When it comes to your health it is always
good to have all the facts. So let us take a moment to look at the main
differences between public and private health care in Australia. Public healthcare, which includes Medicare,
is provided to all Australians and permanent residents. The public system provides affordable, accessible
and high-quality health care by providing cover for medical services such as doctors’
and specialists’ consultations, admission to public hospitals and also subsidises some
drugs under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. If you go to a public hospital as a public
patient, you will be treated free of charge, by a doctor appointed by the hospital. However,
depending on the treatment you need, you may have to join a waiting list. If you want to avoid public hospital waiting
lists, choose your own doctor, be treated at a private hospital or be covered for additional
types of out-of-hospital treatment you can either pay for this yourself or take out private
health insurance. So why do people choose private health insurance? Private health insurance gives you more choices
about your hospital treatment. To start off with you can choose from a wider
range of hospitals. You can choose the doctor you want You can usually choose when you will go to
hospital for your procedure. And you can get cover for out of hospital
extras such as ambulance, dental care, optical, physiotherapy and other services not covered
in the public system. While private health insurance gives you more
options for your healthcare, it also means there may be some extra costs you need to
pay yourself. Unlike the public system, you may be charged a ‘gap fee’ for your doctor’s
services. If you’re scheduled for an admission to
hospital, always ask your doctor for more information about their fees. If you’re being treated for a condition
which isn’t fully covered on your policy, you may also have to pay for some or all of
your hospital theatre and accommodation fees. If you are planning a hospital admission,
always ask your health fund and the hospital about any potential expenses you may have
to pay. Finally, if you need to use your hospital
cover, your policy may have an excess or co-payment. An excess or co-payment is an amount you agree
to pay towards the cost of hospital treatment in exchange for lower premiums. So in a nutshell, private health insurance
gives you more choices with your healthcare and can help pay for the things that the public
system doesn’t. If you want to start looking into private
health insurance, you can start by using our website privatehealth.gov.au. Use the Compare Policies tool and the Standard
Information Statements to find and compare any health insurance policy in Australia. And if you need more information about private
health insurance, just call us or check out the website.