Saturday, 30 March 2013

Saving money on health and medical services

Cost savings regarding health can be a sensitive topic.  You don’t want to cut out essential expenditure that could leave your life in danger.  But at the same time, that’s no reason to let yourself get ripped off by unscrupulous individuals in the industry.

Here are some ideas as to how you can spend a bit less, but get the same or better outcomes.

General
  • Stay healthy and avoid the need for medical services in the first place!
  • Use bulk billed services where you can, and always check whether referrals are bulk billed.
  • Check all fees in advance.
  • If you know in advance you're in for some big expenditure that's covered by a higher level of private health than you have, plan it in advance and pay higher premiums during the waiting period and through the time you need it, but then revert to lower cover later - e.g., braces can be much more cost effective this way.
  • Take advantage of the medical tax offset if you can (it's not as attractive as it used to be for higher income earners).  I used this to partially fund my braces several years ago.