Private health insurance covers some of the cost of treatment for private patients in private or public hospitals and can cover some additional services that Medicare generally does not, such as dental, optical, physiotherapy and chiropractic care.
Private health insurance, such as that offered by GMHBA, also gives you more choices in your healthcare, for instance the ability to choose your surgeon/obstetrician/specialist and the hospital you prefer from the private health insurer’s agreed providers. You might also reduce hospital wait times by having the choice to receive your treatment as a private patient. There are also government and tax breaks that encourage people to buy private health insurance.
As your family grows, your health insurance changes too.
Know your needs: in this case, prenatal and pregnancy/starting a family. Consider if you need or want a policy that covers eye and dental health, plus check out the affiliations and rewards programs that might benefit you.
Shop around: Different health insurance providers have different offerings, such as waiting periods – however, 12 months is standard for pregnancy and it’s extremely rare for this to be waived. You might also want to align yourself with one that aligns with your own principles, so choose a values-based, not-for-profit health insurance provider.
Whether it’s your first or third baby, make sure you have the pregnancy option turned on in time for it to be activated when you fall pregnant. Most policies have a year-long waiting period before full pregnancy and birth claims can be made. The Federal Government policy is no longer than 12 months, so most companies follow that, and it’s very rare that a health provider waives the waiting time.
Health insurance offers peace of mind that you can take care of the most important people in your life.
Hidden costs of health and wellbeing
You don’t have to use your private health insurance cover for your pregnancy if your local hospital meets your requirements, however, depending on the policy you choose, you may be able to use it to reduce the cost of seeing an obstetrician during your pregnancy, get rebates on additional antenatal tests or opt to be a private patient in a public hospital.
It’s a good idea for a prospective mum to ensure her dental health is up to date as pregnancy hormones soften a lot of your body, including your gums. Also, you want to avoid any unnecessary dental work while you’re pregnant.
Growing and carrying a baby for 40 weeks takes its toll on your body and it’s possible that a mum-to-be or new mum will benefit from physio or massage appointments, plus massages in particular will be a great relaxation and stress-relief when the baby is born.
Potential medical costs for a young family
Beyond pregnancy and the early days, once your baby goes from crawling to cruising to running, the world opens up and accidents happen! It’s impossible to predict your child’s need for medical attention but as they grow and start riding a bike, playing sports and so on, the likelihood of a trauma-related injury increases. Private health insurance provides that reassuring peace of mind.
Infectious diseases are on a par with accidents, and this is no surprise as the immune system isn’t fully functioning until the age of seven. Preschool, playgroups and childcare all impact the health of your little one in the early years and knowing you have insurance can be reassuring.
Ear infections and glue ear (when the middle ear cavity fills up with fluid) are regular topics of discussion in mothers’ groups, and medical solution for recurrent issues is grommets. As well as causing temporary hearing loss, glue ear can increase speech and behavioural problems, and it can be relieved and prevent recurrence with grommets inserted surgically. A grommet is a tiny ventilation tube that’s inserted into the ear to promote airflow and prevent fluid build-up.
Health insurance can also assist with another common complaint for young kids – adenoids. What are adenoids, we hear you ask! Adenoids are a patch of tissue at the back of the nasal passage and, like tonsils, they protect the body’s immune system by trapping bacteria. Occasionally they become so enlarged that it makes it hard to breathe through the nose. When this happens, they might need to be surgically removed. They’re often done at the same time as tonsils, if they are also a problem.
There are many things you can’t predict about the health of your family but there are some that you can. For example, if both parents had lots of dental work when they were younger, and braces and plates later on, you can be fairly confident that your child is going to need dental work too.
Don’t set and forget: Your family will change and grow, and as it does you’ll need to reassess your health insurance needs on a regular basis.
If you want to review your health insurance needs, talk to a local health insurance expert by calling 1300 4 GMHBA (1300 446 422)
Brought to you by GMHBA Health Insurance
GMHBA Health Insurance is a not-for-profit, values-based private health insurer that’s part of the Australian Health Services Alliance, which means out-of-pocket expenses are reduced. It also has an affiliation with AIA Vitality, a health and wellbeing program that rewards you for being healthy.