What do I get with my level of Hospital Cover?

Hospital cover will vary from state to state and from private health fund to health fund. In 2019 the Government made reforms and introduced a system that saw private health hospital cover be brought under four tiers – gold, silver, bronze and basic. This allowed Australians to easily compare private health cover like for like and work out what cover best suited their stage in life. 

In addition the Government set requirements that each tier of hospital cover has a minimum list of treatment categories that they must include. If a health fund may choose to add the word ‘plus’ to their tier of hospital cover, this means they are offering more than the minimum treatment categories. For example:  One private health fund may cover three more categories than the minimum requirement for that tier, therefore they are allowed to add the word ‘plus’ to their hospital cover tier name. 

What treatment categories do the tiers of hospital cover offer?

Gold 

With Gold Hospital being the highest level of cover,  the Government set requirements that it must include cover for all 38 categories of treatment and services. It’s designed for people who are looking for the most comprehensive cover. If you are planning on having a baby, Gold Hospital is the only tier of cover where the pregnancy treatment category is included. All private health funds have pregnancy in their Gold Hospital coverage. 

Silver

Silver hospital cover includes 29 categories and is the second highest tier of cover. There are some restrictions on this level of cover for hospitals such as rehabilitation, palliative care and psychiatric services. If you’re looking for more cover than Bronze hospital but don’t need all the treatment categories of Gold Hospital cover and price tag – Silver is a great middle of the road option.

Bronze

Bronze Hospital cover must include at least 18 treatment categories plus three restricted cover options for palliative care,  psychiatric services and rehabilitation. The upside to Bronze cover you will be covered for hospital services such as ear, nose and throat, brain and nervous system and joint reconstructions. 

Basic 

Basic Hospital is the minimum coverage tier a health fund can offer. With basic hospital cover you will only receive very minimal benefits as set out by the Government. It is best to check what you are covered for before entering hospital as you may have a large amount of out-of-pocket expenses.  

Product tiers and minimum clinical categories set out by the Government:

Source: Health.gov.au

Will I have to pay the Medicare Levy? 

You will only have to pay the Medicare Levy if you do not have private hospital cover. The surcharge is in place to encourage individuals to take out private health cover. 

The surcharge covers you and your dependents.  Your dependents include: 

  • your spouse; 
  • any of your children who are under 21 years of age; or 
  • any of your full-time student children who are under 25 years of age.

The Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) is determined based on a percentage ranging from 1% to 1.5% of your income. This surcharge is an additional cost imposed in conjunction with the standard 2% Medicare Levy, applicable to the majority of Australian taxpayers. To work out your yearly income for MLS and Rebate calculations, you may utilise the Private Health Insurance Rebate Calculator provided by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or reach out to the ATO directly for assistance.

Compare Policies 

Remember to review your private health insurance requirements depending on your stage of life. Your policy may no longer be suited to you and the treatments you require. A few things to keep in mind when choosing a level of hospital cover is who will be covered, the medical care you need, the services or categories you require and if you are willing to keep your premium costs down by paying an excess.

Be sure to compare private health policies taking into account excesses, benefit limits and co-payments that all influence the total cost of treatments.  You may find the cheapest policy is not the best policy for you and your needs.Talk to us today to compare private health cover and discover what level of hospital coverage you require – call us  on 1300 861 413 or email hello@health.compare

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A Guide to Building Healthy Habits for 2024

As we move  into 2024, setting health goals is important to ensure a successful year of well-being. Here’s some practical routines that will elevate your overall health, alongside these personal care recommendations we’ll explore the advantages of private health coverage extras that will help kick start your goals.

Prioritise Sleep for Optimal Well-being:

Sleep is the foundation of good health, like recharging your body’s battery each day. To enhance your sleep quality, disconnect from technology at least an hour before bedtime. The Sleep Foundation provides great insights into how electronics and technology affect sleep and why it’s a good idea to disconnect at least one hour before bed.

Regular Exercise to Boost Physical and Mental Well-being:

Exercising daily is a great way to boost both physical and mental well-being. Incorporating daily workouts into your routine will set you up to achieving your overall wellness goals. Variation is the key when it comes to workout routines, mix it up – you’ll not only target different muscle groups but also keep things interesting and challenging making it more likely that you’ll stick to your routine over the long term. 

