The proverb “health is wealth” holds great significance in 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic is changing the way we think about these essential facets of our lives, but it’s as important as ever to pay close attention to both.
In April, Australia’s chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, said that a lot of people with chronic diseases and conditions other than Covid-19 were not attending their regular medical check-ups.
“Our doctors are very quiet, they don’t mind being quiet, but they’re very worried that people are so frightened that they’re not seeking medical attention. This is a really concerning issue,” says Murphy.
“We’ve set up telehealth facilities so you can have a telephone or a video conference with your doctor or you can go and see your doctor. The risk is fine as long as you ring beforehand and make arrangements.
“Please don’t neglect general health conditions at the moment. That is a really important message.”
Anthony Fleming, health expert at the Compare the Market website, says Australians are being inundated with information about how to protect their health to curb the spread of Covid-19, but it’s also just as important for people to protect their financial health. This includes reassessing your health cover or at least understanding what you’re covered for and what it’s costing.
“It’s crucial that Aussies remain vigilant about what the impacts of Covid-19 could mean for their household budget and take steps now to mitigate risk, find savings and make the most of the help that is currently being offered,” he says.
A recent Finder survey of 7145 Australians found that 53% think they’re getting good value for money when it comes to health insurance; 21% think they’re not getting good value and 26% are unsure. When it comes to household bills, health insurance is the fourth most stressful item behind home loans/rent, energy and groceries, says Finder.
Are you covered for Covid-19?
If you’re insured through a health fund, one of your biggest concerns around Covid-19 (on top of your dayto-day health and wealth) is whether you’re going to be covered if you catch the coronavirus.
Sheena Jack, HCF chief executive and managing director, says at such a stressful time the last thing you need to be thinking about is whether you’re covered, and it’s one of the main reasons the insurer decided to cover any Covid-19-related hospital admissions.
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