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Do you have private health insurance?

Discussion in 'Superannuation, SMSF & Personal Insurance' started by Simon Hampel, 13th May, 2008.

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Do you have private health insurance?

Poll closed 10th Jun, 2008.
  1. Yes I do and will be keeping it

    43 vote(s)
    75.4%
  2. Yes, but I am thinking of ditching it

    8 vote(s)
    14.0%
  3. Yes, but I will definitely quit with the levy changes

    1 vote(s)
    1.8%
  4. Nope, it's medicare all the way for me

    5 vote(s)
    8.8%
  1. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    9th Jun, 2005
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    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Just wondering if you have private health insurance and whether the changes to the medicare levy will lead you to now drop private health insurance?
     
  2. handyandy

    handyandy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    6th Jun, 2006
    Posts:
    312
    Location:
    Sydney Nsw
    I would drop private health insurance and am only a participant because my wife insists on it.

    Personally I feel we actually end up paying more for any medical treatments as we are paying the insurance and then still need to pay when receiving any treatments, although they are few and far between.

    Cheers
     
  3. islandgirl

    islandgirl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th Sep, 2006
    Posts:
    118
    Location:
    Middle of beautiful Moreton Bay, Qld
    The public hospital and medical system sucks. I know I'd rather have the option of going to a private hospital.

    Health insurance is getting ridiculous but I just don't want to take a risk particularly when I have a young school age child. I know I've got a lot of dental and optical costs coming up so hopefully it will all balance out
     
  4. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

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    Like most insurances, health insurance is one of those things you hope you will never need - but will be glad you have it if you do.

    Things can change very quickly (accidents happen!) and private health insurance gives you a lot more choices about how you get treated - and more importantly, rehabilitated - in the case of a long term injury.

    The waiting lists for non-critical surgery are very long - imagine you got hit by a car crossing the road and damaged your knee. While the emergency department will patch you up, they won't be responsible for future corrective surgery - and you could wait literally years for that if you didn't have private health cover. The hit on your lifestyle would be significant if you are semi-crippled while waiting in line.

    I've never made a claim on my house insurance, nor on my car insurance - but that doesn't make them any less worthwhile.

    Then again - it is theoretically possible to self-insure for most things - although I haven't researched it recently to investigate the out-of-pocket costs of treatment via the private system for significant medical expenses, and whether the coverage you actually get from private health cover justifies the cost of the premiums.
     
  5. Nigel Ward

    Nigel Ward Team InvestEd

    Joined:
    10th Jun, 2005
    Posts:
    1,172
    unless you're a deca-millionaire I think self-insurance is incredibly dangerous.

    People forget the impact of multiple risk events - remember that old saying bad luck happens in threes...

    Cheers
    N.
     
  6. Jacque

    Jacque Team InvestEd

    Joined:
    16th Jun, 2005
    Posts:
    1,885
    Location:
    Sydney
    Yes we have always had it and, quite frankly, if we didn't I'm sure something would occur within a short period to make us regret dumping it!!

    Murphy's Law.... I believe it's called :D
     
  7. Billv

    Billv Getting there

    Joined:
    15th Jul, 2007
    Posts:
    1,796
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    We always had private health cover and I can't imagine us not having one
    because standards vary widely between Private and Public hospitals.

    As an example, my mum recently had a hand operation for Carpel tunnel syndrome in a public hospital and all went ok.
    We were very happy with the service.

    However, We've noticed that the cut was done differently to what we had seen before and this operation will leave a scar while another 1 done to a family friend in a private hospital is nearly invisible.

    This is one example, but like anything, you generally get what you pay for.
     
  8. bella

    bella Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    6th Jun, 2007
    Posts:
    48
    Location:
    QLD
    I don't think it is a huge danger in Australia since you have medicare to fall back on.
    In somewhere like the US you would be taking a much larger risk. (My comment relates to health insurance not other sorts)

    I read that the largest claim from a certain Australian health insurer (can't remember which one) to be around the $500K mark.
     
