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Old 25-02-2021, 07:54 AM
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Health Insurance?

I am 74 and want to buy some health insurance ...any tips?

I was on the Old Age Pension but when my father passed away he left me with sufficient assets to cause me to lose the pension and I presume the medical benefits.

I need a scan on my back soon so I expect that will be expensive.

But I want to sort it out.

Alex
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Old 25-02-2021, 11:53 AM
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billdan (Bill)
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Hi Alex,

I ditched private health insurance 5 years ago, as I believe they are useless.
Like you I am over 70 and I get free Doctors consultancy because he bulk bills the Govt.

Recently the Doctor told me I have Emphyisimia (decades of smoking) and I had to get a CT scan on my lungs (which came back clean, no cancer). I didn't have to pay anything, they just scanned my Medicare card and that was it.

So if your local doctor sends you for a scan, at our age you shouldn't have to pay.

Cheers
Bill
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Old 25-02-2021, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by xelasnave View Post

I need a scan on my back soon so I expect that will be expensive.
Alex
Scans/MRI's aren't that expensive but there may be a wait. You can pay a bit more out of pocket to get them done sooner.

Where private health insurance makes a difference is if you end up needing spinal surgery - you get access to surgeons who only work in the private system and you can bypass waiting lists.
If you have spinal surgery you should choose a surgeon who has a high success rate for good outcomes - your GP should be able to offer recommendations.

There's generally a 12 month waiting period after taking out cover before you can claim.
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Old 25-02-2021, 12:27 PM
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Alex, everyone is covered by Medicare, and always will be, whether you have Private Health Insurance or not. Private cover gives you some advantages when it comes to elective procedures (non- life threatening), where you might have to wait in a queue in the Public system. Things like joint and hip replacements can be done fairly quickly in a Private facility, but you might want years on the Public waiting list. Of course you pay a premium to the Private Health funds for that cover and all if them will have a waiting period before you can claim.
I believe, if your doctor orders a scan of your back, in your present curcumstances, it will be covered by Medicare to a certain value and you will pay a gap of the rest.

So in short, you will not lose Medicare coverage.
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Old 25-02-2021, 03:03 PM
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As others have said, don't bother, other than maybe waiting for certain procedures the over all services is no different.

As you know recently i had a triple bypass, i could not fault the specialists, nursing staff, and the after service. not only that but in the past other procedures with excellent results

You would not get better in a private system, don't waste your dollars Alex, just go buy another scope mate.

Leon
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Old 25-02-2021, 03:57 PM
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multiweb (Marc)
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just go buy another scope mate.

Leon
Life's too short to look through cheap glass heh?
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Old 25-02-2021, 05:37 PM
glend (Glen)
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......
You would not get better in a private system, don't waste your dollars Alex, just go buy another scope mate.

Leon
There are some things that can definitely be better about private treatment:

Choice of Doctor, if that is important to you.
Waiting list. In the Public system there are considerable waiting lists for certain procedures.
Type of accommodation, amenities, and food. Now you might laugh about that last one, but having had Cardiac care stays in both public and private hospitals, I can testify about how good it is to have a Private room and bath, and a choice and quality of food, WIFI, etc which makes for a stress free recovery.

In an Emergency, the Public system shines, but paying for Private for booked procedures is usually a better choice in my experience. Health insurance is an investment, people whinge about it until suddenly they need to use it.
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Old 25-02-2021, 05:46 PM
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Nikolas (Nik)
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I had prostate cancer I had it removed 6 weeks after diagnosis I am cancer free because I got it early and my outcome therefore was better. I am a private patient I did not have to wait 6 months for the same surgery under the public system with a doctor no name. I know of others who waited in the public system, their outcome is now not similar to mine as that 6 month wait can make or break. Everyone is different but so long as the current mob are in power and keep cutting back on public health it's best to have that insurance if you can afford it.

Last edited by Nikolas; 26-02-2021 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 26-02-2021, 12:14 PM
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Thanks to all for your help. I greatly appreciate it.
Alex
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Old 26-02-2021, 05:03 PM
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I have been out so laid down when I got in ..no shirt.. as I tried to get comfortable I felt something slither down my arm then leg and looked up to see a snake tail dropping off the end of the bed, and then noticed same tail going out the door...I went to the door and I looked outside to see the snake standing about a foot upright in some weeds at the annex door looking straight at me..because I am colour blind it could be green or brown but it seemed to have yellow around it's lower jaw. I rang my daughter and she said probably a green tree snake as a brown being aggressive would have bitten me.

I feel very shaken.

What surprised me was the way it stood up and looked me in the eye.


Alex
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Old 26-02-2021, 05:30 PM
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Sunfish (Ray)
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I have had a few rounds of surgery in both public and private hospitals and have always had private hospital cover only. The problem with private health insurance is that it does not really cover a decent part of the the cost of your choice of medical people , scans and allied costs. Only the stay in the private hospital is really covered. Every other thing is not really covered to any degree if you choose your own surgeon. Nice room but it is incredibly expensive in private health.

You can often choose your own surgeon and see them in a public or private system and choose based on the type of procedure they use . That is common to many highly regarded surgeons. I have been able to choose either. The private system is good for those who can afford it to skip the wait and have a nice room but not always. It would be wrong to think that private health insurance covers much of it or that anyone should accept whatever surgeon happens to be in that area at their local private hospital or better covered by their insurer. They are bound to be a lesser choice than a well known surgeon who works in both private and public hospitals and preferably a big public teaching hospital.

