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Last Updated on 7 October 2019

Compare Health Insurance for Your Heart

The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. It is responsible for so many functions and so many processes that go on inside us. If something happens to interrupt its normal working conditions, that could lead to serious health problems. Heart disease is the number one cause of death among Australians, even more than all cancers combined.

Because of this, it’s only sensible to do all we can to make sure that our hearts stay in good working condition, and to take precautions in case anything should happen to it. Private health insurance for your heart is one of the steps a person can take to protect themselves against the potential financial impact of their health care needs.

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What is Covered

It is important to remember that Medicare covers expenses for many injuries, diseases or illnesses that you might incur. These include examinations, treatments, medical procedures, recovery time in the hospital, medications and in cases, even after-care should you need it.

But the problem with cardiac care is that in most cases, you must see a specialist (a heart surgeon) to diagnose and treat your condition. Medicare then only covers 85% of the costs of seeing a specialist.  Since most cardiac care is expensive and the costs can add up very quickly, it is wise to look at private cover to pay for the difference.  If you have to stay in the hospital, take heart medication, or have other expensive treatments, you may find private health cover useful.

Furthermore, Medicare doesn’t allow you to chose your doctor.  So while you will get the emergency care you need, for ongoing care, you may decide to look into private health insurance to ensure that you can have the specialist you want looking after your heart.

The good thing is that no matter what, you are protected at a basic level for emergency care.  You can get tests done, can get your basic hospital stay (if needed) covered, and more.  The bad news is that paying for ongoing care to see a specialist may be left to you.  As such, either make sure that you are able to afford the out of pocket expenses, or consider private health cover to help you pay.

Compare Private Health Insurance

If you have an existing heart condition, or if you have a family history of heart disease, it may be wise for you to compare private health insurance before making a choice. This way you can choose potential policies based on what cover you’ll get and what premium you’ll pay for your heart care. Look out for information about:

  • cardiac surgeries
  • cardiac treatments
  • cardiologist consultations
  • heart related medications
  • any other specific health care you might require

The heart is the most hard-working part of our body. We should take care of it as best as we can, not just through health insurance but also through lifestyle changes such as healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and avoiding unhealthy environments. This way, we can help our hearts and hope to live longer as well as saving money on health care costs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Health Insurance

There are three types of health insurance in Australia. They are:

  • Hospital Cover
  • Extras Cover (also known as general or ancillary cover)
  • Ambulance Cover

Hospital cover can ensure any unexpected surgeries, treatments or hospital stays you may require will be covered. With appropriate cover you will have the flexibility to choose your own doctor and the option of receiving treatment in a private hospital.  Most hospital covers allow you to stay in a private room. One other perk is skipping the public hospital systems’ waiting list, which can be lengthy for non emergency treatment.

Extras cover pays benefits for a a range of services, often including treatments and procedures related to the fullowing:

  • Dental/oral health
  • Glasses and contact lenses
  • Podiatry
  • Physiotherapy
  • Psychulogy
  • Acupuncture
  • Remedial massage
  • Chiropractic
  • Hearing aids
  • Travel vaccinations

Ambulance cover, as the name suggests, will cover you should you require emergency ambulance transport. In an emergency, there is enough to worry about. Having the expenses covered for provides security and peace of mind. Many hospital covers include emergency ambulance transport If yours doesn’t, you will need to shop for this separately.

Life is unpredictable. You never know when you might need cover. No matter what life stage you’re in, there’s a policy out there for everyone. You can select as much or as little cover as you want, depending on your health needs and requirements. It’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind health cover provides.

There is no one answer here. Costs vary across providers and policy types. Just because a policy is cheap, that does not mean it is ‘value for money’ and vise versa. Make sure you check what’s included and excluded in a policy before signing up, as you want to purchase a policy that best fits your specific needs.

Premium: A premium is the price you pay for your insurance policy (it may be paid annually or on an ongoing basis).

Policy: An insurance plan. In other words, it is the type of insurance you choose to select.

Policy Holder: The owner, or ‘holder’ of a policy.

Claim: In the event that you require treatment for a service covered by your policy, you can lodge a claim for reimbursement of all or part of the cost of that treatment.. These days, most claims are submitted electronically by the health care provider (dentist, physio etc)

Lifetime Health Cover: Lifetime Health Cover was put in place to encourage young Australians to seek out and maintain ownership of private health insurance early in their lives. If you do not take out a policy before you turn 31, extra charges will be applied should you take out a policy at a later time.

This means you will pay a 2% loading on top of your premium for every year that passes after you turn 30. For example, if you take out a policy for the first time at age 32, you will be charged 4% of your premium as an extra, then at age 40, 20% and so on, up to a maximum loading of 70%.

The loading is payable for 10 consecutive years of cover - after which it is removed and you premiums will be reduced.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS): Medicare offers assistance for Australians with many of their their prescribed medication costs through the PBS. This assistance is in the form of subsidies towards the cost of many medications. You can check if your prescribed medication is on the list of subsidised items here.

Medicare Levy Surcharge: The Medicare Levy Surcharge is an additional charge (tax) applied to single Australian taxpayers who earn over the income threshold of $90,000 per year, or families/couples who earn over $180,000 per year. This surcharge is only applied to those who choose not to have a private health insurance policy.

The surcharge is designed to reduce pressure on the public health system by encouraging those with higher incomes to invest in private health cover.

Private Health Insurance Rebate: The government’s Private Health Insurance rebate lowers premiums for most Australians with private health insurance Older Australians may enjoy an even higher rebate. Our calculator can help you estimate the Government health insurance rebate you may receive.

Disclaimer: The above information is correct and current at the time of publication

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