Do you really need private health insurance in Australia? Depends who’s asking… Let’s break it down.
Ahhhh Aussies, we’re known for our love of the beach, booze, barbeques and bragging about Medicare… We’re lucky enough to have a flippin’ fantastic public healthcare system in Australia, buuuuuut Medicare doesn’t cover everything.
Ever showed up for a routine dental checkup only to find out you need work that’ll cost an arm and a leg? Yep, that’s like a thousand stabs in the heart. But it’s also where private health insurance comes in…
Just like other types of insurance, private health insurance is where you pay a premium to insure against a certain set of circumstances. In this case, private health insurance usually applies to things like private hospitals, going to the dentist and using allied health services (like physio or chiro).
Yes, private health will contribute towards your payments but it generally doesn’t cover the whole lot - you’ll also need to pay a ‘gap’ payment.
Yep! The main types are hospital cover, dental cover and extras cover. Many policies roll all three into the one premium, but you can also get all three at once or various combos of two. When you’re deciding what type of cover to get, it’s best to think about which kinds of cover you’ll actually use.
Private health insurance may let you…
Over 53% of Aussies have some form of private health cover - that’s almost 14 MILLION people!
And it has a lot to do with the Medicare levy surcharge. Most Aussies pay the Medicare levy, but if you earn above the threshold ($90k for a single or $180k as a couple) you’ll have to pay an extra surcharge too - of up to 1.5% of your taxable income.
So if you’re a high income earner, getting private health insurance might actually be cheaper than paying the surcharge. Smart move, Aussie government.
Sign up for Flux and join 100,000 members of the Flux family