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Navigating your Health Cover Options in Post-ADF Life

The Australian healthcare system can be challenging to navigate following your transition from Defence to civilian life. During your ADF service career, Defence will have supported your health needs with a range of medical and ancillary services. However, post-transition, you may be required to make these arrangements for yourself. Having a basic understanding of both the public and private health care systems may assist you in making informed decisions about the type of cover potentially required for your individual health needs.

The Public System (Medicare)

Medicare is a government-funded, public administered, health insurance program which provides all Australian citizens and permanent residents access to the public healthcare system. Once registered with Medicare, 100% of your costs will be covered if you need to be admitted into a public hospital. Public hospitals offer a wide range of medical services such as elective surgeries and specialist treatments and is where you will most likely be taken in the event of an emergency. Medicare holders will also have some or all the costs of seeing a GP or specialist subsidised, as well as the cost of some approved medications. However, Medicare doesn’t generally pay a benefit towards ambulance services and other out-of-hospital healthcare services such as dental and physiotherapy.

The Private System

To maintain the level of health care which was provided to you during your time within the ADF, you may wish to consider obtaining private health insurance. Private health insurance comes in two forms: Hospital Cover, which allows you to be admitted as a private patient in a private or public hospital, and Extras Cover, which allows you to claim back some of the costs of health care services and treatments, such as dental and optical, that are not covered by Medicare.

Benefits of private health insurance

While treatment in a public hospital is free of charge, Australia’s public hospitals are dealing with a number of challenges, such as waiting times for elective surgeries extended to several years in some cases. If you have private hospital cover, you have the option to receive treatment as a private patient in a private hospital, allowing you to avoid public hospital waiting lists, choose your own specialist, and choose where you are treated. Additionally, if you utilise ancillary services such as going to the dentist, wearing glasses, or seeking treatments from an Osteopath or Physiotherapist, you may benefit financially from taking out Extras cover as it may reduce some or all of your out-of-pocket costs.

About Navy Health

For nearly 70 years, we’ve provided top-quality, great-value private health insurance to serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members and their families, up to and including grandkids. We also look after the broader ADF community by offering cover to the thousands of Australians who work for companies that supply Australia’s Defence Force.

We understand health insurance can be complex and overwhelming at times. Our Melbourne based team of experts are committed to making the process easy for our members.  We will be there to take the stress out of dealing with health insurance, ensuring our members always feel supported.

For more information contact our friendly team on 1300 306 289.

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