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  1. #1
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    Default Private health insurance... is it worth it? Who with?

    Hi guys,
    We are about to start trying to conceive (we are no longer not trying to anyway) and we currently don't have private health insurance. I'm a part time nurse and part time photographer (will likely only do photography after we start our family) and he is a full time teacher. Currently cumulatively we make ~ 110,000 per annum and this will drop to maybe 70k for the first year or 3 after having a baby. I'm just wondering whether it is worth us getting private health insurance and if so why and who the best providers are from personal experience? Also, if we fall pregnant straight away would any of the providers cover the pregnancy/child... granted where I want to have a baby is a public hospital as they are a better facility than the private ones I've just heard often they won't cover a lot of things if you've been with them for under a year!
    Edit: Should also mention that we are paying off a mortgage and a personal loan which eats about half of our wages along with the bills
    Cheers
    Samantha
    Last edited by iamstarstuff; 24-11-2012 at 11:50.

  2. #2
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    Default Private health insurance... is it worth it? Who with?

    It comes down to personal choice.

    I decided for me, I had no desire to have a baby at our nearest public hospital, so got private health cover. I signed up for this 6 months before we were going to start trying, just in case I fell pregnant straight away and gave birth early.

    I'm not 100% sure about all funds, but I'm with BUPA and had a 12 month waiting period.

    Also, private health insurance doesn't cover your obstetrician appointments during the pregnancy, only the birth. I think with appointments and ultrasounds, I'll be out of pocket $3k - $4k.

    If you are happy with the public hospital, it would certainly be cheaper to go public

  3. #3
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    Hey Sam,

    Unless you wanted to have a private Ob and Private hospital, which it sounds like you dont then private health insurance isnt really necessary for this pregnancy. PHI wont cover your pregnancy (if you fall pregnant staight away and fingers crossed you do) anyway has they all have a 12 month waiting period, so the baby cant be born until the 12 months is up. In terms of PHI for non pregnancy related things, then yeah i think its worth it. I use PHI for the dentist, physio (I feel like im constantly at the physio as I have a bad back) etc. It saved me money and it also means your covered if you ever need an ambulance as well. You can get basic coverage (i've got coverage that includes pregnancy but my DH only has basic coverage and i think he only pays $9 a week which is next to nothing really) but i think its peace of mind personally. Kinda like asking, do i need home and contents insurance or car insurance. I'm fairly sure there are also tax benefits of getting PHI too.

    Hope this helps. Oh I'm with HCF as well...
    Last edited by Disney; 24-11-2012 at 12:28.

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    youmake3  (27-11-2012)

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    My DP and I decided we would rather go private. Mainly for Room privacy and he can stay with me after the birth. I just felt I would like privacy especially in the first days. It really is personal choice. I have had friends who had babies in public and were happy and others that hated it.

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    Default Re: Private health insurance... is it worth it? Who with?

    We already had private health ins before starting ttc - hubby had a vasectomy reversal & it covered most of the fees for that.

    We decided to combine our policies to save a bit of money once the reversal was done, but we also upped our cover to include pregnancy & birth related stuff - just in case we need a bit of help. I'm glad we did because it's a 12 month waiting period, so if we don't conceive in the next 4 cycles the waiting period for fertility treatments will be up & we'll be able to start looking at further options.

    I also like the idea of having a private room where hubby can stay with me - I get very anxious in hospitals and obviously you want to be as relaxed as possible during that time!

    We're with HBF.

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    Were with Bupa. We were with AHM and I only changed due to price.

    We upped our already "standard" cover to include preg services. I then downgraded it again based on I fell pregnant straight away.

    All covers are a 12 month wait on preg services. Its a government rule.

    Extras cover has been a godsend to us. Dental, Optical, Physio. Certainly a saving to be had.

    Hospital is what makes it so exxy. Again, Its one of those "what ifs"... Im lucky to use it once a year but if I do... Its the difference between thousands and $500 one off payment. I had a bowel issue and the public system wanted me to wait 14 months to have a test. I could have died in that time. Bowel obstructions can be fatal ... within weeks. 14 months .... dont think so. I paid $250 (the excess at the time on my parents fund) and I had the procedure done within a week.

    Big difference between $250 and possibly death.

    Also. tax is a hard one. Really. Everyone will pay 1% medicare levy. If your combined income is over $168000, Then you have to pay 2.5 - 3% levy. IF you have private hospital insurance (so not just extras only) then you get to only pay the 1% like everyone else. Even paying the premiums on the insurance plus the 1% usually saves people money rather than paying 3% levy on that kind of income.

    At your 110K and having it drop after bub. Its not tax beneficial for you.

    Also age is a factor. After turning 31 you then pay a 2% surcharge for every year that you wait to get health insurance. My hubby is 32 but im 23 so he gets a 2% charge but as I dont get one it lowers / averages out to 1% between us.

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    Default Re: Private health insurance... is it worth it? Who with?

    Wow you guys are all amazing. That information is fantastic based off all of that I think we may get phi for the extras once we have a baby rather than for the baby... but if the cover for birth kicks in around the same time so be it. I didn't even think about the stuff like dental *blush*. Thank you all for taking the time to give such great answers

    Sent from my GT-I9300T using BubHub

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    I think that for most people - especially young people and families, PHI is a total waste of money. My husband is a Doctor - so we also know something about the system and the level of care provided by many hospitals.