Mindfulness for a Focus:  

When you feel overwhelmed or distracted in day to day life, practicing mindfulness each day can be beneficial to your overall health.  Kick off the day and spend a few minutes meditating, practice some deep breathing, or simply enjoy your morning coffee without distractions. Putting these easy steps into place each day will give you the focus to start your day. 

Foster Connections with Loved Ones:

We as humans thrive on social connection. This connection can be as simple as a phone call to a friend or loved one or a sharing of a movie.  These small actions can significantly contribute to your overall happiness. By investing in the relationships that matter most in your life, you will enrich your mental and emotional well-being.

Hydration is the key to a Healthy Body:  

Water is essential for our bodies, not only does it aid in the removal of waste from our body, it also hydrates and supports kidney function.  Water can assist in flushing toxins from our bodies and promoting a healthier you.  Did you know water also acts as a natural lubricant for our joints?  

Cultivate Gratitude:

There are many benefits from practicing gratitude each day. It not only helps us disconnect from the busyness of our daily lives, it works wonders for your mental well-being.  It’s as simple as thinking of three things you are grateful for each day – this could be people, loved ones, nature, your home or community. Commit to writing these things down and it’s more to notice good things as they happen in your life. Gratitude also may be in the form of returning a favour to a loved one or paying it forward in a simple act of kindness.

Stress Management:

Everyday life can cause pressure, demands and stress. Learning how to manage stress is vital for your mental health and your general overall wellness. Try to balance work and play, achieving work goals but at the same time making time for spending time with friends, working out or walking your dog. Another crucial part to managing stress is getting enough sleep. Start a bedtime routine which includes winding down from technology at least one hour before bedtime.

Embrace Reading:

By incorporating reading into your daily routine and immersing yourself in a good novel it allows the brain to disconnect from stress from daily life. Did you know reading enhances creativity and assists with critical thinking skills? Not only does reading increase your vocabulary, enhance your knowledge but it also helps strengthen your writing abilities. 

Adopt a Balanced Diet:

There are many benefits to a healthy, balanced diet – a diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and protein help you lower cholesterol and blood pressure, lose weight and lower the risk of other diseases. The food you eat supplies important nutrients your body needs to maintain your blood circulation, nerves, muscle,  brain, bone, nerves, skin and immune system.

Limit Alcohol Consumption:

By significantly reducing or cutting out alcohol altogether, you will significantly reduce many things that have an impact on your mental health. These included reducing blood pressure, weight loss, improved energy and better sleep. Alcohol also impacts the rate that the body absorbs nutrients.

More Outdoor Time:

Spending time outdoors can have an immediate impact on your health and wellbeing. Not only does it improve your mood, it relieves stress, improves your physical health and helps you connect with your locaL community. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll or a hike in the mountains – spending time in nature allows your body to unwind.

Quit Smoking for a Healthier Future:

We all know the risks associated with smoking, quitting is difficult and most people will experience side effects for around 2-4 weeks. Speak to your GP about a plan and how they can support you during your process to quit smoking. Your longer-term risks of cancer, lung disease, heart disease and stroke will be significantly reduced.

Unplug from Technology:

Make a conscious decision to disconnect from screens and social media. By doing this you will experience improved sleep, a more settled mind and strain on your eyes. Replace screen time with reading a book, walk the dog or take up a hobby.  This break from digital life will work wonders for your wellbeing.  

Listen to Music:

Music has proven health benefits, including anxiety reduction, lower blood pressure, and improved sleep quality as researched by John Hopkins. Incorporate music into your daily routine for a positive impact on your well-being.

How your Private Health Extras can help out

Check your private health insurance extras cover, there are many well-being services that could be covered with your policy, such as:

  • remedial massage
  • chiropractic 
  • physiotherapy
  • optical 
  • gym memberships

Embark on the journey to better health in 2024 by adopting some or all of these routines. As you prioritise your well-being, consider comparing private health insurance options to ensure you have the best health coverage tailored to your needs. Investing in your health is an invaluable commitment that pays dividends throughout the year.

Talk to us today to compare private health cover that’s best for you on your health journey for 2024 – call us  on 1300 861 413 or email hello@health.compare 

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