What Price For Your Health?
How do you put a value good health? For many it is priceless. So how much are you prepared to pay to seek the best medical advice available?
Private health insurance is one of those lifestyle choices all us of face.
Do you go with the system and use the health safety net that the public health-care program provides to all Australians? Or seek the extra security and choice provided by private health insurance?
About a third of all adult Australians have private health insurance with the industry worth $5 billion dollars a year.
But that figure is likely to increase. From July 1 there have been changes introduced to the cost of private health care and many people have rushed in to take advantage of the savings.
The initiative of the Federal Government has been to try and increase the number of people covered by private insurance. The great fear is that as the population ages the public health system will not be able to cope with the increases in pressure an aging population brings.
Baby Boomers, those people born before 1964, make up the largest segment of Australia's population and the demand for health services will increase considerably as they age.
The changes after July 1 have meant increases in health care contributions if you're over 30. There is a 2 per cent impost per year until you are 65 years of age, with the maximum impost being based on a 65-year old.
Get in early and you retain the benefits of no impost.
For example both a 65-year old and a 75-year old will both have a 70 per cent impost. This only applies to hospital cover and there is no impost on ancillary cover. This provides an incentive for people below 30 to buy private health insurance and retain it for life.
The premium is based on the age you join. So if you join at 35 you have a 10 per cent loading which you retain for the length of your cover.
Ricki Smith, Manager Corporate Relations with HBF says there are a number of benefits that private health insurance brings.
This includes choice of doctor, choice of hospital and location and timeliness.
"You can go to hospital when you want to and avoid waiting," she says.
"Some people think it is expensive and don't realize there is so much choice. There are so many options it does become quite cheap."
Additional options often include hospital room rates, dental, optical and physiotherapy benefits.
If you're in a higher salary bracket, for example earning over $50,000 a year as a single or over $100,000 as a family, there is also a penalty if you don't have private health insurance.
An additional 1 per cent higher Medicare levy to these income earners will cost over $1,000 a year. This is more than the cost of private health insurance.
Private health insurance buys peace of mind. But what if something goes wrong and you have a dispute with your insurer.
The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman handles complaints regarding health funds.
They receive 2,000 complaints a year covering about $80 million in transactions. This ranges claims ranging from $50 for a few physiotherapy visits to $50,000 for a multiple-heart valve replacement.
Norman Branson, Ombudsman for Private Health Insurance says their role is to act as the umpire.
He says about half the claims require the Ombudsman to take specific action.
"The biggest area is where somebody thinks they're covered and they ultimately find out they're not," he said.
So if you are in the market for private health insurance here are 10 tips to help you find your way through the huge choice on offer.
10 Private Health Insurance Tips
1. Work out what you want cover for - basic, hospital, dental, optical etc.
2. Contact a range of funds. Meet with them personally to discuss your needs.
3. Don't buy on price alone. Price is not the best determining factor. Look at the package and options available to suit your age and lifestyle.
4. Look for a product that suits your needs, For example you can save quite a lot of money if you're prepared to share a hospital room.
5. Look for a fund that has a good reputation for making claims in a timely way.
Thomas Murrell MBA CSP is an international business speaker, consultant and award-winning broadcaster. Media Motivators is his regular electronic magazine read by 7,000 professionals in 15 different countries.
You can subscribe by visiting http://www.8mmedia.com. Thomas can be contacted directly at +6189388 6888 and is available to speak to your conference, seminar or event. Visit Tom's blog at http://www.8mmedia.blogspot.com.
Health Savings Accounts (hsa): How Do I Tell A Good One From A Bad One?
The Health Savings Account (HSA) is becoming well-known as an incredible tool to reduce health insurance premuims and yet provide good security for healthcare emergencies.But what should consumers watch out for? Are there good HSAs and bad HSAs?The answer is "not really." All HSAs are made to be quite similar, by federal law. They must conform to the national standards.However, there are some subtlies that differentiate HSAs as, not good or bad, but maybe good and better.The first thing to ask about an HS...(related: Insurance)
Health Insurance And Insurance Brokers
If you are in the market to purchase your own health insurance coverage you can save yourself precious time and money by shopping and comparing policies right online. Sites dedicated to giving you quotes on various types of insurance make it very easy for you to get an idea of what your coverage and costs will be. However, please be forewarned that there are some pitfalls in using an insurance broker as I discovered within the past year.As a self employed person, I carry my own health and life insurance for my family. When making the move from New Jersey to North Carolina in 2004 I knew two things about our health insurance:1. I would have to shop f...(related: Insurance)
Insurance For Car Wash Fundraisers
Non-profit groups in this day and age need to watch out for lawsuits, as it is an unfortunate reality. Having a good event insurance policy can protect your non-profits funds from such a lawsuit in the event of a mishap or professional slip and fall con artist. Yes they are out there and they will target your group if they think that they can make some money in a lawsuit. It is sad state of affairs even thinking of this, but you need to protect yourself and your group.INSURANCE REQUIREMENTSUsually a gas station has an umbrella insurance policy to cov...(related: Insurance)
Types Of Long Term Care Insurance
Regardless of what some people might think, medical insurance will not cover the expenses and services that ...(related: Insurance)
Insurance Glossary Of Terms
Assured - Those insured under the terms of an insurance policy.Benefit - The money paid to the policyholder when a claim is made.Bid Price - The selling price or cash-in value of your unit holdings.B...(related: Insurance)
What Is Pet Health Insurance?
