Explore Health Insurance

There’s a familiar narrative you’ll hear as you get older: healthcare doesn’t get any cheaper.

There are ways you can save, however; one of them is health insurance. It’s also a product that can quickly become unaffordable if you don’t have an up to date product.

So, what should health insurance cover later on in life and is it affordable for the typical baby boomer?

What health issues do older Australians have to look out for?

Every one of us has a different background and family history, which means we’re all susceptible to different conditions.

However, there are some trends. For example: large numbers of aging Aussies are particularly susceptible to teeth decay and vision impairments.

You will also have to look out for issues with joints, chronic illnesses, and more – all of which can be expensive to treat. Based on your family history and your current health status, you probably already know what to look out for.

How much does treatment cost?

Let’s go through the list:

  • Dental care is an ongoing expense from when you’re young to when you’re old. According to Privatehealth.gov.au the average cost for an exam is as little as $59, but plaque removal costs another $58, removing a tooth costs $163, and a full crown is $1,471.1
  • Vision conditions. It’s worth keeping up with new prescriptions by investing in new lenses and frames. New frames can cost as little as $40-$50, or hundreds – depending on your taste.2 Single vision lenses (if you’re short or long sighted) are typically included in the price for frames, but bifocal and multifocal lenses can cost $100+.3
  • Joint conditions may not be the most expensive thing to treat, but you’ll be waiting a long time for treatment. HICA reports hip replacement surgery (in Victoria) costing $25,000, and knee replacement (including the prostheses) at $20,423.4
  • Chronic illnesses can be some of the most expensive conditions to treat. Disturbingly, 1 in 4 chronically ill Australians skip treatment because of the cost, according to a study by James Cook University.5 Here are some of the costs determined by the study:
Stroke survivorsPatients with arthritisChronic kidney disease
Average of $1,110 per year on healthcare.Average of $1,513 on out of pocket expenses$600 – $1,400 per three months out-of-pocket.

Source #1: Healthcare costs are bad medicine, 2016
Source #2: Out-of-pocket costs of health care in Australia, 2014

The first two items on the list can be treated by extra cover, and are not covered by Medicare. The second two items are covered by Medicare, but also by private hospital cover.

Does private health insurance do enough to alleviate the above costs?

Private health insurance is an investment, one that truly pays off when you need it most. Operations that cost tens of thousands of dollars are paid for by a private hospital insurance policy, with excesses and out of pocket expenses paling in comparison to the high cost of treatment.

Plus, we ran the numbers on an extras policy, and it easily works out to be cheaper if you claim on a few basic things each year.

We’ve taken a superficial look at what an aging Aussie may need to claim on in the future. However, everyone’s health status is different, so your best course of action is to speak to an expert to see how a private insurance policy would help pay for conditions you’d likely need to claim on.

Plus, if we can’t find you a better deal, we’ll tell you to stay with your existing provider/Medicare.

We’re happy to put your mind at ease. Our experts are well-equipped to help you find a product that best-suits your needs. All it takes is one phone call.

Read more about what care options you have in the future with ageing-in-place 

So, what are you waiting for?

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