In Australia it is highly advisable that you get health insurance. Like superannuation in Australia, it is a fast growing industry that is being regulated by the Government.
Why should I get private health insurance?
As part of the public health system you are taxed a Medicare Levy on your earnings. This is paid with your income tax through your employer.
Private health insurance is beneficial in that you will avoid long waiting times for elective surgery and you can choose the best policy that suits you and your families needs.
How much will it cost?
Private Health Insurance premiums vary based on a number of factors. Your age, health factors, what type of cover, what kind of premiums you want to pay etc.
With most funds you are able to choose what kind of premium you will pay should you need to make a claim. You could elect to have no excess and pay a higher premium or a lower premium for a higher excess. Other costs that you may incur are called a Co-payment. A bit like an excess payment however it is paid each day that you are admitted to hospital as opposed to a one off payment no matter how long you are in for. Make sure that you are very familiar with the policy that you choose so that there are no surprises should you ever have to make claim.
Which Fund should I use?
There are a number of funds in Australia and they are easy to find.
Visit www.iselect.com.au to compare funds. You can also mix and match funds. You can have your comprehensive insurance with one fund and then have your extras (ambulance, optical, physiotherapy etc) with another. This may save you money but also another funds extras package may suit your needs better than the other.