Is private health insurance worth it for you? Here’s what HBF members in their 20s claim for the most on hospital and extras cover.
In your 20s, private health insurance might not be something you’ve given much thought to – and that’s understandable.
But for many people in their 20s, private health insurance does have some definite advantages.
Plus, depending on how much you earn, it could also help you save on tax.
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Your health in your 20s
To decide if private health insurance is worth it for you, it can be helpful to look at some of the common health considerations for your age group.
For young Australians, some of the top health risks include mental health and accidents and injuries, according to government statistics.1
People in their 20s may also be planning a baby, so this may also be another factor in your decisions about your health.
So how could private health insurance help you? Let's take a look at what other people your age are claiming for.
Popular hospital claims
For HBF members in their 20s, some of the most common hospital cover claims include:2
- Hospital psychiatric services. Nearly one in two Australians will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.3 HBF members in their 20s and 30s claim for hospital psychiatric treatment – which includes treatment for mental illnesses, eating disorders or addictions – significantly more than any other age group.2
- Bone, joint and muscle. With accidents and injuries among the top health risks for young Australians, this category – which includes hospital treatment for injuries and conditions of the musculoskeletal system – may be worth considering.
- Pregnancy and birth. Thinking about a little bundle of joy? If you’re planning a baby and want to give birth as a private hospital patient, it’s important to know that you will need to be covered for this for 12 months before your due date.
- Digestive system. This category includes hospital investigation and treatment of conditions that affect the digestive system – for example, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which affects around three in 10 people.4
- Gastrointestinal endoscopy. Similarly, this covers investigation and treatment of the inner parts of the digestive system using an endoscope (a long, thin tube with a tiny camera attached – fun!).
- Ear, nose and throat. This category includes things like sinus surgery and surgery to fix a deviated septum.
Other benefits of private hospital cover
Of course, you can access these treatments in a public hospital too, and for many people in their 20s this can be a good option.
However, there are a few perks of being treated in a private hospital. For example:
- You can choose your doctor or specialist. In the public hospital system, you don’t have this choice.
- You can often get treated more quickly. Public hospital waiting lists for some procedures can be lengthy, which in some cases may mean living with discomfort or stress for longer while you wait for treatment.
- You can get a private room, if one’s available.* Having a room to yourself can make your hospital experience that little bit more comfortable.
Plus, depending on your income, having private hospital cover can mean you avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge.
This is a tax applied to high income earners (over $93,000 for individuals or $186,000 for couples and families) who don’t have an appropriate level of private hospital cover.