The public system is run by the Government through Medicare, and is partly funded by Australian tax payers who all pay the Medicare Levy. Medicare gives eligible Australian residents access to things like:
- Seeing a doctor or specialist, in or out of hospital
- Medical tests like x-rays or blood tests
- Prescription medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
- Treatment in a public hospital ward or public emergency facility
- Select Allied Health services, where a Medicare benefit is available
Some things to remember about public healthcare and Medicare:
|Public Waiting Lists: if your treatment is not considered an emergency, you may be placed on the Public Hospital waiting list, and could face lengthy waits for your treatment.||Limited Choices: whilst you may not have to pay anything to be admitted into a public hospital, you also may not get to choose where you’re treated or who treats you.||Out of pocket costs: Medicare doesn’t usually cover the full cost of doctor’s visits, tests and prescription medicines, so you may have to pay some money towards the costs of these things.|
The private, or non-government part of the healthcare system, is made up of private hospitals, private health insurance companies and other health specialists. The private healthcare system can fill the gaps in Medicare’s coverage, and gives you more choice in where, when and who you receive treatment from. Private health includes coverage for things like:
- treatment in a private hospital of your choice
- treatment by your choice of doctor
- General treatment where no Medicare benefit is payable for services like Dental, Optical, Physio and many more
Having Private Health Insurance is about giving you the choice…
|When you are treated – you don’t have to wait on a public waiting list, so you’ll get treated sooner.||Where you are treated – it’s up to you which hospital you’d like to receive treatment in.||Who treats you – there is nothing more personal than your health, so you need to trust who you’re receiving treatment from.|
Private Health Insurance will cover the cost of your doctor’s fees, up to the Medicare Benefit Scheduled Fee (MBS) – anything they elect to charge above the MBS will become an out of pocket cost to the member.
Unlike say car insurance, which only gives you a benefit when something happens to your car; Health insurance not only provides you with peace of mind for the unknown but also helps towards maintaining your health and wellbeing everyday.
Hospital Cover provides benefits to help pay towards the cost of treatment you receive whilst admitted into hospital. When you’re admitted into hospital as a private patient you’re covered for things like your medical treatment and hospital accommodation.
Taking out Private Hospital Cover is all about providing you with choice. You have more choice and flexibility in choosing who treats you, where you’re treated, and often when you’re treated.
Hospital covers are broken into different tiers ranging from Bronze through to Gold, each providing cover for a different range of services. You can learn more about Phoenix Health Hospital covers here.
|Did you know… Whether you have a gold, silver or bronze hospital cover the quality of the treatment you receive in hospital is the same. The tier is just about the services included on each level, giving you more flexibility in choosing a hospital cover best suited to you.|
Extras Cover, provides benefits for everyday non-hospital treatments that aren’t covered by Medicare. They’re services that help support your health and wellbeing like Dental, Optical and Healthy lifestyle services.
At Phoenix Health we have 3 different levels of Extras cover, that can all be included with one of our Hospital covers. One of which you can hold without Hospital cover. You can learn more about Phoenix Health Extras cover here.
Everyone has their own reason to take out and maintain private health insurance, with a major one being for peace of mind.
If the unexpected happens and you need to go to hospital, you know that you have choices; the hospital, the surgeon, and probably most importantly the ability to avoid the waiting lists in the Public system. Plus by taking private hospital cover, you may also avoid penalties like the Medicare Levy Surcharge (See Section 2.2) or Lifetime Health Cover loading (See Section 2.3).
Extras cover is really about supporting your health and wellbeing and getting something back for the things you use everyday like when you go to the dentist, get a new set of glasses or contacts, have a massage and plenty more.