Wednesday 3rd of June 2020

Private Health Cover - how much longer can we keep paying?

I would like to ask what others think about private health insurance. After receiving our latest statement, we think it is time to review it. But when getting over the shock we realise that there is not a lot we can do. A member of our family has an on-going disease and could need more surgery and also physiotherapy. So what to do. Hip and knee replacements come at a premium in the government system with years to wait, so we stay in private cover because of fear of the unknown.

This is just one example of why we need private cover. The other is dental.

So why does the government allow the health funds to put their premiums up and at the same time cut back on benefits? They do make a profit. But is this profit enough to cope with an emergercy? Some one in this field may be able to let us know.

I noticed that the cover we have gave us access to hospitals with out up front fees. That is no longer. I also noticed that the last pair of glasses I had made up had more out-of-pocket expenses attached to them.

And then before Christmas I also heard Mr. Abbott mention that the prothesis for hip and knee replacements would not now be the top appliance. surely this is false economy. After all one would be back for another one eventually. I presume he means you have to pay extra for the top of the range so to speak.

But no one - not even the Labor party - seems to have asked this question.

We are back to the same old thing, if it is not in my backyard who cares.

Private Health Cover - should we or shouldn't we?

I'm worried about this too. I feel that we are being blackmailed (by fear) to pay for insurance that doesn't even cover us, and that's nothing to the fear of those who can't afford even the most basic private cover. And what's the point of being insured and ending up thousands out of pocket - costs you don't incur if you use the public system.

But I don't think it is the insurance question that is the big issue - the question is what is the real state of our health system nationally. I would really like the government to give us more detail on the actual spending, and not use the Federal/State divide to hide the reality. I know NSW is closing down most of the regional hospitals, or parts of their services, in our area, and this is putting more stress on The Canberra Hospital, and no doubt on Sydney hospitals too. I believe that the Federal system is being used to hide the facts. It's hard to take action when you don't know the facts, and it seems impossible to actually work out what is being spent where.

We need budget accountability and transparency - federally and by the states and territories. We are being smoke-screened out of participating in our democracy.

Blackmail by Fear

It is blackmail by fear but there's also the practical side.

I had a tooth filled a couple of weeks at a small practice: the cost $250-00 which seems to have been cheap as friends mention charges of $300-$400 for the same work.

And let's not get onto the cost of glasses. How do opticians get away with the ridiculous prices they do for for plastic frames?

As a single income family on a less than average salary, it's hard to pay $60 a week for health insurance. It's also hard to give it up when you are middle-aged and have had your policy without a break for nearly 45 years.

Private health costs

Nolly, Like the other responders I can't see any value in it at all and think about opting out. I don't want to take the risk though as we are in our early 50's and things are starting to creak so we will probably stick with it, out of fear as others have said.

I would much prefer that the government dropped all support for private funds and put that money into Medicare. Then we could all drop private cover and maybe even increase the levy slightly, only slightly. That may be a better way, or I think so at least. Best.


Dear Pegasus, have been away, for some weeks, left before your note.

Just thought i would mention that when in Europe I needed antibiotics. Went to a pharmacy in Europe expecting to have to go to a Doctor. No. I was asked a few questions about my health and then given 10 penicillian capsules for 65 Euro, you can all Ii am sure translate that in to Aus. dollars. scary i think. We have to protect our p.b.s.

Welcome back

Hey Nelly, welcome back. I trust the antibiotics were effective despite the cost. We need you here so be well OK.

Yes our PBS is brilliant. That's why JH and the dud duo, Abbott and Costello, are attacking it of course. They have been gradually eroding it ever since they got in to power as you probably know and won't stop until we have the US system.

I've been emailing with a number of US sufferers of Mental illnesses over a period of years and their system is truly disgraceful. Land of the Brave etc indeed!

What they tell me is tthat if you don't have a job you are in big trouble health wise. Being sufferers of mainly depression naturally most of them have lost their jobs and their lives have gradually deteriorated both financially and emotionally. The worry of no health cover simply increases the pressure of depression and so on.

The lucky ones live near Canada and actually make regular long trips to stock up on relevant meds. You know, meds that actually help!

The unlucky ones have to either just suffer until something cracks (no pun intended there) or they resort to buying over the counter meds which are both expensive and useless. The decent meds are way too expensive and our country cannot afford to go that way.

Howard and his Monsters, oops, Ministers, really have no idea what they are trying to create and will only know when things have gone, gone, gone.

You see about one in four people suffer depression at some stage during their lives. The lucky ones have only a short flirtation and recover. The rest have a life long battle generally and we are so fortunate in this country to still have a Health system which supports us, albeit lessening steadily in that regard.

What they don't see is that of those one in four, on average that means probably one in every family may suffer at some stage. Excuse the looseness with statistics, they are all lies. One family member suffering can destroy a family. What happens if all these people can't get treatment? The problem spreads, people use other drugs, alcohol is most common, to relieve the stress and the results are devastating to society.

It's such a logical and obvious path I just cannot see how anybody in government does not recognise where they are going. It's chaos and fear. More homeless people, more crime, more restrictions to prevent the rise in crime and down and down we go.

On that happy note I repeat, welcome back and dig in!


Do We Have Medication For You!

Background Briefing
This Week: Sunday 5 June 2005
Do We Have Medication For You!
Produced by Wendy Carlisle
The big pharmaceuticals are finding new health problems that will need new medications. Half a million de-identified Australian patient records are being sold by GPs to the pharmaceutical companies.
It will help them work up a very sharp sales pitch.


We have family in Canada  and they tell me that medications are not as cheap as they were.