When the orthodontist took Rochelle’s Mum aside to recommend that her 14-year-old daughter be fitted with braces, the mother of four agreed. It was for these ‘what if’ moments they had private health insurance. Some years later, a now soon to be married Rochelle was pleased she did.
“We’re ‘what if’ people, just like my parents,” Rochelle says.
Rochelle, now 28, is referring to herself and fiancé Fred, 32. The pair met 10-years ago when Rochelle was beginning Uni. They have private health insurance, but used to question its value until an unexpected accident on the dancefloor celebrating their engagement solidified that she and Fred had made the right choice to never let it go.
“I’ve always been aware of private health insurance thanks to my family never being without it, I suppose the braces experience introduced me to it. So after graduation Dad told me to make sure that I continue to prioritise my health and take out my own policy.
I’m one of four children, without private health insurance I don’t think I’d have got those braces; but Fred and I don’t have a family, yet. I’m healthy. I don’t play sport but I’m active and relatively fit – I guess my hesitation being under 30 is whether you need it now.
So that’s when the ‘what if’ kicked in and I listened to my Dad. Fred and I together took out a couples policy and over the next three years we paid our fortnightly payments, and each year as premiums went up we questioned its value. We had extras cover but we never really used it. We’re both busy people, we find it difficult making the time to visit the dentist, neither of us need glasses, and we’re not expecting to need a hospital anytime soon. And we’ve got an okay public health system, right?
Thankfully I haven’t had to use the private hospital cover yet, and that’s all thanks to therapies available under our extras cover like physiotherapy.
When we got engaged, we celebrated with friends. We had a great night, we were dancing, possibly too enthusiastically, and I fell. It turned out I had dislocated my knee (twice!), and tore a ligament. I consulted two private and highly regarded surgeons for their advice but they both agreed that the best treatment I could get, and to avoid an operation, was regular rehabilitation treatment with a physiotherapist, and luckily I knew a good one.
I visited the physiotherapist once a week for the next three months and then on and off for the rest of the year. It was subsidized by my extras cover thanks to the set benefit paid for at each consultation with the swipe of my Membership Card.
If I hadn’t had private health insurance, I might have had no choice but to skip visiting a physiotherapist so frequently and therefore having to have surgery with a surgeon I hadn’t chosen, and I might still be waiting for it – and that wouldn’t be a fun walk down the aisle.
I suppose we all think we’re invincible. But there are so many ‘what ifs’ in all our lives. I’m pleased we have private health insurance even as a healthy young couple, you never know when you’re going to need it and you’re so grateful to know you have it for when you do.
Plus, this experience has also given me more knowledge on how it all works. My partner and I have since made goals to visit the dentist and get that scale and clean too! You understand its value when you use it, so you may as well make time for your health even at a young age!”
Editor's note: Not only did Rochelle avoid surgery, but she even made it to a snowboarding trip with Fred thanks to her rehab and her physiotherapist teaching her how to strap her knee. The photo below is from her trip about to strap in and go down the slopes for the first time.
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The information provided or views expressed in this article by third party contributors are not necessarily those held by Queensland Country Health Fund Ltd.