Apart from the obvious reason of being covered for your unexpected hospital visit there still remain plenty of other great reasons to have a quality health cover. This is not to say that you cannot survive without it, but it would be wise to weigh up the pros and cons before you decide not to get a health fund cover.
The first one is a big tax benefit. There are times when we may consider cutting back on something just to help our finances flow along a bit better. Well a word of warning here; cutting back on health insurance does not necessarily do the job.
As a general rule, if you do stop your health insurance, you will have to pay a levy on that in your taxes for not having health insurance. Then when you do finally get your health insurance up and running again, you have a surcharge added to your policy that is a continuous for several years.
Of course it is your own individual choice and simply having a lower level of cover can make enough of a difference to keep the taxman off your back while keeping your finances on track too.
It all sounds very unfair because if you do decide that you cannot afford health insurance, you end up being penalised for it. But that is the system we have in place in Australia currently and we do not have any choice in the matter.
Another benefit is that health insurance can give us peace of mind because unfortunately, accidents are exactly that and we never know when they are going to happen or how serious they are going to be. Being covered for an accident by your health insurance is another story and we will get to that in a later chapter.
Another situation is that you may go into hospital for a simple check up or XRAY and find that there is more to your problem than you originally thought. If you did have health insurance you would be able to claim all of your specialist fees and certain diagnostics if that procedure resulted in you ending up as an in-patient in hospital.
In a family situation, Extras can be very useful and you could need different Extras for different members of the family yet they can all come under the one family membership. If your family has need of regular hospital visits it is would be wise to be well covered.
When it comes to it there are many choices, and that is when you are only looking at just one health fund. On top of that, when you consider how many health funds there are out there, coming to a final decision can become quite confusing.
When you purchase your health insurance, you will have a choice of getting a hospital cover, an Extras cover or a hospital cover with Extras combined. What you choose will really depend on what your needs are in your life-stage. Then as your life circumstances change, you should look at reviewing your cover to make sure that it is still the best fit for you.
Updating your cover is worth paying attention to because you may not need the extra things that are on your cover even though you are paying for them. Or the opposite may occur where you have not included the Extras that you use on a regular basis so you end up paying a lot more than you need to.
Before you come to a decision on your health insurance you have to take some things into consideration.
If you have needs for regular hospital visits, you should consider having hospital cover in your health insurance. Even if you do not have a regular need for going to hospital it is certainly worth adding to your policy if you can afford it because you never know when you are going to need it.
If you did have Private health insurance you would have the option of going into a Private Hospital and have the choice of Specialist doctors. Unless you are ready to fork out a large amount of money straight from your own pocket, these are not options that are ready available to you if you are uninsured.
Extras are just that, but they should not be looked at as a secondary item. You might want optical cover because you are going to need to get your eyes checked and occasionally update your glasses. These things can work out a lot cheaper under health insurance.
(NOTE: I would like to mention here that optical cover is not the same as surgically required treatment on the eyes, such as cataract or lens-related procedures. These are hospital items and they could even be restricted items, so check this carefully if they fall within your needs)
Still, Extras cover a lot more than just dental and optical. It can go into so many different areas. Even dental itself is split up into the Orthodontics, Dental Surgeons and General Dental Practitioners. Then there is physiotherapy, rehabilitation, Chiropractors, even things like aromatherapy, acupuncture or prosthetics.
All of these things fall under the ‘Extras’ category. So read through them to see which different Extras you want to put on your policy or which ones you don’t want to pay for unnecessarily.
Warning; Don’t make the mistake that some people make in taking out their Extras cover and thinking that they are covered for a hospital visit.