When you reach a certain age, your health insurance needs take on a whole new definition. The coverage you purchased when you were a young adult is not adequate for your health care needs after age 50. For many older Australians, health problems develop that are a natural part of the aging process, while for others poor nutrition, lack of exercise, or simply a history of hard living can catch up with our bodies. Adopting a healthy lifestyle later in life is always a good idea, and obtaining good health care coverage is very important.
Every Australian can get basic health care through Medicare. But Medicare may not be enough for individuals over 50, since its coverage options are limited and the medical needs of seniors are almost always greater than those of younger people. For this reason, comparing health insurance plans is important when it comes to protecting yourself financially and medically in later life.
Seniors face the need for more prescription medications, more surgical procedures, and more ancillary services such as hearing aids, vision, and dental care. Medicare coverage alone limits your choice of hospitals that will admit you for treatment, and which physicians you can enlist for your examinations, surgical procedures, and any other medical needs you may have. Additionally, if your health insurance is limited to Medicare with no private policy in place, your coverage may not be adequate to cover all medications and treatments you may need; some medical services are not covered by Medicare at all.
Seniors who do not have a pension can apply for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card before purchasing private health insurance. Australians over 50 with a fixed income who do not qualify for a pension can qualify for this card to help cover some prescription medication and medical services costs.
If you’re an individual over 50 who has a pension and are looking to enhance your health coverage, comparing private insurance plans is a great start to learning all you need to know about securing your health policy options. Although all private insurers offer options for improved care above your Medicare supplement, each fund offers its own plan structures, coverage options, and premium costs, so it pays to compare.
Whether you are already facing additional medical services related to an age-related injury or illness, or you are simply planning ahead and making sure your health insurance coverage is adequate as a prudent measure, comparing plans and purchasing a private insurance policy can provide financial security if extra costs arise from medical services that are not covered by Medicare alone.
Seniors with a preexisting condition may face a waiting period of up to 12 months before their private coverage can be used for treatment. It is important to compare private health policies and determine which have waiting periods that may not work for you. Remember, no medical insurer can refuse to provide you with coverage based on your age or any preexisting conditions.