Singles health insurance is vitally important to protecting your health and wellbeing. Getting the right cover for you at an affordable price can often prove difficult. Find out how to compare your single health insurance options and what to look for in a policy which suits your health and financial situation.
Singles health insurance is designed to be an effective way of insuring the health of individuals. As opposed to taking out family health insurance or couples health insurance (health insurance where the policy is tailored to two or more people), singles health insurance can better fit the specific needs of an individual. Singles health insurance can prove an alternative option to couples’ health insurance as there isn’t a significant price difference, but taking out two individual policies will allow coverage to be tailored to the health needs of each person.
The inclusions of your singles health insurance policy will be dictated by the type of cover you choose – hospital cover, extras cover or combined cover – and the level of coverage you choose. As inclusions will vary, it’s important you read up on your policy’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to know what you’re covered for and what’s excluded.
Generally, hospital cover policies will cover you for any hospital or medical services featured in the Medicare Benefits Schedule and allow you to be treated as a private patient in a private hospital. Inclusions under a singles health insurance hospital cover policy can include:
The exclusions under your singles health insurance cover will once again depend on the type of cover you opt for and the level of coverage chosen. If you opt for a basic level of hospital cover, your exclusions can include:
To get a full list of the exclusions tied to your singles health insurance policy, it’s important you contact your insurer directly, check the policy’s terms and conditions and read the PDS.
A singles health insurance hospital cover policy will give you the benefits of being treated as a private patient in either a public or private hospital. Depending on your level of hospital cover, you can be insured for part of, or even all your in-hospital treatments by a doctor of your choice, along with theatre fees for surgery and in-hospital accommodation.
Hospital cover policies come in four different tiers – basic, bronze, silver and gold – with each offering varied levels of coverage. Ultimately, the cost of your singles health insurance premium will be largely dictated by your choice of tier. Hospital cover inclusions at each tier can include:
Extras cover will benefit your health and wellbeing by getting you preventative services and treatments which are out of hospital. Inclusions under an extras policy can include cover for things like physiotherapy, optical, dental, chiropractic and much more.
Each level’s inclusions will vary between insurers. Comprehensive cover will offer you the best coverage, but at the most expensive price.
Extras cover inclusions at each tier may include:
Combined hospital and extras cover
Combined cover will give you the best coverage for your singles health insurance policy and is the best option if it is within your budget. You will be able to get the ultimate protection by taking advantage of the benefits associated with both hospital and extras cover. In addition, it’s possible to mix and match the levels of coverage within a combined cover, e.g., gold hospital cover with a basic extras cover.
The cost of your singles health insurance will be determined by the following factors:
Starting with your pre-existing health conditions, work out the inclusions which matter the most to you, and the type of cover you will need to cater for these benefits. Do you want hospital cover, extras cover, or perhaps a combined cover? In addition, you will need to consider the level of cover you want. If you’re taking out hospital cover, would you like basic, bronze, silver or gold-level cover? If you’re opting for extras cover in addition to, or as a stand-alone policy, do you want basic, medium or comprehensive cover?
Taking out singles health insurance will give you peace of mind knowing that should an injury or illness occur, your finances will be covered and you will get the treatment or service you need.
By taking out private health insurance you won’t need to pay the Medicare levy surcharge. The Medicare levy surcharge applies to Australians earning above over $90,000 annually who have not taken out a private hospital cover policy. The surcharge can be as high as 1.5% depending on the individual’s income.
If you take out private health insurance when you earn less than $90,000 annually, you may be eligible for a rebate from the government.
In taking out extras cover, you can actively take part in preventative treatments and services which will help prevent injury and illness.
Depending on the type and level of cover chosen, the list of exclusions can often be large. While you may be paying for health insurance, you may find yourself seeking medical treatments or services and still not be covered.
Despite paying a significant amount of money for your singles health insurance premium, there could still be out-of-pocket costs for any treatments or services you use. Your singles health insurance policy may only cover part of the cost of treatments and services so you will be left to foot the rest of the bill.
When you take out private health insurance you will still be subject to waiting periods before you can make any claim on your cover. Contact your insurer or check your PDS to find out about waiting periods which apply to you.
Unless you’re going to actively make use of your extras cover inclusions, it could be wasted money. Only purchase extras cover with the inclusions you truly need.
Young people often take out private health insurance purely to avoid paying the Medicare levy surcharge. Therefore, insurers will try to get the business of younger people by advertising a basic cover to that demographic. However, basic cover can offer minimal value and not be useful when needed most.
Once you have purchased your singles health insurance policy, you should continue to be open to changes and search the market for better options. While your policy may have been the right fit at the time, if you regularly explore your options, you will find cheaper premiums or policies with better coverage than what you currently have.