Private Health Insurance in Public Hospitals
Private health insurance is required to get into private hospitals if you aren’t paying cash. However, private health coverage can also be used to access public healthcare in a variety of ways. Here are some of the main benefits of private health insurance:
The government want to maximize the utilization of resources, so if you’re in a public hospital on Medicare, you’re going to get a shared room. If you have private health insurance, then you can use it to pay for a private room in a public hospital. Note that private health insurance doesn’t alter the basic quality of care you get. Medicare will pay for the accommodation, healthcare, meals and most other treatment related fees. Conversely, private patients may be given free parking, coffee vouchers or access to television. And unlike private pay or self-funded patients, you most likely won’t have to pay for anything out of pocket as all these costs are often paid via your insurance premiums.
When you’re a private patient, you won’t necessary get better quality care. Many resources are assigned on an as-needed basis. This means your elective surgery could still be delayed to accommodate people who have to be taken care of immediately. However, private insurance does result in greater choice in other areas. For example, if you’re admitted to a public hospital, you may be able to choose your doctor. This isn’t a guarantee, though, as they may want to assign the doctor who has the best expertise for your condition regardless of who you’d prefer. If you’re unhappy with the care you’re receiving in the public hospital, private health insurance can also help pay for your transfer to a private facility. As a patient with insurance, you’ll also have more choice as to where you receive treatment – you can often choose which hospital you go to.
Paying for Services Not Covered by Medicare
Private health insurance may pay for services not covered by Medicare. This often includes the ambulance ride to the hospital, physical therapy and other services. It will also ensure that you’re not hit with any out of pocket expenses like excess or co-payments. Private insurance is invaluable when you need to be referred to a specialist. It’ll get you in to see the doctor for after-care, and it allows you to bypass waiting lists that leave others waiting weeks or months to see a specialist. You’ll be able to move to a private physical rehab facility or get assistance with in-home nursing care as well.