Jump to content

Penalising late comers to private health insurance


  • Please log in to reply
126 replies to this topic

#1 Rachaelxxx

Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:42 AM

I've had private health insurance for years, purely for obstetrics reasons and this year I'm entering the work force full time and for the first time we can actually afford private health insurance for the whole family.

Some may argue that this should have been a priority, but to date we've been lucky not to have really needed private insurance for the girls and my husband.  My husband is 41 and will be penalised 11% for joining (2% premium for every year over 30).

I don't understand that logic, I think it's a bonus anytime anyone comes on board with private health insurance.  If anything I thought they would have been offering incentives for late comers and I know the government bought this legislation in, not private health insurance companies, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

#2 PrincessPeach

Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:48 AM

I think it may have something to do with the social thought process of older people = more health complaints.

Also I've come accross a number of people who are joining private health simply to have an operation or something done in the private secotr, becasue it's actually quicker from them to serve out the waiting periods then to wait in the public system.

Or they are joining to avoid paying medicare surcharge.

Edited by PrincessPeach, 24 January 2013 - 09:50 AM.


#3 ellebelle

Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:51 AM

Very few of us claim for the hospital component before we are 40. There was an article recently, stats which I don't remember exactly, but something along the lines of claims being very skewed to those over 65. Basically, the govt has worked out a cut off where it is felt that we are contributing long enough to keep the system viable, and the line in the sand is 30. I'm in my early forties and except for obstretics have had no need for the cover either to date. It's not a "bonus" that others come later and then start claiming sooner - it's a drain.

#4 rosiebird

Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:51 AM

It's quite simple economics. Your husband saved money by avoiding paying PHI while he was young and statistically less likely to need it. Now he is older and more of a liability to the PHI company, they need to recoup the costs.

#5 sandgropergirl

Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:52 AM

Pretty straight forward. If you had health insurance for the years and not used it you have earned the insurer money. You now want to enter at a time when it's likely you will cost more than you pay. Same as insurance for young drivers costing more than experienced ones. Young people have mre bungles. Older people cost more in th health system

#6 Lolpigs

Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:54 AM

It was done by Howard to force people out of the public system under the guise of doing something positive.

This was instead of putting more money into public hospitals.

There isn't much other reasoning behind it. Obstetrics is a joke because of the massive out of pockets that you have, which means you are financially better off using the public system.

#7 bebe12

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:02 AM

Hi,

I wish you could get out of it if you could prove that you could not have afforded it before you join.

Ie before i remarried i was working parttime and studying and getting not even a $1 a day from exh for DD. During those 2 years of 31-32 i could not afford it, but now am stuck with surcharge, as apposed to people earning fulltime wage.

I am now on Maternity leave and for last 5 years have paid PHI, as i believe it is good for our family, but some individuals aren't earning enough to fork out cover for something they will likely not use. especially single parents.

#8 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:05 AM

QUOTE (ellebelle @ 24/01/2013, 09:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Very few of us claim for the hospital component before we are 40. There was an article recently, stats which I don't remember exactly, but something along the lines of claims being very skewed to those over 65. Basically, the govt has worked out a cut off where it is felt that we are contributing long enough to keep the system viable, and the line in the sand is 30. I'm in my early forties and except for obstretics have had no need for the cover either to date. It's not a "bonus" that others come later and then start claiming sooner - it's a drain.

this

QUOTE
It's quite simple economics. Your husband saved money by avoiding paying PHI while he was young and statistically less likely to need it. Now he is older and more of a liability to the PHI company, they need to recoup the costs.


and pretty much this.  And people were given HEAPS of warning that they would be penalised if they didn't have private hospital cover by the time they are 30.  So it shouldn't come as a surprise.  Choose not to have private hospital cover after the age of 30, then you are choosing to penalised if you decide to sign up when you are older and are just going to cost the insurer a lot of money.

DH & I signed up at 30 - cheapest policy we could lay our hands on.  We did it to avoid being hit with a surcharge later in life.  Signing up when you are in your mid-50's whacks a big penalty on to the premium.

#9 Percoriel

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:08 AM

It sucks for people like us who have been out of Australia for most of our 30's and now into our 40's. We'll be penalised for not being in Australia. Which sucks really.

#10 wannabe30

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:14 AM

QUOTE (Percoriel @ 24/01/2013, 11:08 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It sucks for people like us who have been out of Australia for most of our 30's and now into our 40's. We'll be penalised for not being in Australia. Which sucks really.

