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Can you afford not to have private health insurance for your heart?

9 in 10 Aussie have at least 1 risk factor of heart disease.

A young woman on the beach drawing a heart in the sand
A young woman on the beach drawing a heart in the sand

Cardiovascular health is something many of us can take for granted – especially if we still feel young at heart!

The majority of heart attacks occur in those aged 45 or over and coronary heart disease is the leading underlying cause of death for Aussie men and women.

So, the big question is: Can you afford not to have private health cover for one of your body’s most vital organs - the heart?

Heart disease risk factors

With nine in 10 Australians having at least one risk factor, chances are it’s time you get familiar with the signs and symptoms of heart disease. For those of us over 45 years old, some of the key risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, diabetes and inactivity. For the full list of risk factors, visit the Heart Foundation.

Credit: nib health insurance

You are already covered in the public system, but…

Medicare gives Australian residents (as well as certain visitors to Australia) access to medical and public hospital services. However, if you do require heart surgery in the public system, on average you’ll be waiting 21 days to have the operation; in fact, in 2015-16, some patients had to wait more than 10 weeks for a coronary bypass surgery.

You also may not be given a choice when it comes to which hospital you’ll be visiting, the surgeon who will be operating on you or the rehabilitation options you’ll have.

Self-funding your procedure is an option, but with the average price of heart surgery in a private hospital at $45,037, it’s a costly endeavour.

Having private health cover for your heart means that you will have a say in when you schedule your operation, who your surgeon is and which hospital you visit.

Man with private health cover on treadmill measuring his heart health

With nib, you could also be eligible for one of our Heart Health Management Programs, which are designed to assist those who have been diagnosed with, or are at high risk of coronary heart disease. These programs aim to help get you in shape, keep you out of hospital, improve your physical and mental wellbeing and aid a quicker recovery post-hospitalisation.

Time for a private health cover review?

At nib, we believe that understanding your health cover should be simple. If you are over 45 and not sure whether you’re covered for heart related procedures and surgery, it might be time to give us a call on 13 16 42 or contact us online.