    You will need to be a member of a health fund for 12 months prior to even falling pregnant. If having a private room, OB etc for your birth is vital for you, you will need a high level of cover with hospital cover. For a couple without kids, you can expect to pay at least $150 per fortnight. On average the total out of pocket expenses if you decide to go private ON TOP of your premium is about $5000.

    Most people by the time they give birth would have paid at least 2yrs worth of PHI premiums (about $14,000) add this to your $5000 out of pocket expense and it will cost you almost $20,000 to have your baby. I am unable to fathom why so many families who struggle financially still feel that it is necessary to have PHI and fork out huge premiums when they absolutely do not need it. The bottom line is - health care in Australia is free, if you need the care - you will receive it.

    Private doctors are no different to public doctors - they haven't had any extra training or earned some special badge. Its completely their decision and they do it for the money.

    If you go public you will only see an OB for 1 appointment at about 16 weeks. If you are considered "low risk" you will have the choice to see your regular GP for your appointments or see a regular midwife.

    I chose a midwife and she was absolutely wonderful. I had my baby in the public hospital where my husband works and the care was great. I did share a room with 2 other mums, but I still had plenty of privacy and frankly I was so wrapped up in my own baby I barely noticed them most of the time. They were lovely too and I had someone to talk to if I wished.

    If you don't have PHI and its important to you to have a private room and the better meals that a private hospital offer - you can actually just pay to have your baby there. Most cost about $4000 - $5000 if you having a vaginal birth. I can think of better things to spend the money on over 2-3 nights in hospital though lol

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    Default Private health insurance... is it worth it? Who with?

    Everyone has their own opinion.

    For us I wouldn't be without PHI. We live in Qld and it's simply to big of a risk to have a family and have to rely on the public system here.

    We used private ob's with both ds and dd and would do so again.

    Ds cost us $600 total after Medicare rebate etc. plus PHI excess.

    Dd cost us $2000 after rebates plus PHI insurance.

    Both OB's were very well respected top specialists at the Townsville and Brisbane mater mothers.

    Our PHI costs $257.50 a month with the government rebate (which all are entitled to at the moment). Remember too, You get penalised for not having it after the age of 30 through the Medicare levy.

    We have top extras cover and hospital cover with an excess of $500 and $0 under 5 years of age. Or total of $1000 paid per year.

    We are with QLD country (members owned and national) there are others that are also good (which have been mentioned)

    I would stay away from MBF and medibank private if you want more for your dollar (I get a lot more with my current health fund then we did when we were with mbf for $10's more a month) also having worked in the medical field I know these tend to give less.

    For us it's not just about pregnancy and birth. It's also about when you have children.

    My dd (2) had an op in august and my ds (4) has an op in jan. if we were going public we would have no choice over Dr's or dates/times and I would hate to have my children suffer because of ridiculously long waiting periods. This goes for accidents etc too,

    There are waiting periods involved with all PHI and it's usually 12months for pregnancy.

    Anyway as I said its the last thing we would go without because it's to much of a risk not to have especially with children. Also with the amount of job loss in the public hospitals in Qld at the moment that waiting periods are only going to get longer..... No thanks. Not worth risking health.

  12. #10
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    Default Private health insurance... is it worth it? Who with?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mumsical View Post
    I think that for most people - especially young people and families, PHI is a total waste of money. My husband is a Doctor - so we also know something about the system and the level of care provided by many hospitals.

    You will need to be a member of a health fund for 12 months prior to even falling pregnant. If having a private room, OB etc for your birth is vital for you, you will need a high level of cover with hospital cover. For a couple without kids, you can expect to pay at least $150 per fortnight. On average the total out of pocket expenses if you decide to go private ON TOP of your premium is about $5000.

    Most people by the time they give birth would have paid at least 2yrs worth of PHI premiums (about $14,000) add this to your $5000 out of pocket expense and it will cost you almost $20,000 to have your baby. I am unable to fathom why so many families who struggle financially still feel that it is necessary to have PHI and fork out huge premiums when they absolutely do not need it. The bottom line is - health care in Australia is free, if you need the care - you will receive it.

    Private doctors are no different to public doctors - they haven't had any extra training or earned some special badge. Its completely their decision and they do it for the money.

    If you go public you will only see an OB for 1 appointment at about 16 weeks. If you are considered "low risk" you will have the choice to see your regular GP for your appointments or see a regular midwife.

    I chose a midwife and she was absolutely wonderful. I had my baby in the public hospital where my husband works and the care was great. I did share a room with 2 other mums, but I still had plenty of privacy and frankly I was so wrapped up in my own baby I barely noticed them most of the time. They were lovely too and I had someone to talk to if I wished.

    If you don't have PHI and its important to you to have a private room and the better meals that a private hospital offer - you can actually just pay to have your baby there. Most cost about $4000 - $5000 if you having a vaginal birth. I can think of better things to spend the money on over 2-3 nights in hospital though lol
    Your prices seem very high. I know these prices are out there but I am very sure they aren't the average.

    Not being awful just don't want to scare the op by figures that are high. It also depends on where you live I think because OB's in Sydney and Melbourne tend to be higher then those in WA and QLD and other places. Also top cover PHI is expensive very expensive but I would say that $300 per month would be stretching to the absolute top insurance price out there for families (not couple) and you can get top cover for less easily if you shop around and that's nation wide.

    Also there are many reasons why people see it as necessary (read my above post and it may give you some insight into why) I went private with both my babies and saw the OB often from 10 weeks and was very low risk. I not once saw an OB. Different ob's and hospitals both times.
    Last edited by 1CrazyMoose; 26-11-2012 at 22:19.


 

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