As you get older, healthy living requires you to pay special attention to your physical and mental wellbeing. One of the best ways to do this is through seniors’ health insurance, which provides you with age-relevant benefits, medical extras and hospital treatments, from prescription glasses, hearing aids and dentures to cataract surgery, hip replacements, and treatment for depression.
Best Seniors Health Insurance
Our guide to finding private health insurance for seniors will help you to choose the best health cover at the most affordable price, providing you with the treatments and services you’re most likely to need at 60, 70, and 80 years old. One of the first steps to protecting your health at each life stage is by comparing health insurance policies from a variety of companies.
The best health insurance policy for senior citizens by age group
As we get older, we become more susceptible to illnesses and injuries, so it makes sense to have a policy that covers these kinds of hospital and extras treatments at a price you can afford. Even if you already have health insurance, it might be time to review your policy and make sure your cover is still suitable to your needs.
Cheapest health insurance for senior citizens
What does senior’s health insurance cost?
The average cost of senior’s health insurance ranges from $1767.48 per year to $4773.60, which includes the cost of both hospital and extras cover. This amount is hugely dependent on your personal risk factors, the policy you choose, and the health insurance company providing coverage. Review the table below for health insurers you might want to consider.
GMHBA offers high level packaged hospital and extras cover for an extremely wide range of services and treatments that suit your stage of life.
Apia lets you choose from their top hospital and extras policies to create your own cover so that you can ensure that you are insured against the full cost of treatments and services specific to you, like hearing aids and heart surgery.
nib provides health insurance that is both affordable and comprehensive to alleviate the burden of paying for major surgeries out of your own pocket. All you need to do is choose between their two hospital policies and pair it with one of their extras cover options.
Medibank provides a choice of three packages to cover a wide range of treatments and services specific to your senior needs with high-level hospital cover and comprehensive extras cover.
Seniors Health Cover Compared
|Average Price||$40.95 – $49.20 per week.||$35.38 – $54.86 per week.||$33.99 – $54.26 per week.||$41.41 - $91.80 per week.|
|Exclusions / What's NOT Covered||Pregnancy-related services (including childbirth), IVF and assisted reproductive services, the Healthy Start benefit (obstetrician's fees for inpatient services), and swimming lessons.||Cosmetic surgery, assisted reproductive services, including infertility investigations, and pregnancy.||Pregnancy-related services, IVF and assisted reproductive services, obesity and weight loss surgery, and psychiatric treatments.||Pregnancy-related services, fertility treatments, and obesity and weight loss surgery.|
What about the rebates on senior’s health insurance?
Tax rebates are not just affected by your income level; they’re also affected by your age. In fact, the rebate you can expect to receive is more generous for those who are older than 65.
Rebates for seniors for the 2016/17 financial year:
|BASE TIER||TIER 1||TIER 2||TIER 3|
|65 - 69||30.256%||21.612%||12.966%||0%|
How does the seniors health care card work?
The Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card provides older Australian citizens with more affordable health care and discounts. The Department of Human Services, which issues your health care card, recommends that you either claim online through the Department of Human Services or fill in a form.
You can get the form their website, complete it and then post it to the Department, or submit the form in person at your closest Department of Human Services service centre.
Seniors health care card savings
- Cheaper prescriptions through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
- Access to bulk-billed doctors’ appointments.
- Discounted out-of-hospital medical expenses through the Medicare Safety Net.
- Discounted travel on Great Southern Rail services.
- More discounts for additional health, household, transport, education and recreation services, if these are offered by your state, territory, or local government.
- An Energy Supplement provided to you to help pay your power and phone bills once every quarter.
Seniors card threshold
The income test used to determine your eligibility for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card contains a threshold for each category. This threshold doesn’t remain static year on year, and the Australian government has committed to indexing the threshold every year to reflect increased cost of living.
The annual income thresholds include:
- Singles: $52,273.
- Couples: $83,636 (combined).
- Couples separated by illness, respite care, or prison: $104,546 (combined).
- Keep in mind that your income limit increases by $639.60 for each dependent child that you care for.
Seniors health card application
Once you have met the eligibility criteria, you can visit the Department of Human Services’ website to fill in a form which you must submit, together with any supporting documents:
- Online: Submit your documents online (excluding identity documents).
- Post: Department of Human Services PO Box 7800, CANBERRA BC ACT 2610
- In person: Visit your closest Department of Human Services’ service centres.
Frequently asked questions about seniors health insurance
While Australian citizens have access to Medicare, senior immigrants will need to get private health insurance to cover these costs. Even if you’re applying for permanent residency and become eligible for benefits under Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, these benefits won’t cover all the services that you might need.
It’s worth comparing premiums and benefits from top private health insurers who provide healthcare cover to immigrants, like Allianz Assistance Health, Medibank Australian Unity, Bupa, nib, HCF, and GMHBA.
Travel health insurance for senior citizens is worth considering. For instance, Medibank and Bupa offer a specific Seniors Travel Insurance policy that is available to all ages, although if you are over 70 years old, you might need to submit a medical assessment.
These policies generally cover medical emergencies and evacuation costs, cover for loss, theft, or damage to your luggage, and death or disability from an accident. Some funds will even cover pre-existing conditions with their travel health insurance, like asthma or diabetes, so long as you disclose this information when you get your quote and aren’t travelling against the advice of a medical practitioner.
Private health insurance in Australia does not cover fees for your aged care home services. You can, however, get cover for home nursing services from an extras insurance policy. The extent of your cover for home nursing depends on the health insurance company and the level of cover that you choose.
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