Friday Flash Poll: What’s your take on private health cover?

Enthusiasm for private health insurance is waning.

Friday Flash Poll: What’s your take on private health cover?

Enthusiasm for private health insurance is waning, according to the findings of Roy Morgan’s Single Source Survey.

Researchers conducted in-depth personal interviews face-to-face with over 50,000 Australians, 8000 of whom had health insurance funds.

When asked why people have health insurance, the majority (70.9 per cent) agree that ‘above all else, private health insurance is about knowing that you will be able to cover the cost of big medical expenses if they arise’.

This figure has declined from 77.5 per cent over the past four years, yet it remains the top priority for fund members, ahead of agreement on ‘health insurance gives me peace of mind’ with 68.1 per cent, which has also declined from 74.5 per cent over the same period.

These aren’t the only adverse trends registered in the 12 months to October 2018 compared to the same period in 2014. In fact, negative trends were registered across the 10 statements shown in the following chart.

The biggest drop was recorded in the ‘it is essential to have private health insurance’ category, which declined by 10.0 per cent, followed by ‘it is difficult to understand what you are actually covered for with private health insurance’, which increased to 43.7 per cent, and ‘extras and hospital cover are equally important’, down 7.1 per cent points to 54.1 per cent.

Pre-Boomers (born before 1946) strongly agree that ‘private health insurance is about knowing that you’ll be able to cover the cost of big medical expenses’, compared to only 56.5 per cent among Gen Z.

Millennials and Gen Xers ‘want the cheapest and don’t care provider’ and strongly believe that ‘only reason to have it is to avoid paying tax’, although many ‘don’t see much value in having it’.

The youngest generation (Gen Z, aged 14 to 27) is the least engaged in private health insurance and are more likely to ‘rely on recommendations from friends and family in choosing a fund’.

Is it surprising that the attitudes towards having private health insurance are waning? With the cost of cover rising steadily each year, and the level of cover seemingly lessening, it should not be a revelation to providers that the public are becoming disinterested in having cover – especially when the cost far outweighs the value.

Many Australians would weigh up the monthly expense and feel better off if they banked that money to put towards possible emergencies. Others just can’t afford it.

Last week, YourLifeChoices received a message from a member who said it was cheaper for he and his wife to have two singles policies.

“My wife and I are retired. We have top family health insurance, hospital and extras – if we had our health insurance as two single policies it is cheaper by about 8 per cent,” wrote Derek*.

“Can your team investigate and explain if this is correct and is there any advantage or disadvantage to a retired couple having a family health insurance cover or having it as two single policies?”

We have put in a request to the Consumer Health Forum to help us investigate whether this is standard practice.

While we await a reply, we thought we’d ask you about your attitudes towards private health insurance. So why not take part in our Friday Flash Poll and let us know?

*Not his real name

Loading...

And of course, we welcome your opinions in the comments section below.





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    The Sheriff
    1st Feb 2019
    11:07am
    I am a Pre-Boomer. I accept that my group are more likely proportionally to require medical procedures than other group, which is an ever increasing ongoing cost to the Health Funds. Thus, knowing that a substantial part of any future medical expenses will be covered and that I will have virtual immediate hospital admittance with the medical specialists of my choice, I am content to pay the ever rising cost of my health care with no complaint.
    MjP
    1st Feb 2019
    1:54pm
    Well said The Sheriff, especially about almost immediate treatment
    Chat
    1st Feb 2019
    3:10pm
    The problem with this ---- I am not a pre-boomer but in the first year of the Boomers --- situation for my husband and I is that we have had family health insurance, with the same fund (although it has changed its name over time) for over 50 years despite the constant increase in premium, and have made very few claims. Now that we are at an age where we are starting to need to use this backup we are finding that things that we were originally covered for are no longer in our policy and can only be included at great cost and or the amount of support offered is greatly reduced.
    This seems to have come about while the funds have been adding all sorts of "lifestyle" coverage to induce younger people to join although this does not seem to have worked.
    My advice to anyone starting out would be to set up a dedicated fund and make consistent payments into it and I'm sure that in the future they would be as well off as we are now. and most probably better off. This, of course, does require good discipline to ensure they keep up the payments.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2019
    3:50pm
    An employer suggested to me, when I was 17, that I save the money I was paying for health insurance and buy an investment property which would pay itself off, then provide income to cover all my health costs. Wish I had been in a position to take that advice.
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2019
    7:13am
    Yes Chat. A bigger problem is the number of doctors and medical clinics who have a large gap payment not covered by private health funds. Your advice about a dedicated saving account is very good and I wish I'd done the same thing. I've not made a claim for 40 years on hospital and dental/ optometrist claims don't cover the amount paid into the fund.

