If you are heading into hospital and you hold private health insurance, there are a few things you may need to know before being admitted.
Your rights and responsibilities as a private patient should remain consistent whether you receive treatment in a public or private hospital, but it's important to understand both sides of these entitlements.
Your doctor should keep you up to date and informed on all steps of your diagnosis, treatment and recovery plans.
Additionally, you are able to request all information on the associated costs and other treatment options that may be available.
Your responsibility as a patient is to ensure you are honest about your medical history and health with your care providers. This includes making sure your doctor is aware of any medication you take or allergies you may have.
As a private health insurance member, all your medical bills could be covered by your provider or you may have to pay an excess, co-payment or 'gap' in expenses.
This will depend on your level of cover and the restrictions applied to your health insurance policy by your health fund.
Before you go to hospital, you should ask your doctor, health insurance provider and hospital about the expected costs of treatment, including possible gaps and co-payments.
When you are receiving treatment in a public or private hospital, you reserve the right to be treated with respect and dignity. This includes having your cultural and religious practices and beliefs recognised and adhered to.
Additionally, you are expected to treat your health care providers and other patients with the same level of courtesy and respect.
Comments or complaints
If you are concerned about any aspects of your hospital stay, you should bring this to the attention of the staff at the facility.
If you are not satisfied with the way your concerns were addressed, you can seek the advice of an independent organisation. Each state and territory has an official group that deals with complaints regarding health services and practitioners.
The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman is also available to handle any queries or complaints directly related to your health insurance, however, you should approach your health insurer about the issue first as they will often deal with these concerns effectively and efficiently.
If you would like more information on your rights and responsibilities as a private health insurance policyholder, contact the team at HICA today.
HICA is a health insurance broker who can offer you expert advice and guidance when dealing with matters related to private health cover.