Health care coverage is an all-important safety net for us to have in the event of a medical emergency. While having Medicare or a private health insurance plan is paramount, it’s also important to understand the laws surrounding such policies. Let’s take a closer look at what you should be aware of when shopping for a health insurer or considering what is covered by your current insurance provider.
The Private Health Insurance Act
When it comes to understanding health insurance in Australia, it is important to understand the key legislation behind private coverage. The Private Health Insurance Act of 2007 is the main guidance by which private insurance plans are adapted. This coverage allows you to be treated in a hospital as a private patient and by the doctor of your choosing. This law mandates that every patient, regardless of age or pre-existing health conditions, pays the same for a particular insurance policy. A health insurer is legally forbidden from refusing to insure you or sell you the coverage you want to buy.
This Australian law also paves the way for rebates for those patients who opt to sign with a health insurance company on a certain plan. This is in order to alleviate pressure on the public health care system by offering this return to those above a certain income threshold who can afford private coverage.
While private insurance options provide patients with greater choice in their care team, many Australians rely on Medicare for their basic health and human services. Australia relies on a hybrid system that allows for public health care protection for all but encourages the purchase of private insurance coverage to put less pressure on hospitals and doctors that fall under the Medicare and Medicaid umbrella.
With private insurance plans, you can have all or most of your hospital costs accounted for, with Medicare even covering some additional costs by law. Those who purchase private health coverage can have a rebate on their annual policy, and even upon renewal to account for some medical expenses. Not only does it allow you to choose the doctor’s office that you get your general care from, but you can also prioritize care with the use of private facilities for quicker treatment.
A private health insurer can also offer additional coverage options that expand their health care protections. Added cover for prescription medication, for example, can account for certain drugs that are not taken care of by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme under Medicare. There’s also expanded coverage for the costs of ambulance, including through interstate, and private health cover for prostheses as well.
Other Health and Safety Laws
In addition to health care legislation, it is important to understand other legal requirements that can be considered preventive measures in the event of a medical incident. For example, seat belt laws are in place throughout the United States, requiring drivers and passengers to buckle up. This is an effort to prevent serious injury in the event of a motor vehicle crash. Some states have taken extra steps to keep children safe inside the car.
For example, in the United States, Ohio child seat laws require children younger than one to sit in rear-facing seats, with children under four required to be in a car seat and children under 15 required to use a child seat belt. Ohio car insurance companies need to take these measures seriously, as this can impact how an accident claim is handled under law. Parents must understand the legal requirements regarding booster seats and car seats to assure that in the event of an accident, their children are protected properly, and they are not at risk of losing out on compensation for a claim.