As we are all aware at this stage, the government’s proposed changes to the Medicare levy system mean that many individuals and families will be paying more for their cover than they have previously. As of the 1st of July single individuals earning more than $84,000 your 30 per cent health rebate will reduce and if you’re income exceeds $130,000 you lose all rebate privileges. For families, if your combined income exceeds $168,000 then you will also pay more towards Medicare. This has been reported throughout the news but you can find a detailed understanding of how the changes will affect you in an article found here from the Herald Sun.
These increases are, in many ways, necessary and the truth is that our health system is struggling to cope. However, for families the impact will be felt the most as family health insurance already attracts a higher premium than individual health insurance. At some point we need to realise that the relative figures don’t quite meet in the middle. Understandably many families are reconsidering the need for happily health insurance and between 27,000 (Government predictions) and 150,000(health insurance provider predictions) people are expected to reduce their insurance cover or remove it completely.
These changes and increases have been brought about for the core reason that we are struggling to meet our health care provision requirements and the public arm of our healthcare service needs more capital to provide the levels of cover we expect. In this country we have a number of growing problems that have increased the strain on the health service. Firstly, we have an increasingly ageing population that requires more medical attention than ever. Thankfully we are all living longer but this puts a lot more strain on the health service as the older ages we reach the more medical care we require. At the same time our population is growing so more people need medical care. Combine this with the global increases in the costs of healthcare provision and the increasing complexity of medicines and treatments and you can quickly see why we are having problems. The truth is that all these problems make providing state health care harder and harder. What this shows is that we need to be doing more on a government level to increase the quality and provision of healthcare throughout the country.
At a time like this, when things looks set to get worse before they get better, I personally feel that the need for private health care is greater than ever. Yes it is comparatively expensive to maintain private health care and to pay the Medicare levy but the alternatives to not having full family cover are even less appealing. Of course, we are all entitled to emergency medical cover but the truth is that what is now considered as non-essential treatment and surgery can have a severe impact on my family’s quality of life. I don’t want my children to have to wait for medical treatment for anything and I don’t want to be in a situation where I have to say no to something I myself would prefer to have done. Health insurance can make a huge difference to life quality and comfort and I think that many of us should reconsider whether we remove it from out next family budget.