Australians are lucky when it comes to health care. When illness or injury strikes, there is no question regarding your access to health care, whether or not you own private health insurance.
The Australian government guarantees that everyone is entitled to Medicare to help cover many medical needs; but few people realize what the limits of their Medicare coverage are, and where private health cover fits into the equation.
When you don’t have a solid understanding of the difference between what Medicare covers and what your health insurance covers, it’s difficult to make the best decisions for yourself and your family when it comes to planning for the future and protecting your finances if an unexpected illness or injury disrupts your lives. By comparing health plans, you can get a better idea of how much private health coverage actually costs, and what it can do for you.
Who needs private health coverage? Doesn’t Medicare cover all of your health insurance needs? What if you’re a young couple or family with no reason to worry about health issues?
It’s important to start by understanding how Medicare works, and what coverage it does and does not provide.
Medicare was introduced in Australia in 1984 as the country’s public health cover system, guaranteeing access to free or low-cost medical and hospital care for every Australian citizen and permanent resident.
The Medicare system offers access to a public hospital and treatment by a hospital appointed physician. While Australians receive excellent care through the Medicare system, there are little to no options when it comes to selecting the hospital in which you will be treated, or even when you will be admitted.
Under Australia’s Medicare program, any treatment that does not fall into the “emergency” category is considered to be elective, which places patients on a long public hospital waiting list to be seen.