As of 1 April this year, the Australian Government has simplified the private health insurance system.
All private health insurers now have until 1 April 2020 to sort their products into four user-friendly tiers – Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Basic. Previously, Australians faced difficulties in comparing the types of products and coverage provided by different insurers, as there was no consistent system to measure these by. This reform is expected to remove that obstacle. Now, each tier has a minimum standard, and insurers can provide additional coverage in the Basic, Bronze and Silver tiers as they see fit.
Health insurance matters
If you are reading this, chances are you are a part of the 55 percent of the Australian population that is covered by some form of private health insurance. In which case you should immediately review your cover and see how your current insurer measures up to the new system.
If you are not already covered, then now is the best time to be, as even the Basic tier includes the same minimum required coverage as Bronze and Silver. In a report released last year by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, it was revealed that, on average, even partially-insured Australians waited 50 percent less than public patients.
Here at LiveWell, we know that tradies are particularly susceptible to injuries and various physical and mental health concerns. And their families are just as vulnerable as any other Aussie family to illness and injury. This means that if you are one of the 11 million, going private is your quickest route to getting back on your feet and returning to work.
Is it worth taking a chance?
Australia’s universal health care system is a good one, financed through the Medicare levy on our wages. However, the government still encourages Australians to have private health insurance and imposes penalties (higher income tax) if you don’t and offers incentives for those that do.
Apart from the financial reasons though, why else would you need it? For starters, you can choose your provider and it can also mean a significantly shorter wait times for non-emergency surgery than going through the public system. In 2015-2016, for example, the median waiting time (the time within which 50% of all patients are admitted) was 42 days for public patients, 20 days for patients who used their private health insurance to fund their admission, and 16 days for those who self-funded their treatment.
How LiveWell can help
Now that all insurers have begun transitioning to this new system, the private health insurance market will be ripe for competitive offers. Speak to us today to see if our Health Insurance Advisory partner can assist you and your family. Our team knows how to cut through the jargon, and decipher which of these 38 new ‘clinical categories’ will and won’t be covered either on a restricted or unrestricted basis by insurers.
In accessing our free service, we will work with you to carefully determine your needs and find an insurer who can cater to them at the best price: no more and no less.
Other services we provide
LiveWell has your future in mind, and believe in the importance of securing both the financial and physical health of all hard-working Australians. We have provided impartial and objective services to countless Australians like you, and, along with our trusted consultants and specialist advisers, we can work with you to create a blueprint to:
– Reduce your debt and improve cash-flow
– Buy your first (or next) home
– Create an investment strategy
– Prepare for retirement
– Ensure your Financial Health is in order.
Take the next step in securing your financial peace of mind by taking our free 10-point Financial Health Check (of which health insurance is one of them), and set up an appointment to discuss your pre-end of financial year planning, and look to minimise your tax position.