Private health insurance… is it worth the money?
Getting a private health insurance policy to supplement Medicare will protect you against a wider range of situations than Medicare can.
However, what happens when the burden of paying for your insurance premium is a heavy one?
Here are some points to consider when figuring out whether getting private health insurance is worth the money.
Determining whether you can afford to pay private health insurance premiums can be tricky. On the one hand, unless you are currently ill, you are not as immediately reliant on health insurance for survival as you are on food and shelter. On the other, in the long term not getting private health insurance can be disastrous. When deciding whether you can afford private health insurance, first ensure you have enough money put aside each month for basic necessities such as food and shelter and see if you can fit health insurance into your budget.
Health insurance coverage through employment
If you are hesitant about spending on private health insurance and are employed, the good news is you might not need to spend as much as you thought. Many employers offer corporate health insurance plans that provide some degree of coverage. Obtain from your employer information about your corporate health insurance plan and see what sort of coverage you already have. When it comes time to purchase your own private health insurance plan, you will be able to save on the areas where you are already adequately insured.
Weigh the pros and cons
Make a list of pros and cons and consider what you stand to gain or lose by getting a private health insurance plan. Pros include the obvious fact that with the right health cover you will be financially protected in the event of a catastrophic illness or accident, the ability to visit a private hospital or consult your doctor of choice without having to foot the bill and being able to get urgent medical attention without having to wait in long queues at a public hospital. If you are under thirty-one, getting a plan can also ensure you avoid the 2% annual loading that accrues each year on lifetime health cover for people aged thirty-one and older. If you are thirty-one and older, the sooner you get lifetime health cover the sooner the 2% annual loading stops accruing. The main con is immediate financial hardship, though this may be cancelled out by any insurance payouts you might receive somewhere down the road.
Private health insurance may be worth even more than you think!
Other than the obvious benefits listed above, private health insurance policies may carry many little known benefits, thereby making them more worthwhile to pay for than expected. For instance, you may be eligible for tax benefits that allow you to receive a rebate on a percentage of your premium. You might also be able to get a policy that covers you for services you regularly use, such as massages or a new pair of spectacles.
Ultimately, private health insurance is absolutely worth the cost if you can find a policy that you can afford and that meets your insurance needs without being forced to forgo basic necessities. It is therefore worthwhile to do as much research as you can to find a plan that is within your budget and that provides you with the kind of coverage that suits your specific situation.
About the author:
Michelle is a freelance writer, and loves to write about travel and frugal living. She has recently written about private health insurance and the benefits it brings to people.
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