Private Health Insurance or Travel Agent?

In this months blog Hartwell Dentistry will be discussing Private Health Insurers promoting Australian’s travelling overseas for treatment and what exactly this means.

Recently we have been hit with higher costs with our Private Health Insurance as across the board costs of health services have increased. But did you know…

Recently NIB launched its NIB Options package which encourages Australians to have medical treatment provided overseas!

We see this as very odd for several reasons!


  1. It is telling us that Private Health Insurers [PHI’s] are advocating Australians the ability to go overseas to receive medical treatment, instead of having the work done in Australia where they are covered by health cover by the insurer. Could this be a ploy to avoid liability to pay rebates for treatment and improve the insurer’s profitability?
  2. The Government is providing tax exemptions and deductions for people taking out Private Health Insurance. It defies logic why these health funds would promote overseas treatment! Why should the Australian Government approve a premium increase to an insurer when they are actively encouraging patients to bypass the Australian private health system and the very safeguards in place to spend their money overseas?
  3. The risk of picking up multi-drug-resistant organisms from overseas hospitals is quite high! Australian health practitioners provide a level of quality service not matched in many parts of the world. They do this in a tight regulatory environment to cover both the patient and practitioner such as infection control, the use of quality assured materials and equipment. Are Private Health Insurers guaranteeing treatment safety expertise and quality?
  4. Complex treatment is done in stages in Australia to allow time for adequate healing. Fitting this treatment into a holiday visit may encourage practitioners to compromise care by speeding up delivery of treatment. Will the Private Health Insurer provide an unlimited guarantee that if problems arise some time down the track the provider will remedy the situation? Would a patient wish to return to that practitioner anyway?

As you can see, there are several issues with not only pursuing Health Services overseas, but the path in which the Private Health Insurers are tracking is as much a concern. You are entitled to and deserve the best treatment and it should be in the Private Health Insurers best interest to help you achieve this.

Next month with Hartwell Dentistry we will be discussing the Medicare Child Benefit Scheme and how we can help use this to its maximum potential.