Pet Health Insurance can give you the peace of mind that you are covered against unexpected vet bills. Having a pet can be a costly affair when you consider such expenses as food, vaccinations and checkups. But did you know that the cost of surgery can run into thousands of pounds? Would you be able to afford the vet's bill for major surgery should your pet fall ill or the cost of a claim against you if your dog runs out into the road causing a road traffic accident?One of the most distressing situations to arise is when a pet's problem is curable but the cost is too high for the owner to be able to afford, and consequently the animal has to be put to sleep. A less serious situation is when the owner has to opt for the less than best treatment due to money constraints. Obviously wi...(related: Insurance)
Consumer Driven Health Plans [ Cdhp ]
Do you know that skyrocketing health care costs have been draining the federal government and employer's exchequers over the last couple of years? The health care costs account for 15.5 percent of U.S GDP and is the most expensive benefit paid by employers, seriously affecting their competitiveness in the global market. Health care spending is projected to top $1.9 trillion in 2005, about twice the amount being spent on education. According to the Employment Policy Foundation, employers have spent $331 billion last year for health insurance, a 50 percent increase since 1998. All of these never-improving alarming statistics did result in de...(related: Insurance)
Your Cars After-impact Diminished Value
The(ACV)Actual Cash Value Policy DOES NOT insure the property itself but the VALUE of the property.Okay let's say the insurance company chooses to "Repair" their insureds damaged property (as is their option within their contract of insurance). HOWEVER, such an election DOES NOT relieve them of their contractual duty to restore the Pre-Loss VALUE of the motor vehicle...(related: Insurance)
What Are The Auto Liability Insurance State Minimums For My State?
As you shop online for the best auto insurance deals you may begin to ask yourself what exactly is required by law when it comes to auto insurance. Fortunately this article outlines the auto liability insurance state minimums that you are required to have in order to legally drive in the United States. No matter what state you drive in all of them have financial responsibility laws and require motorists to purchase minimum amounts of auto liability insurance except for Tennessee, Wisconsin and New Hampshire.Many websites and advocates of insurance (to include myself) recommend having a minimum of $100,000 for bodily injury p...(related: Insurance)
The Best Rates On Life Insurance
Finding the best rates on life insurance is not difficult any longer. With a few simple key strokes you open up a vast array of services on the internet to help you find the coverage's you want and the best rates on life insurance.Without outside influence and distraction you'll be able to examine and think through your final choice. There's not any major difference in the base rates that companies charge. That thinking came about years ago as agents would quote us their preferences. We needed to check with different agents and the prices varied a lot, but because of policy types not the rates.So, no longer do we need to be subjected to single mindedness or purpose as the internet lets you look at whatever you wish. After reviewing you...(related: Insurance)
Natures Fury - Time To Check Your Insurance
The communities of Exmouth and Moora in Western Australia don't have a lot in common with Sydney.But this year there is a uniting bond. All have felt the full force of Mother Nature.Flooding in the Wheatbelt town of Moora caused an estimated $10 million dollars worth of damage to homes and property. Cyclone Vance ripped through Exmouth in the North West of the State costing the community millions more. Sydney's hailstorm bill has topped $1 billion and is still rising.All this is a timely reminder...(related: Insurance)
What Is Renters Insurance Really All About?
Renter's insurance is protection intended for anyone who rents an apartment, home or other live-in dwelling. Purchasing renter's insurance can protect you against the risk of fire, theft, windstorms, falling objects, smoke, and vandalism. Another important aspect of renter' insurance is that it protects you against liability in the unlikely event that someone meets harm or injury in your home...(related: Insurance)
Term Life Insurance - A Safeguard For Small Business Owners
Term life insurance can offer protection for a small business and its owners in surprising ways. If you own a small business, you probably pay property and liability insurance, and are protected against fire, theft, flood and other disasters. But what would happen if you or one of your key employees was suddenly unable to work due to disability - or death? If something happens to you or one of your partners, what happens to your business? Who will pay outstanding business loans and other obligations?That's where term life insurance comes in.As your company grows, there are very...(related: Insurance)