Cardiac Health Insurance: Should You be Covered for Heart Disease?

To include cardiac or not? That’s the dilemma you face when putting together a private health insurance policy.

Many young people, in particular, can’t identify with heart disease. After all, isn’t it something that happens to the ‘oldies’? Perhaps all they need is extras insurance, right? Wrong. The sobering facts are, however, that cardiac problems can affect people of any age.

Should under 30-year-olds still consider Heart Disease health insurance?

The adage of “I am too young to worry about that” is, unfortunately, not quite correct. Cardiac problems are becoming increasingly commonplace among people of all ages and from all walks of life. In 2008 alone, the underlying cause of death for 22,874 Australians from the age of 25 upwards was heart disease, including angina, blocked arteries and heart attacks.

Granted, heart problems are more prevalent in older Australians. In fact, heart disease is the biggest killer of people over 65 years of age. However, cardiac cover in health insurance policies is a good idea for many people, regardless of age because it focuses on the prevention as well as the treatment of heart problems.

It’s a good idea to consider cardio cover as a compulsory requirement of all policies offered to established family and mature profiles, even more so for people with a family history of heart disease. That’s why Canstar has cardiac cover in policies included in our Star Ratings. Amongst the policies, cardiac cover is weighted the highest when looking at the level of cover each policy offers.

The table below features a snapshot of hospital & extras policies on Canstar’s database with cardiac cover and links to providers’ websites, sorted by provider name (alphabetically). Please note the results are based on a couple aged 28 in NSW, with no pregnancy cover.

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Some heart disease statistics

According to the National Heart Foundation, cardiovascular disease (CVD) kills one Australian every 12 minutes. Nine in 10 adult Australians have at least one risk factor for CVD and one in four (25%) have three or more risk factors. These risk factors include:

  • High blood pressure,
  • High cholesterol,
  • Being overweight or obese,
  • Physical inactivity,
  • Low fruit and vegetable intake,
  • Alcohol and
  • Smoking.

If you can relate to any of these risk factors, then perhaps it’s time for a few lifestyle changes. Here are some ways to get into an exercise routine, plus some healthy diet tips. Plus, if you need motivation to cut out a vice (such as smoking), check out how much it could cost you over time.

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Does health insurance cover heart disease?

It depends on what type of private health insurance policy you have.

Hospital Only policies can insure you for a trip to hospital caused by heart disease or a heart attack. This would typically cover you for the costs involved in admission to private hospital (or public hospital as a private patient), consultations with doctors and specialist cardiologists in hospital, medicines given to you in hospital, ECG and angiogram tests and surgery. Using our website to compare Hospital Only health insurance policies, you can select just policies that include cardiac cover with the inclusions checklist on the left.

Extras policies will typically insure you for a certain level of cover for the costs of non-PBS medicines and “wellness programs” that will help you get fit, lose weight, or improve your heart fitness in general. Using our website to compare Extras Only or Hospital and Extras health insurance policies, you can select just policies that include cover for these “heart healthy” extras.

Some health insurance policies allow you to remove things you don’t think you need at that particular time of your life, such as cardiac care, in order to get cheaper health insurance premiums. But the stats show that removing cardiac care is not something to take lightly, regardless of what age you are.

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