Your health and staying healthy is entirely up to you. You’ll have to decide how to look after yourself, consider what health problems you have and what you are doing to control them. A healthy lifestyle is easily achievable in Australia because we have wonderful foods, fresh air, clean water and a free health system. Exercise and good nutrition are the basis for good health – and regular check ups are also a good idea to find any potential problems before they get a chance to manifest.
Click here for a side by side summary of what is covered by private health insurance and what Medicare covers for hospital, medical services and general treatment, pharmaceutical benefits and ambulance.
Serving sizes are a critical factor in being healthy and remaining healthy throughout your life.
Health funds in Australia are very competitive so you should take the time to compare your policy to some health funds you might not have heard of, it could save you thousands of dollars!
If eligible, make sure you have and are using your Health Care card effectively and understand the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – you’ll save money.
Funerals are big business and can cost money that you simply might not be prepared to pay. However, there are alternatives. Did you know that you can organise a private cremation for well under $2000.00? The funeral home will organise everything for you if you ask. There is no formal service performed and the cremation takes place privately and you then can have the ashes sent to you, picked up or scattered as requested. You can then organise a memorial/celebration for yourself and loved ones to attend if you choose.
Healthcare expenses can be anything from picking up a regular prescription to needing to take an extra visit to the doctors. We’re going to take some time and discuss several things you can do to cut down on these costs.
People comparison shop for so many different expenses, but often don’t think to do it with their prescriptions. There are often different costs (on the same drug) from one pharmacy to another, so do your research and you can save a lot over time.
An alternative to traditional pharmacies are big box medical facilities, like Chemist Warehouse, that can often offer these medications at a much lower cost. If you’re considering checking out one of these services, use the links below to get you started.
Sites for online prescription purchases
Many private health insurance firms have a list of preferred providers, individuals who you can go to for lower cost (sometimes free) treatment. Make sure you’re aware of this list and who is on it, to keep your medical visits as cost effective as possible.
Doctors have a certain amount of flexibility with prescriptions. Though they try to recommend the most familiar, effective drugs to treat your health concerns, there are often generic versions of these same drugs available – at a much lower cost. Don’t be afraid to ask your physician if there is a generic alternative to his/her advised prescription, or even if there’s something over the counter you can take at a lower cost.
Rebates, rebates, rebates
On top of the regular tips and tricks for cutting down on costs, don’t forget to look for government rebates. The Australian government has long offered a private health insurance rebate that can go a long way towards making insurance more affordable.
This rebate is calculated based on your earnings, and the number of dependents being covered within your household, and it comes out in the form of a specific insurance discount. Can’t go wrong there!
Some final tips on cutting down on healthcare costs
- Always ask if there is a generic or over the counter alternative solution available.
- Be sure to provide your pharmacy of choice with your Medicare number. Without it, you cannot qualify for PBS subsidised pricing structures!
- Don’t be afraid to comparison shop across medical brand names
- Look on Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Safety Net.
- Understand authority prescriptions, and don’t be afraid to ask your doctor if you qualify.
- Ensure you’re not being unfairly charged the therapeutic group premium, an excess charge on a medication that occurs when a lower cost alternative is available. In some cases, even if you are being charged, you may qualify for an exemption on this charge due to medical reasoning. Speak to your physician when in doubt.