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Private v Public health cover

Discussion in 'Living Room' started by robbie_p, 26th Aug, 2016.

  1. robbie_p

    robbie_p Well-Known Member

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    Hi All,

    I am interested to hear the views on private v public health cover..

    I'm 34 and my wife is 33 and we have 3 young kids (under 6). We have been on private cover for the past 6 years but have never really claimed anything. We might get the odd pair of sunglasses (me) or reading glasses (my wife) and odd the odd visit to the dentist for checkups and minor work, but we have never had to use private medical for anything else (touch wood).

    My youngest son recently had to have a major operation, where we were faced for the decision (public or provate) and we actually ended up going public and the service / doctors were exactly the same. Had we gone private, we probably would have paid $1500-200 extra for the same service. We have found the public medical system to be excent, especially for our young kids.

    We even had all our all our children through the public system as private would have cost over around $5000 out of pocket for each child!

    At the moment we currently paying about $2500 p/a for cover, but we probably only using about $200-400 p/a in "extras cover".. if that! Yes, you do get cover for physio and chiro too.. but we never use those benefits.

    I know there is a bit of tax benefit by being private cover, but how much are you actually saving?

    Interested to hear your thoughts?

    Regards,
    Robbie
     
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  2. Ed Barton

    Ed Barton Well-Known Member

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    Medical care in public hospitals is as good or better than private. But if you need elective surgery then with private you get it done straight away. Public you could be waiting years.

    For me, insurance is about tax - how much more tax will I pay if I don't have insurance?
     
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  3. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    There's a few threads on the politics and benefits. Varies for everyone.
    I'm in similar to you and similar situation. Stay add is sounds reasonable.
    Just get good hospital cover and basic extras.
    Make sure your not paying maternity or ivf unless you need it
     
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  4. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    I don't have private. I think its a waste of time and money if you're healthy and don't have kids.
     
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  5. hash_investor

    hash_investor Well-Known Member

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    Depends on your tax bracket. Many people don't save much if they are married and partners are not working / younger kids.

    I had private for tax savings while I was not married. Now I use property for Tax management and public system is perfectly fine so far.
     
  6. Dan Donoghue

    Dan Donoghue Well-Known Member

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    I don't have kids and I thought I was healthy (I mean look at the picture just 2 months before diagnosis I look super super healthy).

    I may be an exception and that's fine but considering last year alone my health insurance fund paid out $27,000 for me and I paid less than $1,000 in gaps. I reckon it was worth it.

    I was in an amazing hospital and operated on just 7 days after diagnosis.

    A friend went through a similar thing 6 months prior but a lesser surgery and only half the Chemo I did so you would think it would be even cheaper than mine but he ended up with a bill well over $5K (I don't know the exact figure) and his operation was around 4 weeks after diagnosis. He has no health insurance.

    Health insurance to me is one of those things that we can all justify not having but for me personally, I am super glad I have it. I'm not about telling people they are right or wrong because personal health is exactly that, personal but for ME it's come in very handy.

    Not targeting anyone in particular with this comment but just because you look or feel healthy, doesn't mean you are.
     

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  7. robbie_p

    robbie_p Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input all! I called Bupa and I currently have the lowest corporate cover, so for now, I'm going to stick with it. I'm also waiting for my accountant to get back to me on the $ savings in terms of tax benefits (for my own interest).

    I think I might need to look at the private cover I'm paying for my dog.. close to $50 per month! Any thoughts there?
     
  8. Purple Patch

    Purple Patch Well-Known Member

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    We have always paid for private cover, not that it has always been affordable and our level of cover has increased as we could afford it.
    One main reason for this is that the public system is so overwhelmed and waiting lists are so long for some procedures. I have always though if we are fortunate enough to be able to afford private health cover, we would pay for it, and hopefully it reduces the waiting time for some other person who will never be able to afford private cover.
    I never use it and probably would have saved money going public, however my family has used it many times over the years (3 kids) and possibly would be at break even point.
    Cheers
    PP
     
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  9. Dan Donoghue

    Dan Donoghue Well-Known Member

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    What a wonderful way to look at it, your post just gave me a huge smile :).
     
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  10. Dan Donoghue

    Dan Donoghue Well-Known Member

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    My Dog costs the same, interestingly enough (he is a cross breed) my cat who is a purebreed is cheaper.

    I don't understand it.

    Check whats covered though, a lot of funds don't cover dental or cancer.
     
  11. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    You look great Dan:)
     
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  12. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    We have private cover (always have) and pray we never have to claim on it.

    But we have, mostly minor stuff like childbirth, kids with broken bones, etc.