  9. Rod_WA

    Rod_WA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18th May, 2007
    Posts:
    324
    Location:
    Inglewood, WA
    Have it and keeping it.
    We pay about $210 a month for near top cover hospital + ancillary.

    It costs me $1350 a year to insure our 2 cars, or average $675 each.
    It costs me $2500 a year to insure our '2+2', or average $625 each.

    Car $675, Kid $625.

    Can anybody say that your car is more important than your health?

    (actual net cost for private health insurance is less, since we make consistent claims on dental, optical etc, that amount to several hundred $ of rebates each year).
     
  10. Young Gun

    Young Gun Guest

    Personally I don't have private health insurance and I don't plan to for as long as possible. For someone my age (26) it simply isn't worth it.

    When you consider the costs and what you get its not worth while and with the new budget proposals it will only get more expensive.

    Now I'm not saying you should self-insure but what I'm saying is that there is better cover out there for the young & not so old.

    for example, basic cover for a single male of my age is $59 per month & for that I get cheap glasses, various rebates on therapies I'll never use and should I be hospitalized a better bed and some rebates on treatments.

    when you compare that to my existing life insurance it doesn't stack up.

    Trauma policy: For $15 pm should I suffer from over 40 different serious illnesses or accidents, like the ones you'll go to hospital for I 'll receive a $125,000

    Income Protection: for $45 pm should i be off work due to illness or injury for longer than 4 weeks they will pay me $4,375 per month until I get better or reach age 65. (and that $45 pm is 100% tax deductible)

    I'd rather stay in a public hospital than lose my home because I lost the ability to earn an income.

    I'd rank which insurance you should have as follows

    1. Income Protection
    2. Death & TPD
    3. Trauma Cover
    4. House & Contents
    5. Car insurance
    5. Private Health Insurance
     
  11. Billv

    Billv Getting there

    Joined:
    15th Jul, 2007
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    1,796
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Young gun

    Insurance is not like medical cover.
    Question, do you visit your dentist twice a year
    as you should for general cleaning and check ups?
    Do you have ambulance cover?
     
  12. Young Gun

    Young Gun Guest

    I understand that Insurance is not like medical cover, but it costs less for me to go to dentist/doctor etc without cover. I'd rarely go to a doctor each year and I'd see my dentist once a year max. Having private cover would not encourage me to go more or less.

    The cost of having it "just in case" is too high, I'd rather put my money into a policy that will provide significant benefits should anything serious happen to me.

    I'd have to ride in an ambulance each year to get my moneys worth.
     
  13. DexterJambles

    DexterJambles Member

    Joined:
    30th Mar, 2008
    Posts:
    19
    Location:
    Melbourne, VIC
    Forgive my ignorance of the policy process - but is the proposed raising of the medicare levy surcharge threshold confirmed? Does it need to be passed by the senate or is does being in the budget simply bring it into effect as of 1 July?
     
  14. Billv

    Billv Getting there

    Joined:
    15th Jul, 2007
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    1,796
    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    From what I've heard the libs have control of the senate till July
    and they have said they will block this change.
    After July, if Labour get the votes of the small parties & independents they will be able to pass it.
    Cheers
     
  15. TryHard

    TryHard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17th Aug, 2005
    Posts:
    863
    We have it, and will keep it because :

    1. We have a daughter, and I wouldn't care what it cost to be sure she got the best care possible if something terrible happened. As the point was made, is a kid worth as much as a car ?!

    2. I have only known 2 people undergo major surgery within the public health system and they generally came out looking a lot worse than when they went in - (my Dad had open heart surgery in a public hospital and they did a fantastic job, only to nearly kill him in pallative care (the only space they could find to put him after complications) by screwing up and giving the wrong medication. A mate playing football had a bone break fixed and pin placed in it, which developed severe infection and he nearly lost his leg, still undergoing operations 10 years later. That's 100% complications in my limited experience :(

    Not to detract from the wonderful hard-working doctors and nurses in public hospitals - I wouldn't have their job for quids - but I wouldn't entrust any major event in my life to a public sector organisation of any sort. Queensland Health doesn't enjoy such a great reputation at a decision-making level.