    I think it is important to check what is covered. And to change funds if too much change is problematic.

    If times get hard financially insurances is the first place I'd cut back spending.
    Jaz
    1st Feb 2019
    11:11am
    The only benefit from private insurance is if your need is great and you cannot afford to wait. other than that the cost far outweighs the benefits as there is always an enormous financial gap between what your fund pays for and the actual cost. EG day surgery for my husband cost just over $1,800.00 on top of the benefit paid by his the fund. Enough said.
    Paddington
    1st Feb 2019
    4:40pm
    Change to healthcare.com.au and there is zero to pay for day surgery.
    Karl Marx
    1st Feb 2019
    11:19am
    There needs to be a RC into these health funds, I believe they would come out just as corrupt as the banks & financial institutions.
    They constantly over the years increase their fees way above the inflation rate & reduce the cover unless you pay more.
    KB
    1st Feb 2019
    12:01pm
    There is no need for people to keep paying more every year I changed health cover because something was included on my cover, I was advised that I would have to pay more if I wanted eye surgery included whereas I the new insurance company that I am with has it on their comprehensive cover without paying more, There are sharks
    GeorgeM
    1st Feb 2019
    8:29pm
    Agree, 1984, a RC is now well overdue. The Govts are not doing anything about this rip-off industry which is NOT Insurance, just a profit-making scheme for the owners / CEOs, while returning a few benefits to the insured many of which are capped. The people meant to be covered bear the Risk of Gaps - that's NOT Insursance.
    Janus
    1st Feb 2019
    11:43am
    Huge area of poor coverage is dental care and treatment. Many people simply can't afford it, and we all suffer because they don't get treatment.

    Call me a socialist, but there is a lot to be said for universal health care - and the benefits to the nation would be immense. Trouble is that the LIBLABs don't seem to understand the big picture. They all say it is a huge cost that we could not afford, but ignoring the fact that the nation's workforce would be healthier, costs would decrease in the longer term and productivity would increase.

