Do you need health insurance? Here’s how to choose…

The Medicare Levy Surcharge starts at 1 percent of your income for singles earning $90,001 and over, and families earning over $180,001.

An additional 1.25 percent begins for singles at $105,001 and $210,001 for couples; and the 1.5 percent rate applies to singles earning $140,001 and over and couples earning over $280,001.

Take one person who earns $110,000 in taxes. If they do not have adequate health insurance, they pay an MLS of $1375 at tax time (1.25 percent of $110,000). This can increase their tax income or decrease their tax refund by the amount.

Alternatively, it is possible to pay less than $1,000 a year for the hospital alone and $750 more, depending on your deductible.

If those earning $110,000 do this, they’re not only getting “free” insurance, they’re also saving several hundred dollars in taxes – a no brainer.

The trick is that you only need to take out “basic” medical cover – not additional cover – so you don’t have to pay extra. You can call insurers and ask: “What is the cheapest plan you can offer me that means I am exempt from the Medicare Levy Surcharge”?

Of course, coverage is required if you want to order at the police station. If you know for sure that you will need private care for an upcoming medical event – such as childbirth – you should think carefully about the medical care you need. If you don’t have private insurance, of course, you will be treated at a public hospital.

Most accidents and emergencies are still covered by the government. If, however, you value the choice of doctor, hospital or the ability to bypass waiting lists for elective surgeries, you may want to consider health insurance for these reasons.

Speaking of extras, pay for certain things if you feel you’ll get as much, or more, in complaints than you’ll pay in premiums. Keep track of your dental, optical, physio and other expenses and do your finances to see if you’re ahead of the curve.

Beware of basic insurance policies, which may force you to get a high-end hospital and other extras to qualify. If you don’t need such a high level of cover, the money is a scam.

Also, beware of the hype around “Lifetime Health Cover” downloads. This adds an extra 2 percent to your premiums every year after you spend 30 years waiting to receive benefits.

The upgrade increases by 2 percent each year, reaching 20 percent by age 40 and rising to 70 percent if you wait until age 65 or older.

If you end up taking the treatment, you pay this for 10 years before it is withdrawn.

So, consider an insurance policy with $1000 per year. If you withdraw in 30 years to avoid the down payment and pay until age 65 (so, 35 years) you pay $35,000 in total payments (not adjusted for inflation).

Imagine instead that you don’t get insurance until you’re 65 and then you pay 70 percent of your total deductible for 10 years. Instead of paying $10,000 over those 10 years, you pay $17,000. That’s still less than if you paid $35,000 for a service you didn’t need or needed for 35 years. If you’d instead invested your money during that time, the difference would be huge.

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All of this is educational, of course, for anyone who earns more than the MLS income – you’ll be better off with the cheapest medical cover. But it’s important to know for anyone who earns less.

Of course, in order to reduce the cost of payment, there are all the ways that are designed: shopping around, choosing more (the highest is $ 750 for singles and $ 1500 for couples) and prepaying the annual fee at the old prices to reduce the inflation (if you can. have money left over ).

And ladies, don’t forget to take your cover off when you’re sure you no longer need to have sex.

Saving a little on big bills really adds up.