    A couple of years ago, the wife fell down ONE step one nght and, can you believe this, broke one ankle and severely tore the ligaments in the other. I took her the Emergency Department at a hospital. The doctors put a temporary cask on both ankles as they couldn't operate until the swelling went down. They told me to take her home and bring her back in a couple of days.

    I told them to Pi$$ Off; our house at the time was not suitable to someone in a wheelchair. I requested they admit her into hospital. They said the couldn't as they didn't have a spare bed. I told them that we had private heath cover, paid the fees for years and years and only ever submitted a couple of minor claims. Now when we need a hospital, we are being tossed out.

    I told them my wife was currently lying on a bed in Emergency and we would keep that one until they found an alternative. A couple of hours later, they offered us a bed in Neurology which we accepted. In a couple of days, they moved her to Orthopaedics.

    Nearly 4 weeks later, the wife was discharged and it didn't cost us a cent.

    Thank God we had private insurance. I believe our experience would have been a lot worse if we didn't have it.

    You can't buy good health but you can buy good health care.
     
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  13. Dan Donoghue

    Dan Donoghue Well-Known Member

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    Haha thanks MTR. Gimmie 2 more weeks and I will be free of the bag and the journey (after 50 long weeks) will finally be over.

    Then it's time to move on the investment journey, I promised the wife no investing until I was fixed, I have waited and waited and waited, now the time is upon us :).
     
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  14. MTR

    MTR Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Amazing stuff, love it
     
  15. Indifference

    Indifference Well-Known Member

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    Ok, here's my 2 cents.

    Firstly, "insurance" is a form of "risk control". Just like any other form of insurance, health cover is an individual assessment of the risk versus cost of cover. If for instance, you own a car, you'd probably pay $500-1000 /yr (for 40-50k vehicle) to know your wheels are covered & that any other damage you cause is covered too.

    How many cars is a family of 2, 3, 4 or 5 worth? Is one family member equal to one car? I think everyone would value a family member over a car.... So, if a family can be health insured for let's say $3000 /yr, that's only $600 /person for a family with 3 kids ..... same as a car. Even for a family of 3, it's money well spent IMHO.

    Remember, the only time you really need insurance is when you don't have it.... please let that sink in for a second. Wanna take the risk with the only thing that really matters?

    I know where my priorities "in life" are.... top private cover all the way in this house. Without question.

    Enjoy the journey

    Indi
     
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  16. kierank

    kierank Well-Known Member

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    I put it a slightly different way:-

    If you CAN'T afford to lose it, you CAN afford to insure it.
    And that applies to everything - your car, your home, your contents, your income, your IPs, your business, your life, ... and your health!!!!
     
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  17. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    My daughter had just become ineligible under our private cover when she dislocated her shoulder. She was actually working in Canada when it happened, and could have had it done immediately at no charge, but convalescence without somebody at home to help would have been a problem. After several more dislocations (including a visit to ER when she was at a costume party), she tried to get it done back at home. She was put on a waiting list. 11 months later she had an xray- but when a spot came up 3 months after that they found the wrong shoulder had been xrayed so she had to wait a few more months. I drove to Newcastle to bring her back to Canberra, but she had a mild boutique of diarrhoea and had to wait. It was only a month that this time, but on very short notice. It took 15 months all up. Being elective surgery, it would have been done immediately if she had been private.
     
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  18. Colin Rice

    Colin Rice Mortgage Broker Australia Wide Business Member

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    Comes down to that ^^^^^

    We got 4 kids and wife is a stay at home mum and have used the public system with no complaints.

    I took out basic cover as its a fair wack via medicare levy if I dont have it and I get a few extras like dental and optical (I think I need glasses but living in denile) and a few other things worth utilising but haven't sussed out out fully just yet as only joined a few months back.
     
  19. Nikolina

    Nikolina Member

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    I personally think its a complete waste of money, I have always said if i ever did need emergency surgery i would jus pay to go into private and have it done. In saying this i did have surgery about a month ago and I did pay a private surgeon to do the opperation the amount i paid i would have paid alot more then this for private cover over the past years and i was able to claim some of it back ob medicare.
    My parents used to have private cover for many years, i was in hospital a fair bit as a kid, one day they decided to get rid of it and they say it was the best thing they ever did because from then on they never paid a cent for me when i had to have surgeries unlike on private they were always forking out money.
     
  20. alexm

    alexm Well-Known Member

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    Sydney
    My wife and I recently had the same discussion: do we get rid of the private cover?

    I've had a few broken bones through motorcycle injuries and used the private hospital options. Sure I got my own room with one of the states top orthopedic surgeon's, however I was still $7k out of pocket after all claims for a broken leg. Had I gone the public route it probably wouldn't have cost me anything.

    Friends working in the medical industry all tell me it's a gravy train. No wonder there's some many Porsche's and AMG's around.