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Budgeting For Your Health

Budgeting For Your Health

Budgeting for your health

 

By Chloe Quin

We all know that we should invest in our health, but what are some of the ways we can reduce our healthcare expenses? While in Australia we’re lucky to have great medical care – both private and public – you can still be left out of pocket when serious illness and accidents strike.

1. Get cover early

The longer you wait to get private health cover in Australia, the more it will cost you. If you’re a new migrant, or no older than 31, you still have time to take it out without Lifetime Health Cover loading.

But if you only decide to take out health insurance later on in life, you’ll pay a 2% loading on top of your premium for every year you are aged over 30, to a maximum of 70%.

As well as avoiding the Medicare Levy surcharge, those with private insurance also get an income-linked rebate, of up to 40%.

Budgeting For Your Health

Budgeting For Your Health

 

2. Get the right level of health cover

There’s no point spending money on services you won’t use, but not having enough cover can be equally as bad a decision.

Make sure you ask your fund the right questions before signing up.  What treatments and services do they cover? What’s excluded? What excess plans are there, and what limits are there on these?

 

3. Choosing generics over brands

Most pharmacists will offer you the option to buy a generic, cheaper brand of medication than the one your doctor has prescribed. Generic drugs are cheaper because the manufacturers haven’t had to fund their marketing and development.

Generics contain exactly the same active ingredients as their branded counterpart, but can save you a lot of money. If you’re concerned whether they’re right for you, discuss it with your doctor.

 

4. Cut out of pocket expenses

Some health funds have gap cover agreements with particular doctors to cover some of all of the doctors fees for your hospital treatment. If your fund doesn’t have such an agreement, you may have to contribute towards the doctor’s bill from your own pocket.

Your health fund should try to reduce out of pocket expenses for you, and make sure you clearly understand their extras structure.

 

5.  Keep receipts

Depending on your family status and income you may be eligible to claim a tax offset for for medical expenses incurred over a certain threshold: 20% of net medical expenses over $2,120 for those on lower incomes, and 10% over $5,000 for those in the higher band.

Qualifying medical expenses include non-cosmetic dental and optical costs, including laser eye-surgery, as well as IVF and other treatments. They don’t include things like over-the-counter painkillers, unless your GP has prescribed them. There’s also no upper limit to the amount you can claim.

Above all, invest in living a fit and healthy lifestyle. While serious illness can strike anyone, you can lower your odds of many conditions by eating wisely and taking regular exercise. A recent US study found that billions of dollars could be saved every year in sick days and medical costs from infections such as colds and flu, if more people hit the treadmill or took meditation courses. Australia’s Cancer Council also recommends daily exercise to cut cancer risk.

 

About Chloe

Chloe Quin is wellness expert with online health insurance provider Health.com.au, whose mission is to help Australians access affordable healthcare that’s easy to understand. Also a qualified yoga instructor, Chloe is passionate about empowering women to boost their health and fitness in fun, family-friendly ways.

 

Link: http://www.Health.com.au

 

 

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