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Is health insurance worth it?

Are you wondering whether health insurance is worth it? Do you ever think maybe it’s time to cancel? Premiums seem to go up while rebates remain the same.

We so often hear patients commenting that their health fund doesn’t pay much or that they are confused by what level of cover they should have. Even though we process claims all day, we are just as confused as you are!

The health insurance market is saturated and so many of us are loyal to funds that we have been contributing to for years if not decades. But how do we know if we are making the most of our product or whether the rebate is worth the premium?

There are several ways that you can make more informed choices.

It all starts with the treatment plan letter that is personally prepared for you. All the information you need is clearly outlined here including item numbers used by the private health insurer. Did you know that we can give you an idea of your rebate using the Hicaps machine here at the office? If we have your health fund member card we can produce a quote on the spot for you

You should also shop around! Medibank BUPA and HCF are not our ‘preferred providers’. We find that alternatives to these huge businesses usually offer much better value to our patients.

These three insurers make up a majority of the health insurance providers but did you know there are over 40 other funds? We recommend that you check out the Fair Health Care Alliance at https://fairhealthcare.com.au/. This call-back service will assess your present cover and find alternatives that either give you a better deal or reduce your premiums. If you’re in our office, we can arrange a call for you-please ask.

The ADA is currently lobbying the Australian Government to investigate some of the bigger private health insurers and their practices for their fairness. These funds may penalise you for choosing to continue to be treated by your trusted independent dentist with whom you have built a long-term relationship. The health funds limit your ability to choose who treats you based on increased rebates or “no gap” incentives at their preferred provider practices.

We very strongly believe that you should be able to see whichever dentist (or other healthcare providers be it physiotherapist, optometrist, massage therapist etc) who you feel the most comfortable with, who understands your individual needs and provides you with the treatment you desire without being penalised by your health fund for not going where they direct you. In other words, the rebate from the health fund should be the same no matter who you choose as your healthcare provider. This is certainly not the case at the moment.

We’re collecting signatures for a petition to the Senate, asking it to cease this unfair and un-Australian practice.

The ADA is also asking the government to consider alternative models. As younger, healthier Australians opt out of private health insurance the system becomes top-heavy with the elderly, middle-aged and with couples raising children who sometimes require more expensive procedures, adding pressure to both the insurance funds and Medicare. Dr Carmelo Bonanno, President of the ADA, has suggested investigating such options as a Health Savings Scheme with appropriate tax incentives.

Bigger issues aside, we want you to be confident that we will help you make the most of your chosen plan and we’re happy to provide any information or assistance you need.

 

 

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