    A bit like education. If education was free it would be an investment, not a cost. Most people are not really smart enough to understand this concept, unfortunately.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2019
    4:26pm
    Dental expenses should be covered by Medicare. There is a direct correlation between poor oral health and other health problems so, as you say, there would be a net saving of costs to the health budget.
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2019
    7:20am
    Perhaps if we did not have two systems. One just for profit then society could afford decent health care for everyone. As long as the money is spent in Australia and not inflationary the Government can afford it as we are now a fiat currency. The billions used to prop up health insurance funds would be better spent on health services.
    KB
    1st Feb 2019
    11:52am
    Private health insurance is essential if you can afford it and in need of hip and knees operations in the fifties plus age group Was told it would cost $20 000 for a total hip replacement without insurance For me I would not be without as I have complex health issues. The gaps are still a rip off with having to see other specialists . Their fees should be covered under health insurance not out to have out of your own pocket. Health insurance industry does need to be looked. There are some things that should be covered under health insurance rather than rely on small rebates from Medicare.
    sunnyOz
    1st Feb 2019
    4:52pm
    And unfortunately, most Health Funds now put Hip/Knee operations only in their very top tier cover. I've watched over the years as it has slowly been deleted from basic cover schemes, to premium top tier schemes. Want to make a bet soon there will be another 'super premium' scheme that they will lump these in to, at much higher rates.
    GeeDub
    1st Feb 2019
    12:01pm
    For a long time we have thought that the local system for paying for health (really ill-health!) is somewhat daft - even Kafkaesque. Working and having private health insurance means there are THREE outgoings. First the Medicare levy; second, the private insurance premium; THEN the almost inevitable 'gap' if treatment is required! You couldn't make this stuff up - although it COULD be called a 'stuff-up'!
    Huskie
    1st Feb 2019
    12:06pm
    Health Insurance is not "Insurance" it is merely a method of reducing costs to the individual.
    The main reason for increasing cost of premiums is the avaricious Medical Providers who charge extortionate fees and costs. A Royal Commission should be held into Medical Provider fees. Although I believe they should be "nationalised".
    GeorgeM
    1st Feb 2019
    8:32pm
    Good points, a RC is a must now - both into the so-called Insurance industry, as well as the Union-based support for fixing high fees by Medical Providers, with Gaps for everything borne by the poor, duped customer.
    LarryFine
    1st Feb 2019
    12:07pm
    Its a joke that is impossible to find out what you are covered for with Health Insurance. I have tried and it is impossible.
    What other insurance or product forces you to buy blind.
    No wonder people are dropping out at an ever increasing rate.
    Our public system works well if you are really sick and Medical Insurance is only useful for non critical items
    Extras cover is structures so that it is almost impossible to claim more than your annual fee.
    Both Labour and Liberal need to do something about this long unsatisfactory industry
    Whats the holdup??????????
    And journalists - not much emphasis here also.
    casey
    1st Feb 2019
    1:02pm
    You are dead right there. If you are really sick they take care of you immediately. My wife had ongoing problems and there was no wait, didn't have any insurance but she was treated without any waiting. It was at the Peter McCallum centre and some of her medications were in excess off $1500-00 per month and not covered by the PBS. But Peter McCallum supplied them at the cost of a normal presription. Can't say enough about the staff, service and treatment there. Owe them more than I could ever say.
    Paddington
    1st Feb 2019
    5:26pm
    My sister had a stroke in Brisbane and everything was covered including home physio.
    I asked if she would drop her private cover considering how well she was looked after at no cost throughthe public system and she said, “No, because of electives such as knee or hip etc!”
    warton
    1st Feb 2019
    12:09pm
    paid health all my life and was too old to have much super $10,000 in fact, so as the health fund escalated U could not afford it, I thought as you grew older you would get it cheaper, which would have been fair, all those decades with hardly a claim, but no! now I just cannot afford them.
    Priscilla
    1st Feb 2019
    1:24pm
    The tragedy with the current health cover is that it is so inadequate. Before the instigation of Medicare if you had private health cover you were fully covered! Today it is just a farce, leaving you with big medical bills. Doctors and nurses get paid huge penalty bonuses on top of good salaries. Like everything today, the consumer is left high and dry, the dollar being the only thing that matters.

    1st Feb 2019
    1:25pm
    My main problem with health insurers is the way they have hoodwinked governments for years with their pathetic announcements of the annual rise being a quite small "average" percentage. No government has asked for a breakdown of the quoted rise which, in our case, has been between 11.65% and 18.1%, nowhere near the quoted "average". Like a lot of others, we are loath to leave as we have reached the years where we are more likely than not to require medical procedures.
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2019
    7:27am
    Have you checked out other funds to transfer to. My insurer has price rises but nothing like those % which seem excessive.
    Florgan
    1st Feb 2019
    1:27pm
    Paying a gap is a Rort
    Until they make a no gap or a set excess ( like house insurance $100 as an example) we will not waste our money
    Lizzie
    1st Feb 2019
    1:44pm
    I would much prefer that there be NO private health insurance, and everyone is covered by public health - ie Medicare. I would pay a higher levy if this were the case, instead of private insurance. At the moment I am paying 3 times - Medicare levy, private health insurance & a gap. As a public patient in a hospital, there are no payments. Universal Health Care would be a vast improvement.
    musicveg
    1st Feb 2019
    11:48pm
    I agree, Britain has is so why can't we?
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2019
    7:30am
    Fully agree Lizzie. The Communist countries can also do health provision well so there has to be a way. Even Cuba under sanctions had one of the best universal health systems in the world.

    1st Feb 2019
    1:51pm
    I have paid for the top cover with ancillaries practically since I started work. I was strongly encouraged to do that by work colleagues who had far more experience of life. They explained that it was a community thing to do and I could experience a health problem at any time. Also to take out super cover, which I did, and life insurance and death cover, which I didn't.

