Health Insurance in Australia: An Introduction

Health Insurance, Australia wide may seem overwhelming at times. With so many insurance companies offering variations on health policies, it can seem intimidating to know just where to start. If you’re looking to get health insurance, the first step is to decide what degree of coverage you are in need of. This comes in various forms, but the basic guideline will include the two options that are listed below:

Hospital Cover – This covers your hospital stays; and treatments associated with those stays and any operative procedures. There are usually three levels of hospital coverage: full coverage (although the most costly, it is also the most comprehensive), medium (average priced, but does have some exclusions) and then their is basic (which is the most cost-effective but also has the most limited with the most exclusions).

Extras or Ancillary – This insurance covers a range of treatment and health options exclusive to hospital stays. In the past, this has been along the lines of optical and dental, but many insurers are now expanding their range of ancillary benefits to include a whole range of alternative therapies. Such as chiropractic care, acupuncture,  osteopathy, massage therapy and homoeopathy treatment are now covered in some cases. As with the Hospital policy, there are generally also three levels of Extras coverage.

It’s possible to purchase Hospital Cover, Extras or a combination of both. As with any insurance, policies can vary from one insurer to the next so to be fully informed, it’s important to read and review all information relating to the policy thoroughly, including the fine print.

Another issue to take into account about Health Insurance in Australia is that there are tax consequences to consider. Once you’re income reaches a certain level, according to law, you will have to pay additional tax if you don’t have a health insurance policy in place.

Whether you’re fit, young, and vital, or starting to show signs of ageing (we know the feeling!) unexpected events and accidents do occur. Whether you just need a new pair of glasses, or a trip to the osteopath, or a prolonged stay in hospital, medical and health  costs can be very expensive. It is vital to ensure that you have the correct coverage in place for your lifestyle. Health insurance in Australia, whatever type or level your choose, it provide you with peace of mind knowing you have some level of health protection whatever may come your way.