Think about health insurance and you probably won’t think about young people. After all, being young means being fit, healthy and active, doesn’t it? In my experience working with rt health fund, I’ve seen first-hand how living life to the fullest – whether it be through sports, travels and/or celebratory nights out – means that having health insurance should be high on a young person’s agenda!
People under 30 are much more likely to make a claim for unplanned medical treatment than older people. And, the kinds of accidents and injuries that go hand-in-hand with an active lifestyle can clock up huge bills.
Don’t pay extra tax
Did you know that private health insurance can actually save you money? By having private hospital cover you may be able to avoid a tax called the Medicare Levy Surcharge, which applies to Australian residents who earn over a certain amount and don’t have hospital cover. The extra you’re charged increases as your income rises.
So, for example, for the Financial Year 14/15, if you’re a single person earning $95,000, you’ll be taxed an extra $950 in Medicare Levy Surcharge. A base-level private hospital cover with rt health fund can cost less than this – so by taking out a low level of cover you may avoid the surcharge, receive the benefits of having private hospital cover and be able to choose where and when you’re treated – and who treats you, too!
Income brackets change annually so keep an eye on which income tier you fall under by visiting www.ato.gov.au.
Don’t delay or you’ll pay, and pay, and pay …
For every year you’re over 31 and don’t have private hospital cover, the government charges you a 2% loading on top of the ‘base rate’ that the health fund charges. And over the years this loading can creep up to a whopping 70%! Once you’re stuck with a loading, it’ll be yours until you’ve paid for hospital cover with a loading for ten whole years!
Get a rebate from the government
Because the government really wants you to take out private health cover, they’ll pay part of the cost of your health cover for you. It’s called the Australian Government Rebate on Private Health Insurance. You may be entitled to it if you’re an Australian resident who qualifies for Medicare and holds private health insurance.
Give yourself choices
The public health system in Australia is exceptional. There’s no doubting that. But where unexpected injury is concerned and specialist care is required, having health insurance is important if you want a say about where and when you’ll be treated and who’ll be treating you.
And this is especially important for young people who enjoy the freedom of making their own choices and taking their own direction in life. Accidents without the protection of private health insurance can see those choices disappear.
Recently, we spoke with a number of young people who shared their stories about unexpected accidents and injuries. In these cases, all of them were covered by private health insurance. And it’s a good thing too…
Ouch – you can still see the scar!
‘Playing cricket as a 22 year old, a short ball hit me on the side of my left index finger when I was batting. I heard a cracking
Turns out I had fractured my third metacarpal and needed a CT scan, surgery and about three months of physiotherapy.
Because I had health insurance, I could get into a hospital for surgery within a week.
And, around 70% of the physiotherapy costs were covered.
I’m really glad that I had private health insurance – there was no stress working out if I could afford the surgery or if I’d have to wait for the public system to schedule me in … and there were no hidden expenses to pay, either!’ Clinton
Imagine getting caught out with broken teeth. ‘My friends and I were mucking around on a jet ski when my mate went head-over-heels and chipped both his front teeth. He had to walk around with broken front teeth for weeks while he scraped together the money to get them fixed!’ That is definitely not something to smile about!
No injuries – still need treatment…
‘As a young dancer in my twenties, I train four to five times per week and the workouts are pretty high intensity. And even though I haven’t had an injury, I do have to see my physio regularly. Plus, I need to have sports massages to ensure that I take care of my body.
If I didn’t have health cover I might put it off – which wouldn’t do my health much good. I use the physio and massage therapy under my Extras cover and I love that I can use HICAPS for on-the-spot processing – I was out-of-pocket just $10 for my last massage!
I never thought about health insurance before joining rt health fund, which is when I started paying attention to what I could claim. And Extras Cover by itself isn’t that expensive. I have spoken about my experiences with my sister who has a little boy and she’s thinking of joining, too! You never know what you might actually need!’ Joanne
The belle of the ball
This story is all too common… ‘My cousin was walking down the stairs of a nightclub late one night, wearing super-high stilettos, and she tripped and fell. She tore the ligaments in her leg and ended up needing surgery and physio for months after.’ It just goes to show that accidents can happen anywhere, at any time.
Thank goodness I was covered!
‘I love being active and when I was competing in sport acrobatics, I landed badly dislocating my knee. I was taken to Emergency, my knee was x-rayed and I was sent home. Three months later though, I still had knee issues.
I was sent to a specialist and had an MRI; I was told that I had a ruptured ACL (anterior cruciate ligament).
Because I was covered with private health insurance, I was in surgery within a few weeks with my choice of doctor and at my local private hospital! And, I was only a few hundred dollars out of pocket. Without health insurance, I might have had to wait months for surgery.
My brother and I have had quite a few other injuries and rt have been with us all the way!’ Megan
We’ve served Australians and their families for over 125 years and we know that one size definitely does not fit all. We offer a range of different covers which mean that young people have a choice and can enjoy the kind of lifestyle services they want – like massages, dental, optical and physiotherapy – and less of the services they don’t need.
I’m proud to say that we’re the most trusted health fund in Australia[i]. So talk with our friendly consultants about our range of great value covers today! Call 1300 56 46 46 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help us help you complement a healthy active lifestyle so you can live your life, your way!
[i] Ipsos, Healthcare and Insurance in Australia 2013