Australia's public health plan, known as Medicare, is available to all citizens and permanent residents. Medicare guarantees that all patients have access to free treatment in public hospitals. Touted as one of the best public health systems in the world, Australia's Medicare plan ensures that all people receive basic health care. However, even with all of its benefits, there are some drawbacks to the public health plan, such as long wait times for non-emergency procedures and no choice of provider or surgeon. Additionally, there are several services that are excluded from Medicare coverage.
Australia's Medicare health plan is financed in part by the Medicare levy surcharge and covers most costs for GP visits, diagnostic tests, treatment at public hospitals, and most prescription drugs. While Medicare is available to all residents, about half of all Australians also choose to invest in private insurance. Private health insurance allows policyholders to select a preferred doctor or surgeon and recover in a private hospital room. Additionally, if you decide to be treated at a private hospital, you can select the facility of your choice.
With additional hospital cover, Aussies have more health care options and access to additional services. Health insurance can also be purchased to supplement Medicare coverage and help with costs such as specialized treatments. Let's take a look at why you might consider purchasing private hospital cover.
Peace of Mind
A visit to the hospital can be stressful. When you factor in the possibility of being added to a waiting list or staying in a shared public hospital room, the experience could be even more overwhelming. With hospital insurance, you can be reassured that you and your family will receive timely care at a facility of your choice. No matter if you use your private hospital insurance for an emergency or planned hospital stay, you could choose your own doctor and treatment center. Private hospital cover can provide you with peace of mind that you will have more control over your care.
Having private insurance also comes with some financial benefits. As discussed, around half of Australians have private insurance plans. Depending on your situation, it might make more financial sense to pay monthly premiums for health insurance coverage and avoid the expenses of the Medicare levy surcharge. Additionally, you could be eligible for the private health insurance rebate. This is the amount the Australian government contributes toward your premium, and it can be reimbursed through your insurance provider or returned to you when you lodge your tax return. While there are many health care benefits of purchasing private insurance, there are also some financial considerations as well.
Reduced Waiting Times
Patients covered under the public Medicare plan can expect wait times for elective surgery and treatment. Depending on the urgency of the condition, patients may have to wait for a significant amount of time. Waiting lists can also depend on the availability of resources and room at the local public hospital. However, patients with private hospital cover can choose their own specialists and will only be limited by the surgeon's schedule. This could reduce wait times and ensure that you get care and treatment a lot sooner.
Australia's public health care plan covers a wide range of medical care and services and provides citizens access to basic quality care. Even with all of the benefits of the Medicare plan, however, there are some drawbacks. A private insurance plan offers many Aussies greater choice and a wider variety of care and treatment options. Private hospital cover could also provide peace of mind, comfort, convenience, and financial benefits. You can find the right private health coverage for your needs with some time and research.
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