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Here’s what emergency transportation costs in each state
|State/Territory||Callout fee||Per kilometre charges||Current as of:|
|ACT||$936.00 (treatment & transport)||$12 per km travelled outside of ACT||1 July 2017|
|NSW||$372.00||$3.35||1 July 2017|
|NT||$745.00||$4.80||1 September 2015|
|SA||$955.00||$5.50||1 July 2017|
|VIC||$1,204.00 (Metropolitan Emergency Road) $1,776 (Regional and Rural Emergency Road)||N/A||1 July 2017|
|WA||$949.00 (life threatening/urgent conditions)||N/A||Unknown|
N.B. Information current as of April 2018
Guess what? You may be eligible for a Federal Government rebate on the price of your health insurance. If so, you can choose between a discounted premium, or claiming the rebate back through your tax return. The rebate amounts are as follows:
|< age 65||25.41%||16.94%||8.47%.||0%|
Medicare doesn’t cover the following:
This is where private health insurance comes in. Private health insurance is designed to help bridge the gap between what Medicare covers and the cost of all your other healthcare needs.
You require a Medicare card to be eligible to hold private health insurance. See how you can enrol for a Medicare card if you don’t have one.
There are two main types of private health insurance, as well as ambulance cover (depending on where you live):
This type of policy pays a benefit towards the cost of your treatment as a private patient in either a private or public hospital. Hospital cover pays benefits towards hospital accommodation, theatre and surgery fees, patient meals, prostheses, medical supplies, and nursing care for services and treatments provided in hospital that are included on your policy.
Also known as ancillary cover, an extras policy helps cover the cost of out-of-hospital services (and products) like dental care, physiotherapy, prescription glasses, occupational therapy and more.
Ambulance cover is also included in most hospital or extras policies, but some insurers will offer it as a stand-alone (emergency or comprehensive) policy. If you live in Queensland, then your state government covers you nationwide for ambulance transport. Residents of Tasmania are also covered in all other states and territories except for QLD and SA.
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When you’re young and healthy, taking out health insurance may not seem like a necessity, but you never know when the unexpected could happen; nobody is immune to accidents or certain ailments. As such, investing in health insurance sooner, rather than later, is important and could actually save you money in the long term.
Since 1 April 2019, health insurers can offer discounts on hospital cover of up to 10% to Aussies aged between 18 and 29 who take out a hospital product that supports the age-based discount. This discount lasts until you hit your 40s if you hold and maintain your hospital policy or ensure you only switch to a policy that includes a retained age-based discount. This ensures that the discount you were eligible for with your previous policy continues.
Taking out hospital cover before 1 July following your 31st birthday could also save you from paying the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading (if you intend to get covered in the future). LHC is a two per cent loading that is added to your hospital cover premiums for each year you’re over 31 and don’t have cover.
So, if you were to take out hospital cover at 40 and hadn’t held this cover at any point since 1 July following your 31st birthday, you’d need to pay an additional 20% on your hospital premiums.
The LHC is an Australian government incentive to encourage younger people to take out hospital cover earlier in life and maintain it over their lifetime.
Over 31? Use our Lifetime Health Cover loading calculator to see if LHC applies to you.
The cost of private health insurance varies between health funds and levels of coverage, along with where you live in Australia. The government offers income-tested rebates on private health insurance to help Aussies pay for their private health cover. For example, the standard rebate for singles (under 65) earning under $90,000 a year and families on a combined income of $180,000 is 25.93%. Your total rebate entitlements will depend on your taxable income, age, and relationship/parental status.
If you’re tossing up whether health insurance is worth the cost, you should first ask yourself if you can really afford not to have it. Remember that the possible out-of-pocket expenses linked to private treatment without private health insurance coverage could end up costing you more than the premiums you pay for your health insurance.
For example, a course of physiotherapy or chiropractic treatments can cost upwards of $1,000,4 while a knee or hip replacement could set you back anywhere over $20,000.5
Children, like adults, can access free healthcare and hospital treatment through the public system. However, Medicare won’t pay for all the medical expenses your ankle biters will incur in childhood, like if they need braces or physio for broken bones.
So, adding your little ones onto your private health insurance policy might help you save on out-of-pocket expenses and give you greater say over their healthcare too; you can choose their doctor or specialist (if they’re available) and avoid public hospital waiting lists.
The good news is that most health funds will cover your children at little or no extra cost when you upgrade your couples cover to a family policy, and most health funds will cover them under your family plan until they turn 21, or 25 if they’re studying. After that, it’ll be up to them to take out their own health insurance.