Should I take out health insurance while I’m young?
Seven benefits to getting health cover when you're young
You’re young, healthy and not planning on heading to hospital anytime soon.
So, do you really need private health insurance?
When it comes to protecting your most valuable asset – your health – more than 11.2 million Aussies currently hold private health insurance. We spoke to three of them to find out why they’ll be continuing their membership – and you might be surprised at what they find most valuable.
To protect my health and for when I want to start a family.
Café Owner and F45-enthusiast, Nicolas, has held his own private hospital cover since he was 22.
“From memory, I was 22 when I transitioned from my parents’ nib health cover to my own and I originally took out my own policy because I considered it normal to protect yourself and your health with insurance – just like I’d insure my car or my house.”
Leading an active life, working in his café during the day and spending his time off heading north to Nelson Bay, Nic likes the peace of mind knowing he’d be able to get back to work quicker if he was to get injured.
“I have a fiancé who works in health care and our lifestyle is pretty healthy and routine. We both consider health insurance as just another part of leading a healthy life.”
Although Nic hasn’t had to use his nib Hospital cover yet, he books regular check-ups with his dentist and uses his Extras policy when he buys new glasses.
“Not only do I think health insurance is a must, but I’m keeping it for one day when I do decide to start a family.”
Because I’ve seen first-hand the benefits of health insurance if you need medical assistance
Working as a paramedic, 30-year old Meaghan has seen first-hand the benefits of having private health insurance, especially when it comes to ambulance cover.
“I work predominantly as a Paramedic for NSW Ambulance, but I also do a few shifts as a Physiotherapist and Crossfit Coach. Whenever I treat people, particularly young people, I always suggest they take out private health insurance – or ambulance cover as a bare minimum. I’ve seen the significant financial burden that can result from requiring an ambulance.”
Meaghan took out her own private health insurance at 21, as soon as she was ready to move on from her parents’ policy. Growing up, she saw the value of private health insurance when her younger brother went through treatment for a number of complex health conditions.
“As I was growing up, my parents always had private health insurance because my brother had a lot of complex medical problems that required frequent specialist appointments and sometimes long periods in hospital. When I moved out of home it was natural for me to continue to have private health insurance and I never really considered not having it.”
Although Meaghan hasn’t required an ambulance or a hospital visit yet, she appreciates the peace of mind knowing she has private health insurance to rely on if she ever needs it.
“It’s nice to know that I am covered should something untoward happen. As the end of the day it’s an invaluable safety net to have.”
For Extras benefits and tax reasons
At 31, Data Analyst Patrick originally took out private health insurance to help minimise sporting injuries.
“I play cricket and soccer and live near the beach, so I get out for a surf whenever I can. I signed up for Extras cover when I was 27 because I wanted to be able to access physio and optical benefits.”
But, when he reached the big 3-0, Patrick decided to upgrade to a combined nib Hospital and Extras policy.
“When I turned 30 and my salary was over the Medicare Levy Surcharge threshold, I took out a combined hospital and extras policy to avoid redundant money going towards tax.”
Patrick hasn’t had a sporting injury serious enough to warrant an ambulance pick-up, but he’s made plenty of use of the physio and dental benefits, particularly the no-gap check-ups with nib dental.
“I make appointments with nib dental for the no-gap check-ups and the service is very good. The dentists explain their findings in an understandable way and the customer service is generally first class. When I claim at the physio, I use the nib app. It’s pretty simple to use and I get the money deposited into my bank account within a few days.”
Whether it’s for peace of mind, to help cover you for a health condition or for tax purposes, private health insurance can be a valuable option for young people. Keen to compare nib private health insurance and find out what you could be covered for? Getting a quote takes just a few minutes online.
Even if you are young and healthy, it’s important to get regular health checks. We’ve partnered with health professionals to put together a list of Health checks in your 20s and Health checks in your 30s.