Private health insurance provides a range of benefits that help protect you and your family by allowing you more choice and control over your medical care. During your transition from Defence to civilian life, it’s important to consider your private health cover options, which are broadly divided into Hospital cover, Extras (ancillary) cover, or a policy combining the two. Here are some of the benefits related to the private healthcare system.
Choose your doctor or surgeon
Private health Hospital cover allows you to select your doctor or surgeon and the hospital you are treated in. Choosing a doctor or surgeon you know and trust can help your peace of mind. On the other hand, in the public system, you will be treated as a public patient in a public hospital, and you won’t have the option to choose who treats you.
Treatment when you need it
You can avoid the lengthy public hospital waiting lists if you have Hospital coverage. Waiting lists for public hospitals are determined based on each clinical condition. They will depend on the severity of your condition and the urgency for the treatment you require. Right now, public hospital waiting lists around Australia are at an all-time high.
Benefit from private Extras (ancillary) cover
If you go to the dentist, wear glasses, or seek treatment from an osteopath or physiotherapist, you might benefit financially from taking out Extras cover. The right Extras cover can mean less out-of-pocket costs or, in some cases, no costs for these services.
Private health insurance rebate
You may receive a rebate from the Australian government if you hold a private health insurance policy. The rebate is calculated according to your age and income threshold and can help reduce your membership premium. If you are eligible and choose not to claim the rebate as a reduced premium, you can claim the rebate as a lump sum payment when you complete your annual tax return.
Reduce your tax
The standard Medicare Levy is 2% of your taxable income and helps fund the costs of the public healthcare system. An additional Medicare Levy Surcharge of up to 1.5% is payable when you earn above $90,000 a year as a single or $180,000 a year as a family. You can avoid this additional surcharge and pay less at tax time by taking out private Hospital cover.
Avoid Lifetime Health Cover loading
Lifetime Health Cover loading (LHC) is an initiative created by the Australian government to encourage people to take out private Hospital cover and maintain it for life. You may be subject to LHC loading when you decide to take out Hospital cover after the 1st of July following your 31st birthday. If you choose to take out Hospital cover later in life, you will incur a 2% loading on your premiums for each year you are over 30 years of age, to a maximum of 70%. The loading will be removed after ten continuous years of holding a private Hospital policy.