What ongoing healthcare costs do people pay for?
Besides big one-off surgeries, a major portion of household healthcare spending is actually regular ongoing expenses like medication, check-ups and gym memberships.
In Australia, the most common health services people pay for on a regular basis, based on our survey, are prescription medications, dental check-ups and gym memberships, though the second most common response to the question was “none of the above”. In Canada, dental check-ups was in number one followed by prescription medications, then “none of the above”, followed by gym memberships.
Similarly to Canada, the USA had dental check-ups followed by prescription medications and gym memberships as the most popular ongoing health expenses – “none of the above” was the fourth most-common answer.
Conversely, the least common across all three nations was acupuncture. In Australia and Canada, blood glucose devices were the second least-common, while in America the second least-common was physiotherapy.
|Health service with ongoing costs||Australia||Canada||USA|
|Prescription medication ||45.6%||43.3%||46.7%|
|Dental check-ups ||43.0%||46.5%||47.3%|
|Gym membership ||20.4%||21.7%||29.1%|
|Mental health appointments ||10.3%||11.2%||17.4%|
|Remedial massages ||8.8%||10.5%||6.1%|
|Blood glucose devices ||4.9%||6.3%||5.9%|
|None of the above ||23.4%||25.9%||21.3%|
Compare the Market’s Head of Health Insurance, Lana Hambilton, notes that, if you meet relevant criteria, health insurance extras can help cover costs related to these services, as well as a number of others.
“In Australia, a health insurance extras policy can cover some of the cost of a huge range of different services and treatments outside of the hospital that you may need on a regular basis,” Ms Hambilton explains, “or it can just cover a few, depending on what policy you choose and what your individual needs are.”
“Besides prescriptions, dental and physio, a health insurance extras policy can also cover prescription glasses, hearing aids, occupational therapy, speech therapy and more. By insuring your health with an appropriate policy for your needs, you can help reduce these expenses to make it easier to get treatment with a private provider, subject to the terms and limits of your extras cover.”
“Private health insurance provides us with greater choice and can provide great value and peace of mind for people concerned about specific health issues,” Hambilton continues. “Health insurance helps us prioritise and take charge of our health.”