Research Shows Private Health Insurance Is Near Mandatory

Monday, October 8, 2012, AM | 3 Comments

Do Australians really need to buy additional health insurance? Does Medicare, funded by their taxes, not provide enough cover? Why would Australians need to look at and compare health insurance packages?

On the one hand, Australians on average as a nation, enjoy an excellent quality of health. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare provides us with the following information, available in their Australia’s Health 2012:

  • We have one of the highest life expectancies in the world, almost 80 years for men, and 84 for women;

  • Most of our children are immunized;

  • We compare well with most other countries when it comes to smoking.

But nevertheless, there is a significant need for us to look after our healthcare needs. Just because we compare well with other countries does not mean that we do not need additional health insurance. Also from Australia’s Health 2012:

  • It was reported in 2007-8 that almost all Australians over the age of 15 had at least one health risk factor: this varied from eating too few vegetables to having a raised blood pressure;

  • Too many Australians are obese: 1 in 4 adults and 1 in 12 children were obese;

  • Diabetes had more than doubled between 1989 and 2008, with approximately 899,000 people having been diagnosed with this disorder;

  • More people needing kidney transplants than the number of available kidneys: in 2010 the waiting list was 1,770 people.

The list goes on and on: the above are only a few of the worrying statistics. Also, because we have the advantage of living for longer, we have to face up to the health challenges that come with age.

Australian Health

Virtually all elderly people need treatment for chronic illnesses, such as high blood pressure and the problems it causes, arthritis, and other ailments.

Advancing age brings with it the need for cataract removals, joint replacements and many other forms of surgery, for many of which there are long waiting lists.

Almost half of the Australian population has taken out additional private health insurance. The question is what type?

The different options available in Australia are many, as indicated by a quick compare on HelpMeChoose.com.au. There are lots of companies providing private health insurance, and when you examine what they offer, you will see that it is necessary to sit and spend time to compare the different health insurance packages and extras on offer in order to find the one that best suits each individual or family.

For a young, healthy person, an expensive package that includes expensive surgery may not be necessary. Few young people need cardiac surgery or joint replacements. A family hoping to start having babies needs a package with ample maternity benefits.

People living away from the cities need really good ambulance cover. And so one can list all the examples of the types of additional health insurance needs that people should look at when deciding what to purchase.

Some health insurers also offer cover for wellness programmes, such as yoga, Pilates and massage services, in order to help people to stay as healthy as possible. Many of them also provide health advice such as nutrition information.

When one compares health insurance one needs to decide whether these are essential for one’s needs, or just expensive add-ons that will never be used. But for people who have decided to follow a healthy lifestyle, having such extras as part of the package may help them decide that health insurance is a good idea.

People who travel abroad, and visitors to Australia, also need health insurance. Fortunately many of the health insurers offer these options.

And, just so that the whole family is looked after, there is at least one company that lets you insure your pet’s health too! So, if you have a beloved pooch, consider this when looking at health insurers and comparing the health insurance products out there in the marketplace.

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  1. 3 Responses to “Research Shows Private Health Insurance Is Near Mandatory”

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