For citizens and permanent residents, public health care is provided by Medicare in Australia. So why do 45% of the population also decide to take out private health insurance as well? And what do they get out of it?
Well, there are few reasons, you have the option of being treated by your own physician, you have more control over when and where you receive medical care and the waiting times for elective surgery tend to be considerably shorter.
People also take out private health insurance to access health services such as dental, physiotherapy, chiropractic, optical and a number of other specific health care requirements which are not covered by Medicare.
Apart from that tax system of Australia encourages high-income earners to take out private health insurance as well as paying the 2% levy to help fund Medicare and the National Disability Insurance Scheme. If they do not take out private health insurance, they pay a tax penalty called the Medicare Levy Surcharge.
The latest Australian Prudential Regulation Authority report into health funds shows a drop in payouts for dental, chiropractic, physiotherapy and optical extras of up to 6% in private health insurance schemes. And Pregnancy, spinal and brain surgery were increasingly excluded from mid-range cover. Premiums have increased by 18% over the past three years, leaving Victorian families paying $4,173 each year for private cover.
According to data Australians are paying more but getting less cover from their private health insurance.
Read out more about it in “Will you join the Aussies quitting private health” in news.com.au