We explain the benefits to having health insurance, even if you’re healthy.

Public or private: which is better for you?

We’re lucky to have a strong public health system in Australia. So is health insurance a worthwhile investment? Find out why it might be better for you, even if you’re healthy.

Do you need health insurance if you're staying healthy?

Not only can insurance provide support when you’re in poor health, it can also help you stay in good health. Depending on your policy, extras cover can pay benefits towards services like dental, physiotherapy, remedial massage and optical.

Not everyone can access these services through the public system, meaning those without health insurance may have to pay full cost if they want them. In contrast, those with Medibank extras cover can claim back on the cost of the services included in their cover, up to the annual limits.

Planning for the unexpected

Australia has a universal healthcare system, which means if you are diagnosed with a health condition or need unexpected surgery, Australians can access treatment in the public system. However, health insurance can provide a range of additional benefits.

These benefits include more choice about when you have treatment, and you may be able to have certain elective surgeries sooner than you would in the public system.

With health insurance, you can also choose your own specialist or surgeon. For some people, choosing their specialist or surgeon isn’t important, but for others, particularly those facing a serious diagnosis or complex surgery, being able to choose someone they trust and have a good rapport with is important.

Wondering what procedures you might need at your life stage? We’ve created our People Like You Tool to help you find out. Fill out your age and gender to find out the top five procedures those like you are claiming for. The tool can also help you determine whether health insurance is right for you, and what cover would suit your needs.

The Medicare Levy Surcharge and health insurance

The Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) is a government levy introduced to encourage those who can afford it to take out private health insurance, and ease the burden on the public system.

If you earn over $90,000 as a single, or $180,000 as a family and don’t have an appropriate level of private hospital cover for you and any dependents, you could be hit with the MLS. But, if you take out an appropriate level of hospital cover, you can enjoy the peace of mind of having health insurance, and say goodbye to the MLS.

Click to calculate how much extra tax you could be paying without hospital cover.

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