Why have health insurance? Here’s what you had to say …

What you want – and need – from a health insurer.

Why do you have health insurance?

Seven in 10 older Australians have private health cover. It’s the single most important insurance product for over 55s. Well, that’s what you told us in the YourLifeChoices Peace of Mind in Retirement Survey.

So, why do you have it?

Of the 4,117 we surveyed, more than 80 per cent said the main reason was because they “feel better knowing that I’m covered in case of emergency or the unexpected happens”. Almost 10 per cent said it’s because “it makes me feel more secure”, while 56 per cent said “I would feel vulnerable” if I didn’t have health insurance.

Okay, that’s probably no great reveal.

What is more revealing, is what you’re looking for in a health insurer.

More than six in 10 (63 per cent) of you said the most important factor when chosing health insurance is knowing you are covered for what you need. Just under four in 10 (37 per cent) put service second on the list, with “trust that they have my best interests at heart” (33.63 per cent) the third most important thing you want from an insurance company.

Surprisingly, price is only important to 19 per cent, even being with a reputable brand (19.25 per cent) outranks price.

But when considering that price, it’s value for money that majority of you (71 per cent) are looking for.

Most of you know what you’re covered for, too. Around three quarters of respondents are confident of being covered for what you want or need and just under 80 per cent of you said your level of cover is “about right”.

Just under eight in 10 (78 per cent) of you said health insurance may not be affordable. If judging by this common gripe, one might assume that health insurance is a ‘grudge purchase’. Not so, say seven in 10 (69 per cent) of our members.

In fact, when it’s time to review your policy, 43 per cent are happy to do so if their premiums haven’t risen, and almost 37 per cent say, “I am grateful to be able to afford insurance and I pay the bill”.

So, when looking for insurance, you want to know you’re covered for what you need and you want value for money from a reputable brand you can trust. One that specialises in health cover for over 55s, with whom you could tailor your policy to suit your needs probably wouldn’t go astray, either.

Maybe it’s time you had a health insurance check-up?

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12th Mar 2020
I have had health insurance since I was 18 years of age, now in my 70s and starting to need some of the services I have paid for I find I am not covered for things like cataract removal, strangely I am covered for birth assistance and pregnancy, I contacted my health fund to find out why, apparently it’s my fault, I am on an old policy that new members can’t join, to keep prices down some of the benefits have been removed or downgraded, so if my wife falls pregnant we are covered, not sure how many 74 year olds have fallen pregnant recently! To clarify the situation re cataracts I am still covered for choosing my own doctor, but I have to go on the waiting list at a public hospital, the waiting time is between 12 months and 18 months, should have read the small print, although with my reduced vision I might not have seen it.

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