When you reach a certain age, your health insurance needs take on a whole new definition. The coverage you purchased when you were a young adult is not adequate for your health care needs after age 50. For many older Australians, health problems develop that are a natural part of the aging process, while for others poor nutrition, lack of exercise, or simply a history of hard living can catch up with our bodies. Adopting a healthy lifestyle later in life is always a good idea, and obtaining good health care coverage is very important.
Every Australian can get basic health care through Medicare. But Medicare may not be enough for individuals over 50, since its coverage options are limited and the medical needs of seniors are almost always greater than those of younger people. For this reason, comparing health insurance plans is important when it comes to protecting yourself financially and medically in later life.
Seniors face the need for more prescription medications, more surgical procedures, and more ancillary services such as hearing aids, vision, and dental care. Medicare coverage alone limits your choice of hospitals that will admit you for treatment, and which physicians you can enlist for your examinations, surgical procedures, and any other medical needs you may have. Additionally, if your health insurance is limited to Medicare with no private policy in place, your coverage may not be adequate to cover all medications and treatments you may need; some medical services are not covered by Medicare at all.
Seniors who do not have a pension can apply for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card before purchasing private health insurance. Australians over 50 with a fixed income who do not qualify for a pension can qualify for this card to help cover some prescription medication and medical services costs.