Medical Insurance – to have or not

To medical insurance or to not medical insurance

We have been asked by a few clients recently if Medical Insurance is a worth while insurance cover to have in place.

We prefer to see it put in place for our clients where possible, but as it can be expensive, it is very much on a case by case basis.  With that in mind, we decided to write down some of the reasons we prefer to see Medical Insurance in place. 

At this point, it is important to note that not all medical insurance policies are created equal. 

Some policies require that you use a ‘preferred provider’ which is not always the most favourable choice for your unique medical situation.

Some policies cover non-Pharmac subsidised medical treatment, some don’t.  

Be sure to consult a trusted adviser before locking in your medical insurance.

The most important reason we advise our clients to have medical insurance is because it gives you the freedom to choose

Firstly, you can choose your treatment day and time.  If you are self-employed, you can schedule your treatment for your quiet times, and because you know exactly what date you are going to be going in for treatment and you can organise your work and family schedule around that.   This avoids you having to drop everything when you get to the top of the waiting list on the public health system.   

Having medical insurance allows you to get treatment for issues which are regarded as “non-urgent” in the public health system. 

The non-urgent list includes hip and knee replacements, removal of tonsils and adenoids and endometriosis.

If you have ever known anyone who has gone through any of these things, you know how painful and how debilitating they can be. 

With medical insurance, you can also choose your professional to do the treatment (depending on insurance provider).

With some medical conditions, you only get one go at getting it right, so you want to hire the best person for the job.  Some providers will even allow you to get treatment overseas if that’s more achievable than waiting for the local specialist, especially if you are unlikely to get treatment within 6 months. 

Other policies will cover you for elective surgery and preventative tests (within certain parameters).

To recap, medical insurance is a very good option if you can afford it.

The average medical policy is claimed 4 times in its life cycle so it is often the one insurance you will get ample use from.

Future Proof if possible

When you set up a medical insurance policy, you need to assess how “future proofed” it is.  

You would be wise to take a policy which has the option for large surgery excesses ($2,000/$5,000/$10,000).  This is how you can keep the policy affordable in retirement, especially if you develop medical conditions which means that you need to keep the cover in place for your lifetime.

If you are wanting a specialist to sit down with you and look at your personal financial situation to assess if medical insurance is right for you and your family, then let myself (Aaron) or Janet know and we can organise a time to come and work through this with you. 

Aaron Maisey is a financial adviser at Smart Money Advice, offering comprehensive financial planning advice to assist clients to build and protect wealth to achieve their dreams.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article represents the views of the author. It is based on information believed but not warranted to be correct.   Any views or information, whilst given in good faith, are given with an express disclaimer of responsibility and no right shall rise against any of the authors or Smart Money Advice or their employees either directly or indirectly out of any views, advice or information.  This is deemed to be general information and not personalised advice.