Surgery and insurance in Australia
Only 49 per cent of Australians have private health insurance that covers hospital treatment in their chosen policy. Although there is no requirement for you to have private health insurance, without it patients are left paying extra tax every year under the Medicare Levy Surcharge. Hospital cover pays for some, or all, of the costs as a private patient, including doctors’ fees and hospital accommodation, and ensures you have a shorter waiting period.
When it comes to weight-loss surgery, most companies pay benefits for this, but you’ll usually need premium-level hospital cover. So, if this is something you are seeking, it is best to check your cover level in advance. But not everything is covered. Luckily, Medicare can cover some things, such as GP appointments and the initial consultation with the surgeon. For those who fit the requirements and elect to have the procedure performed as a private patient, you may qualify for a Medicare rebate. The amount of rebate depends on the operation you are undergoing, which must be determined by your doctor. Even with private health insurance and Medicare, you should expect to pay out-of-pocket expenses.