    I agree Income Protection is necessary, but the income won't be much use to you if you're dead.

    To anyone who wants to take their chances without private hospital cover - I only have 2 words for you - Jayant Patel. :eek:
     
  16. rambada

    rambada Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5th Sep, 2005
    Posts:
    58
    But here in lays the falicy with private health care - 'it is the best'. Absolute & total rubbish. I am a health care worker on the Gold Coast so I'm from the other side.

    If you have a baby in a private hospital & things go wrong - it goes public for the best care. No paediatric ICU in private

    At the weekend, you have to check whether the private hospital has an Orthopedic surgeon, usually not, its pot luck. Break a leg + private health insurance = probably public hospital any way.

    My wife & I have had care publically & privately - & no contest - public has always been better. They have a higher staff to pt ratio for a start. I will give up a chardonay at night to have better health care. A lot of the public system is clogged up with pts who dont need to be there - just the symptom of the blame society.
    The other falicy - choice of doctor. Once you are asleep & in post op do you really think its your specialist who attends you? Dont be nieve.

    The best compromise is self insurance, and go private in the public system. And believe me, its not as hideously expensive as you think. And the care is genuine & amazing.

    Do your numbers carefully & watch your care carefully. Hats off to the public system.
     
  17. Billv

    Billv Getting there

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    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    Common mate when you are paying a specialist to do a surgery he doesn't get his apprentice to operate on you.
    But let's say that you are right and I am getting 2nd class service
    I will still feel better knowing that my specialist is in the operating theatre.

    Also, how much do you know about private hospitals?
    Are they all like the one you've mentioned in Gold coast?
     
  18. OLI

    OLI Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    15th Aug, 2005
    Posts:
    96
    I have basic (family) Hospital and Ambulance cover but I was thinking of upgrading my policy to cover an annual dental check up and a trip to the Optometrist. For this sort of Extras cover it would cost me an additional $100 per month!

    It costs a lot less to pay a couple of hundred dollars when I visit the dentist than to pay an extra $1,200 in insurance premiums.
     
  19. Billv

    Billv Getting there

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    Location:
    Sydney, NSW
    OLI

    I don't know about a lot less, it costs less, sure but it's a short term saving.
    It will cost a lot more when your teeth are full of holes.

    I will explain:
    A trip to the dentist for general check up and cleaning twice a year
    costs around $250/person or more.
    For a family of 3 or 4 that's $750 or $1000/year
    This is only for cleaning, if you happen to fix a tooth or 2 it will cost more.
    IMHO it makes good sense to have at least the extras cover/multicover which cover you for dental and optical because that cover is not provided by the public health system.

    Also, by having such cover you will be motivated to visit your dentist twice a year and your teeth will love you for it.
    And why should we go twice a year?
    Because we never brush and clean our teeth properly on our own
    so sooner or later we get problems.
    The insurance companies know that the 6 monthly visit is important
    and this is the reason they pay for 2 cleanings per year.

    cheers
     
  20. rambada

    rambada Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5th Sep, 2005
    Posts:
    58
    True Blue BV, as I've done the intubations while the doc reads a paper. And that wasn't on the GC but elsewhere.
    Private Hospitals are a business & need to make a profit. If you get the opportunity, talk to a nurse who works for a private hospital. Somethings got to give & as I said, doctors don't hold your hand post surgery, nurses do & they are under the hammer in private hospitals.
    Private in the public arena is this health professionals opinion, & I choose to self insure. Surprisingly enough, when you get it all in perspective, the numbers aren't that bad. The numbers we invest with are far & away bigger than health care eg coronary bypass graft (heart stent) is only $17k. Thats not much when you buy houses, managed funds, etc.