Health Insurance vs. Health Care

Difference Between Health Insurance and Health Care   Health insurance and health care are two terms that many…

Difference Between Health Insurance and Health Care


Health insurance and health care are two terms that many consider to mean the same thing. In Australia, citizens mostly prefer to subscribe to the health insurance offered by private companies instead of the health care system or Medicare that the government provides. Private health insurance also comes in handy in situations where you want to personally decide which hospital or surgeon should provide you with medical aid. Insurance acquired from private companies even provide extra service and facilities that are often not covered by the government’s Medicare.

Health Care


The term health care is actually very broad and covers numerous aspects in both the private and government sector. The health minister administers the policy on national health. Australia’s current health care system, referred to as Medicare, was founded in 1984. Its main objective was to provide health care to all citizens who could not afford private health insurance. Medicare applies to anyone who is a valid candidate and is funded by the government. To fund this universal program, 1.5% of all the collected tax and an added 1% from the tax paid by those with high incomes are set aside for Medicare. This money will be used to pay for doctors, nurses and other hospital staff of the state. The remaining money will be for the payment of patients’ treatments.

Health Insurance


As the term suggests, health insurance means the health care that is offered to individuals who can afford it by insurance companies from the private sector. These individuals pay premiums in order to receive highly subsidized or even free hospitalization and treatments in future emergency cases. According to statistics, almost half of the Australian population is subscribed to private insurance plans provided by numerous insurance companies. In illnesses and cases which Medicare does not usually cover, private health insurance can be critical: the probable reason why 50% of Australia’s population goes for these insurance plans. Medicare usually does not cover treatments in private hospitals; which many claim to be more efficient and better equipped in dealing with critical health problems.

Differentiating Between the Two


Although both health insurance and health care provide much needed medical assistance in case of emergencies and sickness, there are quite a number of differences between these two. Health care is the health service known as Medicare, which the government provides. Health insurance, however, is the insurance policies that people subscribe to in order to prepare for future cases wherein hospitalization and treatment is necessary. Medicare only provides for the basic kinds of treatments and usually does not cover treatment for certain problems like dental diseases. It also cannot cover the expenses involved in home nursing, private hospital costs, hearing aids, chiropractic services, eye therapy, cosmetic surgery and the likes. In fact, the federal government encourages the people to acquire private health insurances in order to lessen the demands on Medicare and will even provide a 30 percent tax relief to anyone who purchases a private health insurance plan.

Points to Remember:


  • The public health care system or Medicare is what “health care” actually refers to, while health insurances refer to the private insurance policies offered by private agencies.
  • Only basic treatments are covered by Medicare, whereas private health insurances provide people the option to select which policy is best for them.
  • Private hospital costs, dental problems, chiropractic services, eye therapy, cosmetic surgery and hearing aids are usually not covered by Medicare.
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