Health Insurance 101 – Cover for young members
We take a look at how taking out private health insurance in your younger years could benefit you.
When you’re young, fit and healthly, getting private health insurance might not feel like a priority. There are a number of health and financial reasons to consider taking out health insurance earlier in life. Here’s five of them.
- Save money on regular health appointments
There are generally two types of health insurance cover – Hospital and Extras. For many young people, Extras cover is likely to be the most appealing at this stage of their life. Extras largely covers health care outside of a hospital setting like dental, physio and optical – services most of us use each year. With telehealth making some of these health providers more accessible than ever, Extras cover is becoming even more relevant for both time-poor and digital savvy younger people.
- Peace of mind
The thing about health insurance is, it’s just that – insurance. You never know what’s around the corner, and when you might need it. For many people, the peace of mind is reason enough to be insured, just as you would be with your car or your home.
- Skip the queue
Having private health insurance can help you avoid public hospital waiting lists for elective surgery, rehab and physio.
- Mental health support
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought mental health into the spotlight, but thankfully there is more support available than ever before. For the one in five Australians who experience mental health issues, private health may provide cover for things like drug and alcohol programs, psychology, counselling, mental health hospital treatment and online mental heath programs. Bupa also provides cover that pays benefits for some mental health-focussed online courses and programs for new parents.
- Help your hip pocket
If you wait until later in life to take up a hospital policy, you could be hit with Lifetime Health Cover Loading which adds 2 per cent to the cost of your policy for every year you were without hospital cover after your 31st birthday. The 2 per cent each year can accumulate all the way up to 70 per cent and stay in place for ten consecutive years once you take out a hospital cover. So, taking out the hospital cover before you turn 31 could save you money in the long run. Plus, Bupa provides people aged 18-29 who sign up for their own hospital policy an age-based discount.
Still not sure if you need private health insurance? While you may not think you need it now, you could look at having private health insurance as like having a contingency plan in case life takes a turn and your circumstances change.
Our individual health situations are all different, and will change over the course of our lives, so it’s good to know that you can choose a cover that best meets your needs at any given time. Now, while you’re still young, you might want to make sure you’re covered for things like sports-related injuries but remove things like pregnancy with the option to upgrade your policy a little later in life.
If you do decide to take out private health cover, you can be confident it will provide you with more choice, peace of mind and access to affordable services.