I notified my health fund before we left, maintained insurance in my country of residence while I was out of Australia, and then rejoined my Aussie fund when I returned. They treated it as though I had never left.

#11 Rachaelxxx

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:16 AM

I guess that makes sense, but the reality is we honestly could not have afforded private health insurance for the whole family in our 30's and it wasn't a surprise, I knew the legislation, but it certainly is making it harder and harder for the average Australian to afford private health insurance.

Edited by Rachaelxxx, 24 January 2013 - 10:18 AM.


#12 Rachaelxxx

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:17 AM

Double post, sorry

Edited by Rachaelxxx, 24 January 2013 - 10:18 AM.


#13 sandgropergirl

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:19 AM

QUOTE (economist99 @ 24/01/2013, 11:17 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's very fair. over 85 yo's soak up over 85% of the budget. If you dont believe this you haven;t been in a hospital lately, or checked out the heavily PBS subsidised medicine cabinet of an over 60yo. Govt provided statins, blood press, etc etc even viagra - many of which are on the HCC cost of $5 - some even onsell online for the real price of $80-800 for basic meds.

We have an unsustainable health care system and the reality is we have to work out how to provide for the future...and we cannot keep on being so generous.


Exactly

#14 choccy2

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:22 AM

In the past I had PHI for all of us which I organised well prior to 30.

This was held for many years. At one point we went through some financial hardship and had to put it on hold with the intention of resuming it as soon as possible.

But then once the ex left  I struggled to find work (after supporting the ex's own business dreams) I could not afford to rejoin it  and the children and I had no insurance.

When it comes to choosing between literally feeding and educating your children and PHI - the 'choice' part is hardly a choice.

When I found work I was keen to rejoin, but by then was well passed 30 and had been out too long to avoid the penalty for joining again and that on top of it being an expensive product anyway, I'm resigned to not being able to afford it.

As the ex earns well over the threshold he ended up joining as it would cost if more in tax not to have it and decided recently to add the girls so at least they do have it .

Edited by choccy2, 24 January 2013 - 10:53 AM.


#15 Three Of Hearts

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:27 AM

My parents had me covered on their private health insurance up until I was 21 then DH and I took out our own cover at 24 and have had it ever since then.  To me it seems totally fair that your DH should be penalised for joining at an older age.  We haven't really needed to use our PHI for anything up until now starting IVF so we've been paying those premiums for years without needing it.

#16 opethmum

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:29 AM

I am not sure what you're trying to get at but you have no sympathy from me whatsoever, you're getting older, the likelihood of your family needing more services increases with age and it is right that you are being charged extra.
So just suck it up and pay up and make that a lesson learned and make sure that your kids get their insurance at the right time.


#17 (feral)epg

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

It's not so much a penalty for your husband as a reward for you for joining earlier.


#18 *LucyE*

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:30 AM

QUOTE
It was done by Howard to force people out of the public system under the guise of doing something positive.

rolleyes.gif  No one is forced out of the public system in Australia.  Even if you have PHI, you can still be treated without cost in the public system.  This is unlike the USA health system, which so many people flippantly liken our system to.

QUOTE
It's quite simple economics. Your husband saved money by avoiding paying PHI while he was young and statistically less likely to need it. Now he is older and more of a liability to the PHI company, they need to recoup the costs.

This.

As for being penalized for going overseas, you can come to an arrangement with your PHI before you leave, so you don't get affected by the age surcharge.

#19 Rachaelxxx

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:33 AM

opethmum you are a very rude person.  It was a genuine question and I take on board the education of the replies, sympathy was not something I was after.  I wonder if you talk to people in real life like that, I wouldn't imagine you would have many friends.

#20 elizabethany

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:39 AM

Don't think of it as a penalty, think of it as a reduced bonus, as that is what it really is.  It is a reduction in a govt bonus that pays some of your PHI.  Just think of what it was like before the govt paid a thrid of you PHI premium.  They are still paying 20% for your DH.

#21 Rachaelxxx

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:42 AM

elizabethany that's very true, he has the surcharge for 10 years and then goes back to the same as mine.

#22 beastie

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:43 AM

Dont talk to me about PHI. We are high income earners so pay substantial medicare levy plus each year plus around $6000 a year in PHI premiums.  Of course then you have out of pocket expenses each time  you claim and reduction in tax rebate for health expenses.  I think the system is unsustainable as well.