You an always choose either way, and the idea that an Australian would be made to wait for a life saving surgery in a public hospital is wrong. That is where the life saving surgeries are most performed.

Last edited by Sunfish; 26-02-2021 at 05:31 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 26-02-2021, 07:26 PM
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Although I had no choice in the surgeons that did my procedure, they did come and speak with me at length before and after, and it turns out the one that actually did the procedure was the best in his class.

These people did both, private and public and alternated between both hospitals which happened to be next to each other.

The food and service i had was just excellent.

By the way I was in the Geelong Cardio Hospital, on the floor just for this procedure

I suppose we all see the different aspects of public or private, each to his/her own i expect

Leon
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Old 26-02-2021, 09:13 PM
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Although I had no choice in the surgeons that did my procedure, they did come and speak with me at length before and after, and it turns out the one that actually did the procedure was the best in his class.

These people did both, private and public and alternated between both hospitals which happened to be next to each other.

The food and service i had was just excellent.

By the way I was in the Geelong Cardio Hospital, on the floor just for this procedure

I suppose we all see the different aspects of public or private, each to his/her own i expect

Leon
I have private health insurance, but had a quadruple bypass as a public patient at RPH in Sydney. Cost me nothing and an excellent outcome. After diagnosing my heart attack, i was put straight in hospital and the bypass was scheduled for a few days later.

The point is that this was a life threatening event so the public system acted immediately and there is no waiting list for the surgery, though on the morning of the operation I did get bumped by an MVA.

Anyway, I also need a knee replacement, if i went public I could be waiting a number of years, i suspect back surgery would be the same. So will use my private insurance.

Horses for courses!

Cheers
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Old 27-02-2021, 02:30 PM
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Ok fair enough, best leave it there.

Leon
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Old 02-03-2021, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xelasnave View Post
I have been out so laid down when I got in ..no shirt.. as I tried to get comfortable I felt something slither down my arm then leg and looked up to see a snake tail dropping off the end of the bed, and then noticed same tail going out the door...I went to the door and I looked outside to see the snake standing about a foot upright in some weeds at the annex door looking straight at me..because I am colour blind it could be green or brown but it seemed to have yellow around it's lower jaw. I rang my daughter and she said probably a green tree snake as a brown being aggressive would have bitten me.

I feel very shaken.

What surprised me was the way it stood up and looked me in the eye.


Alex
I don't know about other types of snakes but a brown can take a cobra type pose as a warning. The only time I have seen that the snake hissed in that position and then did not move for some time. It had been surprised by my dog when we were playing fetch.

Greg.
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Old 02-03-2021, 04:53 PM
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Alex,

something to consider is LHC, which is Lift time Health Cover. If you have never had health insurance or not had cover for years you will be subject to LHC. If never I think you will be paying a 70% surcharge or thereabouts. I am on my last few months of LHC (it goes for 10 years) and only on 36% and it is $150 dollars or so extra a quarter. I have silver extras and bronze hospital. I would imagine you will be paying probably double me and then expected to pay this for a couple of years to qualify for any procedure requiring surgery. Might be worth looking at the numbers to see if it is worth the financial pain.
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Old 04-03-2021, 01:31 PM
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Thanks to everyone for all your help I really appreciate it...more so as something has come up which I may have put off if not for helpful comments here..... Could be very very serious.

Sunday night found huge lump in my neck under my beard..hand size maybe half inch thick..dont know how long it had been there..getting tests right now...blood, xray and an ultra sound next week... but if its cancer I would say I am done for...hopefully it may be iodine deficiency...blood test back Monday which should indicate cancer or not.

My thumb at least seems better but I am keeping it strapped ..doctor said maybe " trigger finger" comes from over exertion..which could be the case from playing the xmas guitar and assembling the garden shed...

I have been rather active.

I hope its not the death warrant now that I have everything finally set up...just affirms not to put off doing what you want...but feeling ok..if its the end I really think I have had a bigger slice of life than anyone else...sorry to be morbid its just a worry.
Alex
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Old 04-03-2021, 03:25 PM
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Thinking and sending positive thoughts your way Alex
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Old 07-03-2021, 05:45 PM
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Scans/MRI's aren't that expensive but there may be a wait. You can pay a bit more out of pocket to get them done sooner.

Where private health insurance makes a difference is if you end up needing spinal surgery - you get access to surgeons who only work in the private system and you can bypass waiting lists.
If you have spinal surgery you should choose a surgeon who has a high success rate for good outcomes - your GP should be able to offer recommendations.

There's generally a 12 month waiting period after taking out cover before you can claim.
Very definitely agree with this.
Three and a half years, our health fund paid out around $220,000 for the back surgeries my wife and I had.

Plus it's nice having one's own room with great food, beer and wine, nice cakes for morning and afternoon tea, some Foxtel channels and WiFi with a daily 10Gbyte limit. The experience is akin to being on a plane trip, but with better service.

I liked it so much, I'm going back for more this week, after spending a week there in January. I think I'm costing my fund a fortune.
Cheers,
Renato
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Old 08-03-2021, 10:24 AM
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I have always said that I am the luckiest man on the planet.

Without getting too excited ..blood test shows high white cell count indicating infection...still have tests but it may only be an infection type sac as with sists or absysis..still could be cancer but liver and thyroid present as healthy.

Alex
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