Health Care vs Health Insurance
Health care and Health insurance are two phrases, loosely taken to be one and the same. When we talk about Australia, people opt for health insurance from private companies to boost and supplement their health care options they are supposed to get under the national health care system, also known as Medicare. Private health insurance is also needed as it allows one to decide on the hospital or the surgeon he wants in that setting. Private health insurance provides extra facilities that are not covered or provided by Medicare.
Health care is a very broad term and it covers many aspects from both the government and private sector. The national health policy is administered by its health minister. The present system of health care in Australia is called Medicare that was initiated in 1984 with the objective of providing health care to most of the citizens who are not covered by any private health insurance. Health services are universal in the country and are mostly funded by the federal government. The funds for this universal health program are generated by levying a 1.5% tax on all tax payers, and an additional 1% is levied on those who earn high incomes. The funds generated for Medicare are utilized for paying the salaries of doctors, nurses and the staff of state run hospitals. The remaining goes into paying for the treatment of patients in these hospitals.
As is clear from the word, health insurance refers to various health care products offered by private insurance companies to individuals who pay premiums to receive free or highly subsidized hospitalization and treatment in case of any emergency in future. Nearly half of the total population in Australia has private health insurance which is provided by a number of insurance companies. Private health insurance is critical in cases and illnesses that are not covered by Medicare, which is why 50% of the population opts for these plans depending upon their age, health and income. Medicare does not allow treatment in private hospitals which are considered by many to be better equipped to treat critical illnesses.
Difference between Health Care and Health Insurance
While both health care and health insurance have the same objective of providing medical assistance in times of illnesses and emergencies, there are differences between the two. While health care refers to the national health care system known as Medicare, health insurance refers to insurance policies taken by people to cover for expenses that are necessary in treatment in private hospitals and doctors. Medicare provides for most basic types of treatments and does not provide treatment for many diseases such as dental diseases and it also does not cover private hospital costs, home nursing, chiropractic services, hearing aids, cosmetic surgery, eye therapy etc. In fact, federal government itself encourages people to go for private health insurance to lessen the burden on Medicare and even provides 30% tax relief to those who purchase private health insurance plans.
1. Health care refers to the national health care system known as Medicare, health insurance refers to private insurance policies.
2. Medicare provides for most basic types of treatments, whereas under health insurance individuals have the option to choose the policy required by them.
3. Medicare does not cover for dental diseases, private hospital costs, home nursing, chiropractic services, hearing aids, cosmetic surgery and eye therapy.
4. 30% tax relief is given for the contribution to private health insurance plans.