Preparing for the great health rip-off: premiums up 11%

There’s no two ways about it: Australian health care is in a giant shambolic state, and everyday Aussies are paying the ultimate price.

Put simply, we’re paying too much for a system that is woefully disorganised and inefficient.

I’ve had conversations with doctors and nurses who share stories that make my tax-paying toes curl.


Stories like: Robina Hospital is chock full of expensive, world-class, multi-million-dollar equipment that rarely or never gets used, as they don’t have the funds to properly staff it.

Or stories like: Doctors are becoming seriously fatigued and earning HUGE amounts of money working overtime in public hospitals, because staff rostering is supremely disorganised. This results in doctors working back-to-back shifts or working ‘locum’ (freelance), for which they are handsomely paid.

One public hospital doctor a whopping $700,000 in overtime for two years’ work! While this at the extreme end, the practice of public doctors routinely working overtime due to poor roster management is not.

Ultimately, we’re the ones who pay for it. We pay for it in compromised care from fatigued doctors, and we pay for it financially.

Every Australian, except the very lowest income-earners, is required to pay for our health system via our tax. We all pay a levy of 2% of our taxable income to help fund Medicare. For a two-income couple that earns $180k, that’s $3,600 annually.

If you earn more than $90k as a single or $180k as a couple, you also have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge. That’s an additional 1 – 1.5% we have to fork out; for our couple above, another $1,800.

The only way to get out of paying that surcharge is to get private health insurance, which is where the real rip off begins. The government contributes towards your rebate but of course, the more you earn, the lower your rebate.

It’s getting more and more expensive with each year that passes. Premiums are set to rise a substantial amount on April 1, as they do every year. See how much your insurance is going to increase here. Note that this is only an average – I’m with Medibank and my policy went up 11%, an unsustainable new high.

It’s little wonder that half a million Australians dumped or downgraded their policies last year. I suspect a similar number, myself included, will do the same in 2016.

Are you planning to change your health cover in light of the new increases?

The Meddler

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