Friday, January 7, 2011

Health Insurance Tips Guide

Sound health is an indispensable feature of every individual's life. No targets and success can be achieved if we are physically unwell. In order to safeguard this central aspect of our life, health insurance is the need of the hour.

Health insurance as we all know is the best way to secure your health against all expected and unexpected problems. Due to this almost every individual seeks to acquire a health insurance policy.

At present there are many companies offering health insurance. While going for a health insurance policy you will confront a choice between private and government insurance. Prior to opting for either policy, you should know that with a private health insurance you would have an access to luxurious private hospitals, wide range of private doctors to choose from and mostly immediate treatment. While in a government health insurance scheme the lifetime health cover penalizes people who take out health insurance later in life with higher premiums. If you take the policy after your 31st birthday you will be required to pay a 2% surcharge annually up to 70%. So for instance if you acquire the policy at the age of 50 you will have to pay 30% more than a person who joined at the age of 30.

Government health insurance policy also comes up with a Medicare levy surcharge according to which unmarried people earning more than $50k and married couples with or without children earning more than $100k will pay an extra 1% Medicare surcharge in addition to 1.5% Medicare levy most people pay. But this extra annual expenditure of $500 to $1000 can be avoided by opting for hospital insurance.

Premium plays a key role in choosing the kind of policy you want. Money can be saved on premium in various ways such as purchasing a policy with 'excess' or the money that an individual is required to pay for stay in a hospital before benefits are payable. You can also buy a policy that asks for a co-payment. In case of co-payment if you don't go into hospital, the member decides to pay usually a fixed amount of money each time he avails the service. Choosing a policy that doesn't include several treatment facilities is also an option to lower your premium rates. Besides this you can also buy a policy that only covers you as a private patient in a public hospital. However it is better and in the long run beneficial to take a policy that offers a high 'excess' in comparison to those that exclude several treatment conditions. Some commonly barred treatments are- cosmetic surgery, cataract surgery, rehabilitation, hip, knee and other joint replacements, obstetrics and birth related care, assisted reproduction and psychiatric care. In case you want coverage for any of these treatments, prior to purchasing make sure your policy includes it.