#23 opethmum

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:49 AM

QUOTE (Rachaelxxx @ 24/01/2013, 11:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
opethmum you are a very rude person.  It was a genuine question and I take on board the education of the replies, sympathy was not something I was after.  I wonder if you talk to people in real life like that, I wouldn't imagine you would have many friends.


wow sad.gif

#24 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:51 AM

QUOTE (Rachaelxxx @ 24/01/2013, 10:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I guess that makes sense, but the reality is we honestly could not have afforded private health insurance for the whole family in our 30's and it wasn't a surprise, I knew the legislation, but it certainly is making it harder and harder for the average Australian to afford private health insurance.


I think it also depends on what you include as "private health insurance".  From the govt perspective, they just would like people to have private hospital insurance.  So, if you stick with the minimum - hospital cover with an excess and co-payment scheme, the premiums aren't too bad.  But if you choose to have no excess, no co-payment and choose to add on some ancillaries (physio, dental, optical, etc), then the premium sky rockets.  From a tax perspective, I think the govt is just looking to see who has private hospital coverage (no matter what payment arrangements you have to cover it) and the surcharge is applied to that.

While we are younger, we have chosen to have a high excess with co-payments for our hospital cover, because we really haven't needed to use it much.  It does save you some money to do that but the downside is that you need to be able to access a lump sum to pay the excess and/or co-payment if you choose to go into a private hospital for something.

#25 FeralZombieMum

Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:09 AM

We're in a similar position, except neither of us have had private health insurance. We couldn't justify the extra expense at the time.

Once I get full time work, then I'll happily suck it up and pay - we've saved a bundle over the years, and have been able to access services in the public hospital which have cost us nothing, and I see it as a way of giving back to the system that has been there for us.

I just learnt something from this thread - I didn't realise it was removed after 10 years, I'd assumed it stayed there for the entire time, so I'm pretty happy to learn this bit of information. biggrin.gif


QUOTE (opethmum @ 24/01/2013, 11:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I am not sure what you're trying to get at but you have no sympathy from me whatsoever, you're getting older, the likelihood of your family needing more services increases with age and it is right that you are being charged extra.
So just suck it up and pay up and make that a lesson learned and make sure that your kids get their insurance at the right time.

Ouch.

You may not realise this - but some people have life circumstances out of their control and aren't in a financial position to afford private health insurance when they hit 30 years of age.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Special Ticket Offer, Save $8!

The Essential Baby & Toddler Show is back this April! Save $8 off the door price for a limited time only!

Finding baby name inspiration in unusual places

Sometimes the greatest baby name ideas come from the most unexpected places, as these EB members show.

The case for inducing at 37 weeks

While we often think of pregnancy as a 40 week affair, experts agree that 37 weeks is actually “full term". So is there an argument for inducing all births at 37 weeks?

Does controlled crying really work?

Controlled-crying techniques may help some babies sleep through the night, but for many exhausted new parents, it's just a recipe for more tears all round.

How I taught my infant to use a toilet

As people become more aware of these benefits, I hope more parents will practice this method, so we can cut down on nappies and improve baby bonding.

'I thought it was impossible': Emily Symons pregnant at 45

Aussie actress Emily Symons has announced she is pregnant with her first baby.

Shallow water blackout kills fit, healthy dad

A little girl will grow up without her father after the fit and healthy 34-year-old passed away while doing something he had practised his whole life.

Afternoon naps may be bad for toddlers' sleep

You could be doing yourself a disservice by encouraging your toddler to have an afternoon nap, according to new research.

Best gifts for newborns, new mums and christenings

We've compiled a guide to some of the most popular presents for newborns and new mums, and for christenings and naming days.

Jaime King to be a mum again

Actress Jaime King is pregnant with her second child, giving 16-month-old James a sibling.

Nannies should receive government funding

The Abbott government should extend funding to nannies, and direct childcare payments to low and middle income families, a landmark study on childcare has found. 

Common skin irritations in newborns (and how to treat them)

As many as one in two newborn babies suffer from skin irritations in their first few weeks. So what are the most common rashes and irritations to look out for?

10 wall decals for the nursery or playroom

Wall decals are the answer to creating a beautiful nursery or children's space without lifting a paint brush, a spirit level or even a hammer.

Preschooler walks 2.4km home alone

Three-year-old Cain Trainor headed off home after his first day at a new preschool without telling anyone.

Video: Why mums get nothing done

In spite of being in an almost constant state of motion while looking after the kids and trying to keep things together at home, it can seem as though parents have managed to get nothing on the to-do list done by the end of the day.

