A Look at Hospital Cover in Australia

Introduction

Healthcare is available for lots of Australians thanks to medicare, but comprehensive cover is not. Hospital cover offers individuals and families the assurance they seek from healthcare, providing significant benefits for a reasonable price.

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What is hospital cover?

Hospital cover is a type of private health insurance that can be applied to multiple in-hospital procedures and treatments. A lack of granting individuals a say in their specialist who treats them or which public hospital they visit for treatment puts medicare at a disadvantage.

Hospital cover affords patients private hospital accommodation, advanced scheduling of various elective procedures and a choice of specialist or doctor to visit, dependant on the level of cover.

The benefits of hospital cover

Hospital cover boasts a number of benefits such as private hospital access, private accommodation, choice of specialist or doctor and shorter waiting periods. These include:

  • No levy surcharges. The Medicare Levy Surcharge applies to high income earners who do not have an appropriate level of private hospital cover. This levy can be higher than the cost of private hospital cover in some cases.
  • Private health insurance rebate. To encourage citizens taking out private health insurance, the Australian government offers qualifying tax payers a rebate of up to 40 percent on the cost of hospital cover. The rate is adjusted based on age and income level, and can either apply on an individual’s tax return, or as a discounted premium.
  • Lower insurance premiums with Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading. LHC is another way in which the Australian government encourages individuals to take out private hospital cover. It works by allowing individuals to lock-in a lower base premium if they sign up for hospital cover before the age of 31. An individual signing up for hospital cover at the age of 36 can expect their base premium to be 12 percent higher than if they had signed up six years earlier. The LHC benefit applies for as long as an individual has uninterrupted hospital cover, even if switching insurers.

What isn't included with hospital cover?

Hospital cover has some exclusions, as with all insurance products. Dependant on the level of coverage selected, common exclusions could be:

  • Coronary bypass and/or major heart surgery
  • Assisted Reproductive procedures
  • Cosmetic and plastic surgery, hip, knee and other joint replacement
  • Rehabilitation cataract eye surgery
  • Obstetrics and birth related care

In addition, although hospital cover does permit private hospital treatment, some insurance plants restrict customers to specific private hospitals. When assessing coverage offer, it is crucial that customers clarify whether treatment is restricted to specific hospitals or not, and what is not covered at all or only partly covered.

Lastly, customers should be informed that hospital cover does not account for the risk of out-of-pocket expenses. Due to doctors sometimes charging fees outside of the Medicare Benefit Schedule, this cannot be included.

When choosing hospital cover, iSelect makes it simple to compare different plans, allowing customers to choose hospital cover that is affordable, and meets their precise needs.

About iSelect

As Australia’s Life Admin Store™, iSelect helps customers take care of some of life’s most important purchase decisions. They are proud of the service they provide to the millions of Australians who seek expert advice each year. With plenty of partners and hundreds of policies, plans and products, iSelect gives customers the confidence to make the right call on the things that matter most.

Their dedicated departments cover all of life’s essentials, from choosing the right health insurance, life insurance, obtaining a car insurance quote to a home loan comparison. iSelect can help customers with electricity providers, broadband connections, and even take care of travel insurance.  


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Last updated: May 31, 2018 at 3:53 AM

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