A major perk of having a good health insurance policy is that your fund will typically cover your children for free or a substantially reduced amount.Many will even offer these benefits until your child is up to the age of 25, provided they’re studying full time, including no excess hospital admission.
Australia still has an excellent standard of care in their public system, but unfortunately, our increasing population has meant that the system is straining to keep up with demand. This leads to longer wait times for less urgent conditions. Although treatment for varicose veins as a result of your pregnancy, for example, may not be considered urgent by the public system, living with the aching and pain associated with them can really affect your quality of life and as a result, your parenting. Therefore, having a better level of hospital cover will mean that in the event of a surgical procedure becoming necessary, not only will you have your choice of hospital and doctor, you will wait less and have much more autonomy over appointment times, which is often not the case in the public system.
When you are doing your health insurance comparison, be wary of junky policies that will exclude a variety of procedures in their fine print. Each policy will be different, so take the time to review them carefully. You may, for example, not need to be covered for a hip replacement but certainly, want obstetrics cover if you’re planning more children. Also, don’t assume that a certain level of cover will suit your needs because unfortunately, this is not always the case, especially with craftily named polices that sound a lot more inclusive than what they actually are such as ‘top’ or ‘gold’ hospital. It’s typically better to invest in a better level of cover but add an excess in order to reduce your monthly premiums. This will save you money whilst being covered, especially if you have no elective surgery in mind. Don’t forget that obstetrics cover will have a waiting period that will need to be served before you can use it!
Another factor to be wary of is cosmetic surgery. Having the highest level of cover possible will still not cover you for most elective cosmetic procedures such as liposuction or labiaplasty performed in Melbourne, Sydney or across Australia. There are exceptions if the procedure is deemed medically necessary subject to some specific criteria. For example, for serious complications following the birth of your child, plastic surgery may be needed in some cases to correct these issues.
Trying to justify private health insurance can be a balancing act within the family household budget. However, depending on your circumstances, having insurance when you have littlies will typically provide enough benefits to outweigh the investment. Having your children covered will mean more flexibility for where and when private hospital admissions will occur as well as extras benefits that come in handy when everyone in the house needs orthotics and glasses!