If there’s one service that’s essential to everyone, it’s health care. Even though health care is an essential need, most people can’t afford it without health insurance. It is cheaper to pay an insurer than a doctor or hospital, but even health insurance costs can take a bite out of your paycheck.
With the out-of-pocket costs of health care and health insurance being so high, the government has taken steps to ensure everyone can get the medical care they need. However, to stem medical care costs, the Australian government has instituted the Medicare levy surcharge. Please continue reading to learn what the Medicare levy surcharge is and whether or not you have to pay it.
The medicare system was put in place to ensure that all Australians have access to affordable health care. It’s a requirement for Australians to have health care insurance coverage if they can afford it. To lighten the health care system’s load, the Australian government put the medical levy surcharge in place. The Medicare levy was instituted to encourage those who can afford it to get their own private hospital insurance coverage. Whether you’re single or married, if you meet the taxable income for the surcharge, it will be reflected in your tax return.
As you read in the previous section, the Medicare levy is for those who don’t have private hospital cover or whose coverage doesn’t meet the federal government’s standards. However, there are exceptions and exemptions for uninsured people. Single people who make less than $90,000 and married couples who make less than $180,000 can get an exemption from the Medicare surcharge.
If you pay out-of-pocket medical expenses, you should save your receipts to record your out-of-pocket costs for health care. Even if you reach the Medicare levy threshold, your out-of-pocket costs may qualify you for the surcharge exemption or even a rebate!
There’s never any telling when you might contract an illness or have an injury that requires you to seek medical care. Private insurance is better than the public system for those who can afford it. Even for people who earn a higher income, are relatively healthy, and can afford out-of-pocket costs, it’s beneficial to have private insurance. Private patients at private hospitals tend to get quicker and better care than at public hospitals. Besides hospital cover, you should also add supplemental plans for dental care, vision, and other supplemental health care coverage.
Private insurance also makes it easier to get medical devices covered by health insurance, such as wheelchairs and equipment for diabetes patients like test strips. Even though you may have to worry about premium increases with private cover, but you get better access to medicine and medical devices.
Medicare and Medicaid’s purpose is to provide medical insurance for seniors, people with disabilities, and Australian citizens who can’t afford private insurance. Public hospitals provide exceptional hospital services, but the public system is overwhelmed with high-income earners who don’t have enough private insurance.
Public health care providers are as dedicated and qualified as private health care providers, and the public system is designed to help those who need it most. It’s there to provide preventative care and emergency care, and long-term treatment for seniors and people of lesser means.
If you’re a higher-income earner and want to avoid having to pay the Medicare levy surcharge, the best thing you can do is get adequate private cover. Even if you get private insurance and don’t meet the Medicare surcharge threshold, you might be eligible for reimbursement.