While seniors in Australia are covered under the public health system and by various concession cards, the public system doesn’t cover everything. Keep reading to find out how you can benefit from seniors health insurance.

Why get cover?

As we get older, our health insurance needs change, which is why it’s important to review your private health insurance policy regularly. If you’re a senior, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got benefits such as:

  • Accidental injury cover
  • Cardiac cover
  • Cataract cover
  • Cover for joint replacement (hip and knee)
  • Rehabilitation cover

Keep an eye out for funds that offer tailored cover for seniors. For example, some policies provide members with cover for the treatments listed above and exclude cover for treatments seniors don’t need, such as pregnancy and IVF procedures.

How will you benefit?
  • Get more back. As you get older, the amount that you’re able to claim back for your health insurance policy come tax time increases. Below are the rebate tiers for a single policy effective from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019:
Base Tier Tier 1 Tier 2 Tier 3
Singles ≤$90,000 $90,001-$105,000 $105,001-$140,000 ≥$140,001
<Age 65 25.42% 16.94% 8.47% 0%
Age 65-69 29.65% 21.18% 12.71% 0%
Age 70+ 33.89% 25.42% 16.94% 0%

Source: Privatehealth.gov.au

  • Skip waiting periods. The best thing about having private health insurance is that you don’t have sit around twiddling your thumbs on a public hospital waiting list. Having private health insurance means you can get the treatment you need faster.
  • If you do end up in hospital, you’ve got to consider your recovery. Private health insurance can help you get back on your feet by helping with the cost of rehab, remedial massage, physiotherapy and more.
  • Preventative treatments. Private health insurance can also help you out before anything goes wrong. A comprehensive extras policy will cover the costs of preventative treatments like weight loss programs, gym memberships, yoga and physio.
  • In-home care. Many funds are moving towards providing treatment for their members at home. Recently, Medibank launched its “Medibank at Home” program, which, in addition to providing rehabilitation at home, is trialling services such as chemotherapy, palliative care and dialysis.
  • Non-PBS medications. If you require treatment with medication that is not listed on the PBS, your private health insurance policy can help you with those costs. You will have some out-of-pocket expenses but health insurance can soften the blow.

For seniors, the most important thing is having the cover they need in order to make the most out of their policy and cover any medical costs that arise. Researching and comparing options to ensure you find the best health insurance for your situation is also important.

This article was written by Richard Laycock, an Insurance expert from finder.com.au.

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