The middle name game

The middle name is no longer an afterthought, and parents' inspiration comes from many places.

Have a baby or your money back - but there's a catch

A new IVF scheme offers couples the chance to fall pregnant and give birth - or get their money back. But there's more to it than you might think.

A rare glimpse inside the womb

A baby born still inside the amniotic sac gave US doctors a rare glimpse at life inside the womb.

Battered mum forced to write to her attacker ex in jail

Three years ago Jason Hughes viciously attacked his ex-partner. Now she has to write to him three times a year.

Woman pleads not guilty to ultrasound scam

A West Australian woman will fight allegations that she scammed expectant mums by selling them fake ultrasound pictures of babies.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Brain damaged mum receives compensation

A Sydney mother who suffered brain damage when she was hit by a car while pushing her newborn baby in a pram has reached a confidential out-of-court settlement with the driver's insurance company.

Indigenous midwives break down the barriers

A culturally sensitive midwifery service has gained the trust and respect of Aboriginal women.

The Katering Show's next big delivery

Most mums-to-be plan to take things easy and perhaps have a little break from work as the birth of their baby draws near. Not Kate McCartney.

53 creative pregnancy announcements

Announcing that you're expecting can be a time to express your creativity, sense of humour and imagination. Check out how other parents and parents-to-be have broken the news to friends and family.

Why I have mixed feelings about Cindy Crawford's leaked photo

Last week an un-retouched photo of model Cindy Crawford surfaced, showing the 48-year-old mother-of -two posing in underwear.

How to create a Peppa Pig pancake

Thought your toddler could not love pancakes any more than they already do? How about if the breakfast treat came in the shape of every two-year-old's favourite cartoon character?

'It's a little life, not a little loss': pregnancy after miscarriage

I thought I was never going to be able to have a successful pregnancy. I decided that I wasn't going to form an emotional attachment with this baby.

Bonds Baby Search 2015: what you need to know

February 18 marks the start of one of the most prolific annual baby competitions in Australia: the Bonds Baby Search. And this year is going to be more special than ever.

Who will manage your Facebook account when you're gone?

This is not something that people like to talk about, but Facebook has announced that it will grant users more control over what happens to their pages after they die.

Struggling mum of four wins $188 million

Mother of four Marie Holmes was financially struggling after quitting her jobs at Walmart and McDonald's in order to care for her children.

Pregnant obese women a 'relatively new problem', coroner hears

A first-time mother whose daughter died hours after her frightening birth insists she was never told of the risks of being obese and pregnant.

'I'm angry as hell': the story behind mum's passionate vaccination plea

She has labelled parents who do not vaccinate their children "misinformed imbeciles" - and for that, she makes no apologies.

IKEA hacks for the nursery and kids' rooms

Are you one of those that know the whole IKEA catalogue by heart? Love their stuff but want to personalise it? Here's some inspiration to help you realise the potential of IKEA furniture and fittings.

8 different kinds of tantrums

I never thought I’d say this, but for a brief moment last week, Kim Kardashian and I had something in common: both our kids had public tantrums.

Polycystic ovary syndrome: symptoms, treatment and your fertility

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female hormonal condition, affecting roughly one in 12 Australian women.

What's the best position for giving birth?

If doing it on your back is out, what's the best position for labour and birth?

Wife forgives snake catcher husband for car surprise

With Valentine's Day coming up, Nat Gilbert could be forgiven for thinking her husband might be planning a surprise for her.

Kids who meet milestones at their own pace

We usually only hear the success stories: tales of the two-year-old who’s talking, running and completely toilet trained. But other stories need to be told too.

Ruby shines as Bonds Baby

Sarah Kiss has a word of advice for proud mums and dads who are keen to enter their babies in this year's Bonds Baby Search Competition - just have fun.

Why dads should go to sleep school

If your family needs to go to sleep school, go with them. You are part of that family and you are part of the solution.

36 baby names inspired by food and drinks

A French court may have ruled out Nutella as a baby name, but that doesn't have to stop you from taking inspiration from the supermarket (or bottle shop). See what parents in the US have chosen for their delicious little ones.

Clever breastfeeding products

Check out this range of products designed to help make your breastfeeding journey more enjoyable, manageable and convenient.

 

Win a KitchenAid Mixer

Let's celebrate 300,000 fans on Facebook

To celebrate, and to thank our amazing fans, we?re giving away a KitchenAid Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.