital cover.
Depending on the type of private insurance you choose, there may be restrictions on the type or scope of treatment options available to you with a standard policy.
Coverage caps and the standard stay limit of 35 days can place limitations on full cover in the wrong scenario. Private insurance will also not cover cosmetic elective surgery. You can read more about the private health cover at HBF on their new site, to see if it’s the right fit for your situation.
One thing that private insurance rarely covers as a standard policy are ambulance fees. If you are rushed to a hospital for immediate medical care, you will be forced to pay the cost out of pocket unless you have a specific policy type that includes ambulance fees.
Though Australia protects its citizens by providing basic healthcare services, a private health insurance policy can ensure that any medical issues that arise can be addressed at minimal expense.
Private health insurance works in conjunction with Medicare to create reliable protection for individuals with ongoing medical needs, an at-risk occupation or simply a desire for peace of mind. As with most services, the value in a private insurance policy is in the options it provides.
When it comes down to I feel Australia has a great healthcare system versus the current US healthcare system. They cover a majority of the cost with their private insurance and medicare customers and also offer great gap coverage.
When I compare this to the current healthcare system in US it’s not even close to what they offer. Cost are much higher and growing every year. In fact I recently applied for a high deductible plan of $5000 and with an HSA I was looking at $850 with me and my 3 kids.
The truth is I can’t afford that kind of coverage and what’s worse is that in the US you will be penalized if you don’t buy the coverage which I don’t really agree with either. I know some people will disagree with that but the thing is the new healthcare system in the states has only made things worse.
So what are your thoughts, do have health coverage in another country and how do you like it? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on this below.