Health Insurance in Australia
Health Insurance pertains to the practice of providing insurance coverage for medical, dental, hospital, and pharmaceutical costs.
Health insurance is insurance against the hazard of having medical expenses. By approximation of the general risk of health care as well as the health system costs among a specific group, an insurance agent can create a recurring finance plan to make certain that funds are available to pay for the health insurance benefits stipulated in the health insurance contract.
Public Health Insurance
The public health insurance system in Australia is known as Medicare. It guarantees free universal access to hospital treatment in addition to subsidized medical treatment that is out-of-hospital. It draws funds from a 1.5% tax charge on all taxpayers, an extra 1% charge on high-income individuals, as well as general income.
This universal national health care system has been operating in Australia since 1976 originally named Medibank. The tax-driven public system is available to all Australians. When Medicare began in 1984, the Medicare tax was introduced as a supplement to other taxation revenue, allowing the government to meet the added expenses of this national health care mechanism.
Private Health Insurance
Besides the universal public health system, Australians have the option to avail of private health insurance with any of Australia's accredited health insurance companies. These private health insurance companies provide private funding of hospital as well as supplementary health treatments.
Depending on the kind of plan purchased, private health insurance contributes to hospital theatre and accommodation expenses. It likewise subsidizes costs linked with a range of services not covered by Medicare.
Types of Private Health Insurance
There are two main kinds of private health insurance. The first private health insurance options are hospital plans that apply when you are treated in a hospital. The second private health insurance is general treatment policies often referred to as ancillary or extras.
Private health insurance policies cover you for additional treatment like dental work or physiotherapy.
The majority of health funds offer joint private health insurance policies that offer a packaged coverage for both hospital and general treatment. Still, you can avail of the separate hospital and general treatment health insurance policies in case you want to customize your coverage.
Should you be purchasing private health insurance for the first time or perhaps getting an upgrade in your plan, you will have to observe a maturing period before you can avail of your private health insurance benefits.
You do not receive any private health insurance benefits for certain treatments during this waiting period, or you receive lesser benefits for a given duration. Be informed of what is and is not included in your private health insurance plan since not all policies are all-inclusive. You may not be completely covered against all costs pertaining with your treatment and may have to shell out for some additional expenses yourself.
Study your private health insurance cover every now and then to make sure it still meets your healthcare requirements.
Hospital health insurance policies share in the burden of covering the cost of hospital treatment by your physician in addition to hospital costs like accommodation and theatre charges. Hospital health insurance policies are categorized into four general groups.
Coverage health insurance
This does not include or limits at least one of the following: Assisted reproductive services, cataract and eye lens procedures, pregnancy and birth related services, joint replacements like shoulder, knee, hip and elbow including revisions, hip and knee replacements, hip replacements, sterilization and dialysis for chronic renal failure.
Basic Private Hospital Coverage
Health insurance that does not include or restricts one or more of these: Non-cosmetic plastic surgery, cardiac and cardiac related services, rehabilitation, palliative care and psychiatric services.
Public Hospital Coverage
Health insurance which includes default benefits for treatment exclusively in public hospitals.
General Treatment Policies
General treatment health insurance policies are offered or bundled with hospital cover. There are three basic categories of policies:
- Comprehensive Coverage
Private health insurance which includes cover for optical, non-PBS pharmaceuticals, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology, general dental, major dental, endodontic and orthodontics
- Medium Coverage
Private health insurance that includes treatment for physiotherapy, chiropractic, podiatry, psychology, hearing aids, general dental, major dental, endodontic and any five of the following; orthodontic, optical, and non-PBS pharmaceuticals
- Basic Coverage
Private health insurance for all other health insurance plans
Combined Health Insurance
There are a lot of health funds where one can avail of bundled private health insurance policies. Some funds have pre-packaged private health insurance policies, while others allow you to customize general treatment and hospital features.