If you rely on private hospital cover to access psychiatric services, be aware that policy changes can impact you and you may not find out about them until you are in a crisis and go to claim. 😦 Medibank Private is no longer partnering with Ramsay Health Care. For those of you who use this insurer and access Ramsay hospitals (such as The Adelaide Clinic) or other services, this will mean a significant out of pocket cost for you after August 31st.
This doesn’t impact me as I don’t have hospital cover but it has come as a surprise to a few friends of mine. They’ve told me that Bupa (formerly Mutual Community here in SA) is one possible alternative for people who need access to TAC from time to time. Go and do some digging if you might be in the same boat.
Actually while we’re on the subject of unpleasant surprises, can I also say that it’s worth asking a LOT of questions about travel insurance when it comes to psychiatric problems? I was once travelling overseas with someone who suffered a breakdown and needed inpatient care – which is when we discovered that no psychiatric issues of any kind, pre existing or new, were covered by their insurance. This was not in the fine print or mentioned anywhere in the paperwork and we didn’t discover it until after we needed a hospital for them.
On that note, if you ever need to transport someone home from overseas who’s in a bad place psychologically, you could be in a hell of a lot of trouble. Regular airlines will not be happy about taking them, and medivac, an air ambulance, is hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to the person I spoke with at the Red Cross when this happened to me, this is a devastating problem faced by more travelers than we realise. Be careful and plan well!
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