    Up until recently, I have been blessed with good health (as were my family members, now fled the nest and we did work at good health) and I have been subsidising others for years. I don't resent that. Nor have I ever expected to make a profit out of insurance.

    I am amazed how the Australian culture has changed. There is a new focus on minding others backyards, on egocentrism -'#me first' and 'I'm alright Jack'.

    Personal health insurance for those who can afford it is the prudent and right thing to do.

    However, as we age we should also be aware that there is a lot of jealousy and wedge-driving by certain political factions and older people are not well regarded in the new Australian culture.

    To be blunt, when you are in that public hospital and the pressure in on to find more beds, or to allocate priority for surgery, or to meet a budget, it is YOU that allegedly privileged old white male (and that doesn't rule out old white women), who will likely be dropped down the list. The aged are seen as disposable.

    I will be keeping up the private health cover for as long as I can. I hope there will always be sufficient men and women of honour in the Parliament (and they are not restricted to one side) to keep a bit of a watch out for us where health cover is concerned.
    V1K1
    1st Feb 2019
    2:01pm
    In December last year (2018) I had to go to hospital for the first time in my life for several weeks. I am in my mid 60's. I have paid for private hospital cover with the same insurer all my life since it was first introduced. My health fund told me that I was NOT covered because I only had "TOP" hospital cover. I needed "PREMIUM" hospital cover.

    This is appalling, to be told that I was not covered because I only had "TOP" cover.

    Believe it or not, this is a true story and how the system works today (or how it worked on December 10, 2018).
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2019
    2:25pm
    That is a sad story. There is a continual rehashing of coverage packages. It is confusing. The funds know far better than we do what medical conditions are likely at what age. Any concept of community benefit has been lost with the corporatisation of some funds.
    cupoftea
    1st Feb 2019
    5:55pm
    V1K1 I read your letter and I rang up my health cover and asked what I was covered for she said 100% hospital which includes hip,thighs,evan heart but not cosmetic I pay $209.00 for me only I might just add that about 8 yrs ago I changed to a different insurer I was lucky I joined the other one first so I didn't have the waiting period if I had left one before joining the other one I would have been caught, they don't tell you
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2019
    6:42pm
    To do better for ourselves there is a need to discuss actual funds and their plans and the service received to date.

    There has to be a way of doing that, comparisons, on YLC without it becoming an unfair complaint fest.

    Wondering if anyone has a good list of the coverage items that should be in a policy for seniors.
    floss
    1st Feb 2019
    2:01pm
    Like our power providers they are a rip off.Corruption is now rife in Australia, just plain stupid Government.Australia must now be the most costly country in the world to live in.
    GeeDub
    1st Feb 2019
    3:20pm
    Unfortunately, I suspect that there is quite a lot in what you say here. There seem to be 'snouts in the trough' in a number of areas. Always the case in most places most of the time I suppose. D'you think that THESE are amongst the 'Australian Cultural Values'?!?
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2019
    7:38am
    It is an indication of the failure of Liberals to ensure regulation that prevents corruption by privateers. I'm not saying Labor would be better although Gough promised universal health but obviously Liberals have been in power for most of the past 30 years and this is the consequence of their ideology and lack of oversight.
    me an im
    1st Feb 2019
    2:08pm
    really irritates me that we pay private health insurance, we pay our medicare levy and then we are still hit for out of pocket expenses. we effectively pay 3 times for tests
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2019
    7:42am
    AS a self funded retiree with no concession or health card I now shop around for bulk billing and insist on it. I put in whatever test, area and bulk bill into google and the clinics that do bulk bill pop up. Old Geezer explained on this site that it was possible and it is.
    You have to get your MD to put bulk bill on the referral which they will do if you explain your situation.
    Bombers
    1st Feb 2019
    2:14pm
    We pay through HCF 18 months in advance from late March each year to beat the April 1st increase. By the third year you are saving hundreds of dollars as the two eighteen month payments are in todays dollars! Don't pay by month as from April the price rise hits straight away.
    JO
    1st Feb 2019
    2:22pm
    A friend in Brisbane with Top Cover taken to PA public hospital by ambulance,bad fall shattered kneecap, assessed private cover, advised two hospitals could take her, chose ‘GOOD’ private hospital was advised although her surgery was booked if operating Theatre needed for emergency she would be sidelined put into next vacancy! Operation went ahead late at night, with less than satisfactory outcome, needed a fix it operation. Mmmmm
    shirboy
    1st Feb 2019
    2:29pm
    I think health funds should operate with NO CLAIM bonuses.
    Sundays
    1st Feb 2019
    3:18pm
    Private Health is very expensive. We dropped out of extras as not worth it and changed from HCF to Defence Health, which has made a difference. We stay in, so as to avoid long waiting lists if we get sick but I do wonder because the public system is great if you have an emergency or need cancer treatment. I hate the fact that you have to check first if the specialist you use is preferred by your fund, or it’s more expensive and also the gap payment is too high.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2019
    7:15pm
    Sundays, Hi. Good post.

