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I’m young and healthy, why do I need health insurance?
As a fit and healthy young person, researching private health insurance is very likely to be the last thing on your mind. You have lots of energy to socialise, work, study, exercise and you rarely get sick. If you do get sick, you recover quite quickly and may not seek any medical or health assistance to recover from life’s little ailments. All of this is a completely normal attitude for people in their 20’s to early 30’s. Health wise, these years are often the prime of your life, so why pay for something you don’t need? You could be using that money to save for a holiday, or to spend on something fun.
Despite the fact that our youthful years bestow us with good health and a very strong resilience to illness, it is very important for you to start thinking about private health insurance now. Some of the reasons for doing so will benefit you financially, but also personally. Consider this for a moment; one in seven young Australian’s between the ages of 20 and 30 need to be hospitalised every year. Think of your friends from work, uni, the gym, etc. It is very likely that you know a young person who has been to hospital and required some important medical assistance above and beyond a visit to the local GP. Hopefully, you will not be the one in seven, but if you are, will you be covered financially if you have to go to hospital for treatment?
Financially, the benefits of organising your private health insurance now include less unexpected health and medical bills if/when you need to go to hospital. Most young people who need to go to hospital will tell you it was unexpected and they were previously very well. Even as a young person, there are costs associated with hospital visits that you will have to pay more for if you are not insured. In some cases (especially if you are a young person earning a good living and have a high income), organizing your health insurance now will mean you avoid taxes like the Medicare Levy Surcharge. If you are approaching the very important age of 31, you really must organize your private health insurance now to avoid the Lifetime Health Cover loading. The LHC is a 2% loading in addition to on top of the normal health insurance premium. It also accumulates each year after age 31 that you do not have hospital cover.
Taking out private health insurance is a smart idea as a young person, because you can choose to be covered for what young people actually use to stay healthy. There are some great policies out there covering optical services, wellbeing practitioners and dental coverage. You can choose the type of cover that is best for you and your unique needs.
Apart from the money you save, private health insurance also provides good stress relief for you personally. Work, relationships and life keep us busy and they are often stressful enough. Knowing that you have a good health policy in place for when you need it means much less financial worry at a time when as a young person, you would probably rather focus on your recovery and getting back to your friends, family and your healthy life as quickly as possible.