PHI v's Medicare

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PHI v's Medicare


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Old 10th March 2016, 06:47 AM
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Default PHI v's Medicare

My wife and I gained permanent residency status in Australia just over 1 year ago having been granted contributory parental visa's. At that time, we took out Private Medical Insurance covering Hospital Treatment and "Extras".

We are 64 and 60 respectively.

Our sole (very modest) income is from UK pensions and puts us both below the Medicare Levy and so also the Medicare Levy Supplement. I am trying to work out whether I should continue to pay the Hospital Insurance element or rely solely on Medicare in the event of hospitalisation. Fortunately we are both in very good health. We live in a rural part of Australia and I believe our local hospital is "public".

I would in any case propose to continue with Extras insurance.

Does anyone have a view on this given our ages and limited income?

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Old 10th March 2016, 07:13 AM
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I'd say keep it. If you need a procedure that is NOT urgent, public hospital waiting lists might prove to be too long. Plus, some extras such as dental could prove very useful.

Probably tone down the cover a bit, or move to a cheaper plan and/or fund

Besides, with the upcoming "haircuts" coming to Medicare, PHI might be very useful

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Old 10th March 2016, 11:19 PM
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It's really a personal decision, based on whether you think the cost of private health coverage outweighs your out-of-pocket expenses. At a minimum, I'd take out ambulance coverage if it's available where you live.

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Old 11th March 2016, 07:47 AM
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I agree regarding ambulance cover. It's very cheap (in VIC, it's about $90 p.a. for a family membership) and it can save you potentially thousands of dollars on an ambulance trip if you ever need one - particularly if you live in a rural area. It also covers you across Australia (if you're on holiday interstate for example).

As for private hospital cover, it depends on the hospitals that are near you. If you don't have a private hospital in your area then there's probably no point having the cover in the first place.

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Old 26th December 2016, 02:45 PM
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I found private health insurance very expensive in Australia at least compared with where I come from. It cost a couple of thousand a year for very basic coverage for a family. Well, is it very common to have PHI among local residents? Do companies provide health insurance for employees?

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Old 27th December 2016, 03:00 AM
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We haven't got PHI (self insured - i.e. kept aside some funds in case the need ever arises). Just have ambulance cover.

This is a highly personal choice, having said that you'd be better off making an informed decision.

Make sure you are fully conversant with gaps, gap cover etc....otherwise you will end up paying out of pocket expenses in the thousands even with PHI. Sometimes people choose to use the public route for treatments in hospitals even with PHI because of gap payments.

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