    I have previously considered changing from CUA Gold to Defence Health. Yet to enquire on equivalent plan and cost.
    I am assuming that Defence Health like CUA doesn't have a list of preferred specialists.

    From talking with others about prostate cancer, in the public system, there seems to be a higher likelihood of radiation as opposed to surgery and lack of availability of robotic surgery. You may want the choice. Talking here about the higher Gleeson rated where intervention is required. I imagine that throughput is quicker and cheaper with radiation, but it does close off the surgical option later.
    Sundays
    1st Feb 2019
    7:49pm
    Thanks LJ. Defence Health has a list of access gap doctors who have registered with them. In our area it includes all the well recognised specialists. Interesting about prostrate cancer. Makes you think. A friend with breast cancer had surgery, chemo, radiotherapy, counselling all through the public system. No cost or waiting times. The surgeon and oncologist were first rate as was her patient care. She did have to go on a waiting list for reconstruction surgery but decided against it in any case.
    Dot
    1st Feb 2019
    3:50pm
    I've now come to the conclusion that all insurances no matter what are rorters. Been with the same health insurance well over sixty years, first with my parents then on my own and when got married the same damn health insurance. After all those years you think there be some loyalty from them but no such luck, every year they keep moving the goal posts so we are continually out of pocket. The Docters and specialists are no different, they screw you for every cent while at the same time are prepared to give free care to foreigners.
    Mez
    2nd Feb 2019
    3:17pm
    Many a true word stated here!

    1st Feb 2019
    3:59pm
    We were forced out during a period of financial crisis and now can't afford to get back in due to the Lifetime Health Cover Loading. Not sure I would anyway. It's not good value. When we had insurance, the gap costs were horrendous and we'd have been far better off without it.

    Partner recently was advised of a 3 month wait to see a specialist. Paying full fees, so nothing to do with not having insurance - just a busy specialist. Well, an emergency arose during the wait period and the treatment in the public hospital was immediate, by the same specialist, and free! Who dreams up these crazy systems? Similarly, back when we had private insurance, I went private for an op that cost a small fortune and was botched. Treatment standard was pathetic. Went public for repair work and got first class treatment at no cost.

    Relative paid for top cover for 15 years and a month before a very expensive procedure it was dropped from the policy for reasons that were absolutely absurd and unreasonable.

    So far, I've had no issues due to not having private cover. The big bills I've had wouldn't have been covered anyway, as dental and optical covers are pathetic.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2019
    4:34pm
    Your story provides every reason for not bothering with private health insurance.
    grannyjay
    1st Feb 2019
    4:09pm
    I would like to see "Couple" cover rather than have to pay "Family" cover.
    Sundays
    1st Feb 2019
    7:54pm
    You can just have cover as two singles with some funds. It can be cheaper, worth checking
    Mez
    2nd Feb 2019
    3:12pm
    Me too!

