One of the most common questions asked when planning plastic or cosmetic surgery is the coverage of private health insurance on cosmetic or plastic surgery procedure. With over 70,000 health fund policies in Australia and over 13 million Australians paying for private health insurance each year it can be really confusing as to what private health insurance covers, and differs with each insurer and each individual policy. The Federal Government hopes this new system will help make what consumers are covered for more transparent and more easily compared against other policies, as well as creating a benchmark for the minimum amount of coverage under each policy.
New ranking system
The proposed changes will be introduced from 1 April 2019, and include a new ranking system which categorises health policies into Gold, Silver, Bronze or Basic. These rankings are not supposed to affect the premiums paid for each policy but will make the insurers more accountable for what they do and don’t cover for each ranking. Along with these changes, the government has recommended what hospital treatments should be covered by the Basic and Bronze cover – procedures such as having your appendix or tonsils removed and chemotherapy will be but other procedures such as IVF would be in the Gold ranking. There will also be “benchmarks” as to what procedures have be covered in each band so consumers are fully aware of what they are and are not covered for, and can choose the appropriate ranking for what they need.
As with any proposed changes to a Government policy or system, there are supporters and naysayers. Those opposed to the changes say these changes will do nothing to bring the premiums of health insurance down, but we think anything that gives Australians more clarity on what they are and are not covered for with their Private Health Insurance coverage is a positive. For too long, the question of “will private health insurance cover my Plastic Surgery Procedure?” has been a grey area and difficult question to answer. It will hopefully also address some of the ambiguity and uncertainties as to whether particular plastic surgery procedures are included in your cover, under what circumstances.
If you’d like more information on these proposed Private Health Insurance changes check out this ABC News article on their website.
Cosmetic Surgery for Women recently wrote this great article on this topic.
Here’s some links to other articles about health funds on the Plastic Surgery Hub website: