The Australian health insurance industry is enjoying quite the media storm as a recent report revealed that the system is not suitable for a large percentage of the population. The Grattan report found that age groups under the age of 65 were dropping their insurance as opposed to increasing it, which leaves them vulnerable to financial losses in the event of a medical emergency. While neglecting to take out a health insurance plan might leave you and your family vulnerable, it’s important to determine the right mix of products to suit your needs.
Affordable Health Care Options
Many Australians who are young and in good health are downgrading their medical insurance to the lowest level, if keeping it at all. Figures reveal that one fund now has 35% of its members on the lowest tier, which is a 50% increase in just 5 years. While this brings dramatic cost savings to this group, it could also leave them vulnerable should they need specialized care. Additional health insurance options are tailored to the needs of the individual, and are more affordable than the rising costs of health insurance. While this may not offer a comprehensive solution, it can make a significant difference for those who don’t have other options.
Specialist Cover That Garners A Lot Of Attention
One of the biggest expenses Australians may face in the event of a medical emergency, is the high cost of phoning an ambulance. In some territories, the service is free, but only to residents of those territories. Almost 25% of Australians believe that the service is covered by Medicare, and it’s not. The gap this provides means that many are unprepared in the event of an emergency to face the payment, which could cost well over $1,000. Ambulance cover is a cheap and effective way to bridge this gap and ensure that the trip itself doesn’t leave them broke. While the basic hospital plan on health insurance from Qantas covers ambulance services, it helps to also look at other areas where supplemental cover may be needed.
A Long List Of Specialized Insurances
A comprehensive medical insurance plan provides patients with the peace of mind that a large portion of their medical bills is taken care of if the medical professional sticks to the prescribed pricing of said procedure. There are, however, procedures where the insurance may only cover around 30% of the cost of the procedure, which could leave patients vulnerable. Specialized medical gap covers are designed to fill these gaps, where some offer cover of up to 500% of the prescribed minimum fee. These are handy for those who get hit with unexpected medical bills and shortfalls such as emergency dentistry or a visit to the ER.
While there is some debate about the benefits of having medical insurance, one of the hardest realities to face is experiencing a medical emergency and not having any cover at all. While there is need for reform in the industry, consumers are encouraged to compare their options to find a product that’s both affordable and meets as many of their needs as possible.