    1st Feb 2019
    4:22pm
    Health insurance is a scam - pure if not simple. And if medicos didn't gouge the public as they do, health insurance would be redundant. In my opinion, there needs to be Royal Commissions into both the insurance and the medical sectors.
    apache
    1st Feb 2019
    6:01pm
    Knowing what you are exactly covered for is a mine field. To be able to choose your needs in a medical fund would be a great improvement. Taking Natural therapies off is ridiculous as by using these I have been keeping away from doctors and hospitals hardly ever making claims for these. And there should be a reward for not making claims such as lower fees. Much more appreciated than a reward at some store or other that people in the country cannot take advantage of as we do not have access these businesses which are in cities. Utterly ridiculous. Also Dr, Surgeons etc should have capped fees, they seem to hike the fee if one is in a private health fund thus patients have to pay the short fall of what the funds deems the benefit should be if the right amount had been charged. It is all a mess and should be a priority for the Government to do some thing about.
    musicveg
    1st Feb 2019
    11:52pm
    They don't want you to use Natural therapies because they do not want you to get well,it should be called the sickness industry not the health industry. Surgeons do a great job of fixing injuries though.
    OJ21
    1st Feb 2019
    6:06pm
    The biggest problem with private health insurance is that, contrary to Government rhetoric, there is no competition. Government subsidizes private health funds with taxpayer monies. We should stop paying them funds, do away with the treats imposed via lifetime health cover requirements and and tell them to do what they are supposed to do -- COMPETE. Meanwhile we should channel the money saved into Medicare.
    GregH
    1st Feb 2019
    7:37pm
    1. Why doesn't this survey ask the people without health insurance why they don't ?
    2. Why do several questions force those without health insurance to answer as if they do? Surely this skews the results.
    musicveg
    1st Feb 2019
    11:53pm
    I thought the same thing.
    GregH
    1st Feb 2019
    7:43pm
    1. Why doesn't this survey ask those without health insurance why they don't?
    2. Why keep asking those WITHOUT health insurance to answer questions for those WITH health insurance? Surely this skews the results.
    GregH
    1st Feb 2019
    7:43pm
    1. Why doesn't this survey ask those without health insurance why they don't?
    2. Why keep asking those WITHOUT health insurance to answer questions for those WITH health insurance? Surely this skews the results.
    GregH
    1st Feb 2019
    7:48pm
    1. Why doesn't this survey ask those without health insurance why they don't?
    2. Why keep asking those WITHOUT health insurance to answer questions for those WITH health insurance? Surely this skews the results.
    jennyb
    1st Feb 2019
    8:42pm
    Agree with Greg H - to have answered "no Private Health Insurance" should have led to another stream of questions, or at least provided the "I don't have pte health insurance" on the existing question pages.
    I am now over 70. I had pte health insurance when I had my child (at 38) and when I compared the costs vs the premiums vs the service I would have had as a public patient - I dropped the pte health insurance - couldn't afford it anyway.
    If I were to take it up now, the levy of 2% for every year you're over 30 would see me paying some 80% surcharge on top of what are already outrageous premiums. No can do.
    All that said, I am very lucky that I am a healthy old chook. Have had 3-4 emergency admissions since I had my boy and have received timely and brilliant treatment. I do realise that others will have different health needs. But I cannot afford pte health insurance and thankfully have not needed it thus far.
    GregH
    1st Feb 2019
    10:32pm
    1. Why doesn't this survey ask those without health insurance why they don't?
    2. Why keep asking those WITHOUT health insurance to answer questions for those WITH health insurance? Surely this skews the results.
    Jack
    1st Feb 2019
    10:49pm
    So true Bombers, I also pay in advance so not required to pay the increase. Not sure what will happen this year as the system is changing. I also reviewed different funds and now have separate funds for Hospital and Extras. Extras cover in the new fund was a similar cost, but receive a lot more back in claims and have more than covered the costs with glasses, dental, physio. Will do the same this year. Years ago we pulled out of our funds due to changed financial circumstances and my husband had a medical problem that required urgent hospitalisation, but were quoted $1000 pd for 10 days in a private hospital that we couldn't afford. It took 4 days to get him admitted into a public hospital, but by this time my husband lost his hearing in one ear, due to not having the urgent treatment required. We rejoined Private Cover for peace of mind.
    musicveg
    1st Feb 2019
    11:44pm
    I cannot afford private health insurance, why can't we have a system like Britain rather than USA?

