We have private health insurance and have had it for the past few years. It costs us approximately $3500 after the government rebate. We barely ever make use of it aside from when my wife has another amazing child. Even when we do have another child, we still need to outlay nearly $3000 for the obstetrician so it is not exactly cheap.
Australia has an incredibly public health system. There is obviously huge improvements that could be made, but by global standards, we rank pretty high.
Now you know by now that I love to save, so why on earth would I choose to pay for private health insurance? The answer- If my wife is having a baby, she gets to choose where she has it and who her obstetrician is.
To be honest I’m not entirely sure we will keep the health insurance once our family size has met its quota. It is a sizeable cost each month. We did use the hospital cover once when my wife had severe pneumonia. She had spent an agonising week going back and forth between doctors who prescribed her various medicines and told her to come back again in a few days. This went on until she could endure no more and we paid the $300 to be seen by the hospital. In this situation, private health was invaluable.
A few pros for private health insurance:
- You can sometimes select your doctors.
- You usually receive a private room.
- It could be argued that you receive a higher standard of care with doctors and nurses checking on your welfare more regularly.
- You get the care you need when you need it.
A few cons for private health insurance:
- It is expensive.
- You still need to pay for extras.
- The difference between public and private might not be worthwhile.
Either way, the choice is yours. I have witnessed a few friends needing surgery who had to wait a long, long time as they kept receiving phone calls notifying them that they had been bumped down the list.
One alternative to most forms of insurance is to pool the money you would have paid into an interest earning account. When you need the money, you just redraw it from the pool. For example 3 years of my health insurance would equate to $10,500 of available funds.
See which method works best for you and the ones you love, which method helps you sleep the most soundly and which bears the least mental cost.