The Great Healthcare Debate

What is the cost of Healthcare

The Australian Government intends to introduce means testing for those contributing to private Health Insurance.

Basically in layman’s words if you earn over $250,000 then you will not receive a rebate on what you have contributed to your private health cover.

The Australian Health and Hospital’s Association agrees:

“This is a sensible and appropriate move to make the whole system fairer for average Australians – it’s not right that those who work hard to maintain their private cover are currently subsidising cover for people who are wealthy enough to look after themselves,” said Professor Helen Keleher, President of the PHAA.

“What this means in practice is that someone on $50,000 a year will not have to contribute to health insurance for someone earning $500,000 a year – the Government should be congratulated for applying some common sense to a policy that has been fundamentally inequitable for far too long.”  She continued.

Overall I think this is a very good idea but to be honest….this will not affect me..mainly because I don’t HAVE private health cover.

There are several reasons for this…until recently I would got to the doctor’s on average once a year.  I am quite healthy and when it’s a flu etc. I know to dose up and sleep it off.    I don’t need glasses or my teeth done and by and large I am a happy healthy person.

Don’t get me wrong, back in day I was in a health fund especially when I was trying to get pregnant with my first child.  I thought it was important to cover my family.    After the birth of my first child when I WAS in a private fund, we were presented with a bill for $800.00 .  It should be noted I didn’t have my own Obstetricians, a private room nor did the natural birth have any complications.

When I was pregnant with my second child I did not have private heath cover because quite honestly, we couldn’t afford it.  My son ended up being born premature and he was a complicated delivery.   We both ended up safe and well but the cost to me was Zero.

After a few years again for family reasons we joined a private health care fund.   After a few years I discovered I needed glasses as I was short sighted.   Armed with my private health care cover I went to the optometrist and found a pair of suitable lenses which because I was in a Health Fund were free….usually they would have cost me $670.00…..but then I worked out the costs…my family being amazingly fit and well had not attended a doctor, dentist or hospital in that time…so the glasses in fact cost me about $4000 which is what I had paid over the 4 years we were in the fund.   That’s when we stopped “being in a fund”

At age 9 my son was diagnosed with Perthes Disease.  We spent long periods of time in hospital including several operations…cost to me…..zero

On the 11th August 2011 I have a fairly horrific accident which involved 5 weeks in hospital and a transfer to Royal Melbourne where the “expert” in his field perform a bone graft and a reconstruction of my tibial plateau…..cost to me….zero

After my accident I thought seriously about joining a health fund again, mainly because we are getting on now and I have no doubt we will possibly need things like knee replacements, hip replacements etc. which may require us being placed on a waiting list and the private fund would allow us to “queue jump”.  So I googled several options for empty nesters like us and to be honest….it’s just not worth it

Given my age I have no need of obstetrics and all that goes with that.  I don’t want discounted gym membership etc but I do want coverage for Hospital and Medical which includes Joint replacement, Heart issues and pharmaceutical .   At our age the average cost is over $200 a month.   Given our income it’s not feasible despite we will qualify for the rebate still as we do earn anywhere near the cutoff point.

Having had the experiences states above I believe we are better off as a baby boomer couple to remain under the Medicare umbrella.   Yes I am running the gauntlet of health but until private health care companies cater (at a reasonable cost) to what *I* need as part of my private health care then I will continue to receive the “free” health benefits I get now.

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