    2nd Feb 2019
    7:47am
    Where is OG. He usually weighs in on discussions like this boasting about his cheap-as-chips health insurance that pays for the very best and most expensive care in full, with never even a hint of a gap or co-contribution. Never tells us which Health Fund offers this, of course! Just rants about the perfect world we live in where everything is wonderful and all our gripes are indicative of gross stupidity and uselessness.
    ex PS
    2nd Feb 2019
    9:42am
    Do you really want to let that particular Genii out of the bottle?
    Anonymous
    2nd Feb 2019
    5:30pm
    Nah! Just a bit surprised he isn't here ranting, ex PS.
    Karl
    2nd Feb 2019
    10:21am
    My wife and I terminated our top private cover in 1990 when we had our first child. After contributions paid by medicare and the private fund, we were still out of pocket by thousands of dollars. The whole system is a complicated, expensive mess seemingly driven by ideology rather than quality and efficiency, and of course our hopelessly inefficient and wasteful public service. I would like the Federal Government to completely deregulate the private health fund industry, cease all subsidies and personal tax incentives favouring private health insurance, and apply those funds to strengthening and improving Medicare, and our health system generally. In particular, hospital waiting times. Our public health system is excellent, and there seems to me to be no need for a private system at all. That doesn't mean we should ban the private system, but let it stand on it's own two feet in an unregulated environment. Those who would still prefer access to a private system, which is seemingly no better, and arguably worse than our public system, should be free to make that choice, at their own cost. Waiting times in the public system are a great concern, hopefully addressable by applying the resources freed up by abolishing all subsidies and incentives favouring the private system towards the public system. On a separate but related note, the Federal Government should look very carefully at, and rein in the price gouging by specialist doctors and overservicing ancillary services such as radiology and the like.
    Mez
    2nd Feb 2019
    3:02pm
    As a nurse, I know that the public hospital system is better than the private whereas it used to be otherwise.
    However the waiting lists are extremely long up to THREE years!
    Also, the I Select types of services where they compare are not accurate because these services only have half a dozen highly competitive funds which are too expensive.
    It is better to go for the industry funds which are not so competitive and are cheaper.
    PlanB
    2nd Feb 2019
    10:39am
    I was in it from when I 1st started work in 1951-- and added my Husband -- when my husband got very ill -- terminal -- in 1987 I tried to up the cover but was told that we would not be covered for 12 months and never for any pre-existing illness -- and the gaps payment were sending us broke as I had to give up work to care for my Husband -- so I dropped out and I have not been able to afford it since,
    Also, after seeing what my Friends pay every year and STILL has to pay heaps for some things which ran her into about $3500 on top -- that was with NIB ---I think it a disgrace
    Mez
    2nd Feb 2019
    2:46pm
    Having cover for Extras are just not worthwhile financially as the covers are too expensive whereas cover for hospital only is very worthwhile.
    However, one has to be careful to ask your provider if the private hospital is a health fund approved one and if the doctor is under Medicare so as to ensure that if the doctor charges over the scheduled fees then you will be fully covered with nothing more to pay after the initial Excess for that year.
    No Excess necessary if one opts to go into a public hospital which has a very long waiting list for surgeries and therefore very unfair for those who couldn't afford private cover.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2019
    11:13am
    Thanks Mez. Always practical and to the point :)
    rob101
    2nd Feb 2019
    4:01pm
    Hi I don't know who designed your questionnaire/Survey but it is Rubbish! Me 42 years of social research!


    rob101
    rob101
    2nd Feb 2019
    4:02pm
    Hi I don't know who designed your Survey BUT it is Rubbish! I have had 42 years in Social Research and that is one of the worst I have seen!
    Cheezil61
    3rd Feb 2019
    8:47pm
    Just another example of legalized robbery! Have never had it (my budget does not stretch far enough & even if it did I would not give it to those rogues! Hear so many people say they weren't covered for what they thought they were covered or the gap (as mentioned already several times) was excessive! I will have to rely on the public system/medicare I guess (hell I pay enough in Medicare Levies at tax time so why not try to get some back. Although there are virtually no doctors in my town who allow bulk billing of a doctor's visit any more so I guess I will have to bleed to death etc as I wont afford medical attention anyway either way. System is crap (becoming more & more like USA)


    Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free

    • Receive our daily enewsletter
    • Enter competitions
    • Comment on articles