What is Medical Insurance?
Medical costs world over are sharply increasing. The working class, cannot pay their exorbitant medical bills. They need an instrument which they can bear the economic brunt of their medical emergencies. They do this through a medical insurance policy. This is an instrument through which an individual insures his medical well-being in return for a nominal premium.
The Mentality of People who invest money
People investing money anywhere, seek a tangible return for it. For example, an individual invests in equity shares with an expectation that he will make a good profit after a short period. However, in a medical insurance policy, one does not get tangible returns. Under this policy, returns are only obtained on the occurrence of a medical emergency. This is to say that if the emergency does not occur; all the money paid by the individual will go down the drain. Therefore, people avoid taking this insurance.
New Trends in Medical Insurance
However, all this is bound to change with the numerous innovations brought out by insurance companies to better their business. One prominent insurer provides a Doctor-on-Call facility for its members which can be used for seeking doctor consultation on the phone. A toll-free number is given to the member, on which if he calls, he can seek the advice of a medical practitioner based on his choices. Another insurance company has tied up with a vacation ownership company to offer medicinal tours to its members. Here the network of the vacation ownership company is used to provide accommodation and the services of the doctors on the insurers’ panel are used to provide medical-related services to its members. With such innovative ideas being introduced, it will not be long before people will start viewing medical insurance as an asset rather than a liability. It will reduce their burden as then they will be getting their health checked regularly through the facilities provided by the medical insurer.
Moving ahead, it will not be wrong to say that medical insurance will become a necessity in the times to come. Just like food, shelter and housing, medical insurance will become a basic necessity. But in order for this to happen insurers should take more steps to propagate the benefits they provide through their services. Numerous claim rejections by insurance companies are a deterrent for individuals to go for this insurance. However, if insurance companies can propagate the benefits a medical cover provides to them, it will not be long before their business will improve. The human body is a machine which needs maintenance and therefore it needs medical insurance.
Medicare Rebate is offered by the government to encourage the patients to take out the private health insurance. The majority of people aged 65 years or under receive a reduction of 30% on both the hospital and extra cover. There are still higher rebates for the aged people above 65 years of age and above. Anyone who is eligible can claim the rebates on both the hospital and extra cover. The patients can receive the rebate through the private health insurance as a reduction on the monthly bill.
If you plan to take a private insurance, you should take the private health insurance below 30 years of age, and if you do not take the insurance after 30 years of age, your penalty will be increased by 2% every year throughout the lifetime.
There are 2 types of medicare rebates.
· Standard Medicare Rebate
· Medicare safety nets
Standard Medicare Rebate is 100% for a general practitioner and 85% for a specialist of the Medicare determined scheduled fee which is called as the Medicare Benefits Schedule. Many medical practitioners charge more than the schedule fees. When the practitioners bulk bill the patients, they agree with the medicare to accept the 85% of the scheduled fee in full payment for their services.
Medicare Safety nets provides additional relief to those who occur higher than usual medical costs. These provide the singles and the families with an additional rebate. There are 2 safety nets.
1. The original Medicare safety net
2. The extended Medicare safety net
The original Medicare safety net receives an annual threshold gap where the medicare rebate for the out of the hospital services is increased up to 100% of the scheduled fee. The threshold applies for all those who hold a medicare card, and the threshold value for the year 2015 is $440.80
The extended Medicare safety net was first introduced in March 2004. The general threshold when introduced it was $700 and $300 for singles and the families who hold a commonwealth concession card. The general threshold value was increased up to $2000.
Year – Threshold Value
January 2006 – $345.50
January 2007 – $358.90
January 2008 – $365.70
January 2009 – $383.90
January 2010 – $388.80
January 2011 – $399.60
January 2012 – $413.50
January 2013 – $421.70
January 2014 – $430.90
January 2015 – $440.8
All Australian residents and certain categories of visitors to Australia can claim Medicare benefits of the Government). The Health Insurance Act 1973 establishes Medicare and contains legislation covering the major elements of the Medicare program. To be eligible for a Medicare rebate, a patient must not be admitted as public patient of a hospital.
In EBM Family Medical Practice, we do accept Private Health Insurance such as Allianz, Bupa, Medibank, and overseas Students Health Insurance.