7 reasons to get health insurance

In a world where everything feels more expensive, we’re all looking for ways to cut back. But it’s important not to slash and burn on the essentials – such as private health insurance.

In a nutshell, a health insurance policy helps you cut down on out-of-pocket expenses for some medical services, healthcare treatments and hospital stays that aren’t covered by Medicare. And, while some people do without it, including health insurance in your budget is one of the smartest things you can do – whether you opt for hospital cover, extras cover, a combo of both. 

Here are the top seven reasons why you should consider health insurance.

1. You will have the freedom to choose your healthcare providers and facilities 

Whether you need an osteopath to adjust your neck or the best breast cancer specialist in the business, you want to be able to choose which health practitioner treats you.

That’s where health insurance comes in, enabling you to select from a network of top healthcare providers and high-quality hospital facilities. It doesn’t matter if you’re seriously ill or just having a minor procedure; having a choice makes a difference, rather than just having to go to whoever’s closest to you.

2. You may get faster access to healthcare when you need it 

If you’re given a diagnosis that you want to get on top of immediately, having private health insurance in place can give you some sense of control. Mainly because you’re much more likely to get faster access to medical care and treatment, which is very important when time is of the essence. 

Your policy can also potentially reduce wait times for things like elective surgeries and non-emergency medical care. Without it, you’d most likely be stuck on a long waiting list.

3. You can get comprehensive cover for annual eye, dental and physio check-ups 

The older we get, the more we need to keep on top of those healthcare niggles. When you know it’s time to get your eyes checked or head to the dentist for a routine check-up, it’s great to know that your health insurance helps cover the cost.

Without it, you could easily be out of pocket for hundreds of dollars when you add up the optometry, dental, and physio costs. But knowing you have access to one free check-up for each of these means you’re far more likely to go for a check-up, and potentially catch any health issues early so they don’t escalate.

4. You can have peace of mind during unforeseen circumstances 

We never know what’s around the corner – and if you or someone in your family was to develop a serious condition or be in an accident and need ongoing medical care, the costs without health insurance could easily become astronomical.

If you have the right policy in place for you and your loved ones, you won’t have to worry about paying out-of-pocket costs for expensive treatments or private hospital stays, and you can also ensure you won’t experience significant medical debts.

5. You will have access to supportive resources to enhance your health 

We all have different healthcare needs and areas we choose to focus on. Maybe you love going to an acupuncturist or a natural therapies clinic once or twice a month. Or perhaps you’re keen to cut down on the costs of seeing a psychologist or would like to maintain continuity of care for a chronic health condition.

Health insurance extras cover enables you to choose the services you use the most and want to claim for each year. Depending on the policy you choose, you could end up getting up to 70% back on each visit to a recognised provider (up to your annual limit), which would reduce your out-of-pocket expense.

6. You will have transparency about any out-of-pocket costs 

Sometimes, insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of a medical service or healthcare treatment, and in those cases, you’ll pay what’s known as the gap.      

This is the balance between what the insurance covers, and what the full price of the treatment or service is. Being informed about the cost of the gap can help you budget for medical treatments, which is great when you’re navigating the rising cost of living generally.

7. You could potentially save on taxes with health insurance 

In Australia, most residents are liable for a 2% Medicare levy on their taxable income, which helps fund our public healthcare system. But here’s the good news: if you have private health insurance, you could be eligible for a Medicare Levy Surcharge exemption or reduction, which can lead to savings at tax time. 

There are other potential tax benefits to having private health insurance as well, including the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading. If you take out private health cover before turning 31, you can avoid paying the LHC loading.

Invest in your health 

To recap, health insurance is important no matter what age you are – but it’s essential to compare policies, read the fine print, and make sure you take out the cover that suits your circumstances.

Whether you’re single, a couple or a family, Real Health Insurance has a variety of cover options including five levels of hospital cover and four extras to choose from. Start enjoying the peace of mind that comes with health cover today.