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Masochists’ Benefit Fund

By Blen_Carmichael - 8 March 2011 14

Suffering from an ingrown toenail, I recently visited a Woden podiatrist to have part of it removed (my GP won’t do them).

The surgery took about half an hour and cost $372. No worry, I thought, I’ve got top cover and the fee was quite reasonable considering the pre-planning and the time/expertise required.

However, I received a nasty surprise today when I went to claim from MBF.

As I said, I’ve got top cover. I pay (singles) $103.15 per fortnight, and have been a member for nearly 20 years.

For my claim I received the grand sum of $25.90, which roughly equates to 6.96% of the podiatrist’s fee. Just out of interest I got a quote from another health fund; they pay 75% of the total fee (and for around 20 per cent cheaper than what I’m paying now in subscriptions).

Adios, MBF (it pays to shop around, fellow rioters).

What’s Your opinion?


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14 Responses to
Masochists’ Benefit Fund
Erg0 9:31 am 09 Mar 11

Interesting. Based on others’ posts above, I strongly suspect that I didn’t have enough anaesthetic applied when I had my nail removed. Wonder if it’s too late to sue?

neanderthalsis 8:42 am 09 Mar 11

breda said :

I have never been a member of a private fund, and it has saved me tens of thousands of dollars. If you have the self discipline to save even half that much each month, you are well ahead and can fork out now and then if need be.

Subscribing to private health insurance is a kind of mystical, talisman thing. Simple mathematics dictate that, like the pokies, lots of people have to put in for a few to get out. Or do members believe that there is a magic pudding?

The additional tax I would pay under the medicare Levy Surcharge far exceeds any savings from dropping private health cover.

Brianna 8:51 pm 08 Mar 11

I have also had a full nail removed, with the bed scraped so it won’t ever grow back again. Best thing I ever did. Minimal pain (after the pain killing needles) and no shoes for a couple of weeks. My son has also had a wedge resection where they cut out the side of the nail and prevent that from growing back. He also says he has had no troubles since. Like others, I wish I had it done years ago.

breda 8:45 pm 08 Mar 11

I have never been a member of a private fund, and it has saved me tens of thousands of dollars. If you have the self discipline to save even half that much each month, you are well ahead and can fork out now and then if need be.

Subscribing to private health insurance is a kind of mystical, talisman thing. Simple mathematics dictate that, like the pokies, lots of people have to put in for a few to get out. Or do members believe that there is a magic pudding?

screaming banshee 7:59 pm 08 Mar 11

Self insure – after a year you could have paid for that procedure 7 times over and still be in front.

beejay76 7:27 pm 08 Mar 11

Dougal said :

Can any Rioters out there satisfy my curiosity about how much it ends up *actually* costing to have a baby through the private health system? My partner and I are currently going through the public system, and may I say the care has been excellent so far – far exceeding my expectations.

From what I can tell, our total out of pocket expenses will end up being the money we couldn’t claim back on our ultrasounds (a grand total of about $180) and any money we may spend on TV rental in the hospital ($8 a day). Quite a bargain really.

A friend of mine had her baby in a private hospital. The birth was a quite traumatic and the baby ended up in special care for about a week. I can’t remember the exact amount, but it was a significant number of thousands – possibly six grand or so, I think it was. Also, the bills kept rolling in for months and months. They’d finally think they’d paid them all, and lo! another one rolls in from yet another specialist they hadn’t realised they had consulted.

I had a similar experience with my first baby, except I went public. The whole thing was free (except, as you say, ultrasounds). Even the follow-up paediatric care was free, as we were referred from the hospital. And my care level at two different public maternity units? Top notch.

RedDogInCan 7:15 pm 08 Mar 11

Dougal said :

Can any Rioters out there satisfy my curiosity about how much it ends up *actually* costing to have a baby through the private health system?

Mrs RedDog had her two pups by caesarian section through the private health system. In addition to ultrasounds and gynaecologist fees in the lead up to the big day, the only outlay was $200 for the excess on our policy. The biggest benefit of being private was getting a private room, our choice of doctor and the hospital not being in any hurry to kick us out when complications occurred.

I’ve had mixed results with private health care. When I had appendicitis, I was operated on by the next available surgeon and kept in the public ward. For my gall bladder, I had my choice of surgeon and a stay in a private room – though I did have to wait 3 months for the op, which was better than the 12+ months wait in the public system. Neither operation cost me anything.

Dougal 6:51 pm 08 Mar 11

Thank you Erg0 and Blen_Carmichael, up until now I hadn’t heard anyone speak so positively about the procedure! I will bite the bullet and arrange to get it done when I can afford to be shoeless for a couple of weeks.

Can any Rioters out there satisfy my curiosity about how much it ends up *actually* costing to have a baby through the private health system? My partner and I are currently going through the public system, and may I say the care has been excellent so far – far exceeding my expectations.

From what I can tell, our total out of pocket expenses will end up being the money we couldn’t claim back on our ultrasounds (a grand total of about $180) and any money we may spend on TV rental in the hospital ($8 a day). Quite a bargain really.

dvaey 5:35 pm 08 Mar 11

With stories like this, is it any wonder why people would prefer to remain under medicare than go with a private health insurance company? You should be thankful you even got your 6%, if youd been with them 2 years instead of 20, you probably wouldnt have even gotten that much.

Blen_Carmichael 5:14 pm 08 Mar 11

Dougal said :

Can you tell me how much it hurt? This is a serious question, as I am considering the same procedure myself. My father had it done many moons ago and I remember him being in extreme pain afterwards. I’m tossing up whether to live with the discomfort or go ahead with the procedure…

I was surprised – it didn’t hurt at all. The most annoying part (aside from the experience at MBF) was not being able to wear a shoe for two weeks. Make sure you’re absolutely satisfied that they’ve pumped enough anaesthetic into you before they get underway. Now that it’s done and dusted I’m cranky with myself for not getting it done years ago.

Erg0 5:05 pm 08 Mar 11

I had one taken off a few years ago, after delaying for quite a while. The procedure itself included a couple of minutes of pain, but I don’t recall suffering too much afterwards – not significantly more than I did while the nail was ingrown, at least. My advice would always be to get it taken care of, the short term pain is worth it to get rid of the niggling discomfort and regain your freedom of movement.

Dougal 4:36 pm 08 Mar 11

Can you tell me how much it hurt? This is a serious question, as I am considering the same procedure myself. My father had it done many moons ago and I remember him being in extreme pain afterwards. I’m tossing up whether to live with the discomfort or go ahead with the procedure…

Kan 3:51 pm 08 Mar 11

Yes, extra cover schemes are usually a con. Got rid of ours years ago and the money we’ve saved will go towards our daughter’s costly braces.

BTW – your podiatrist is very expensive. When an ingrown toe nail appears in our house, my spouse cuts it out with his trusted pocket knife. If I am the patient, I sip on some soothing butterscotch schnapps to dull the pain. For outsiders, he’d probably only charge a six pack!

EvanJames 3:24 pm 08 Mar 11

It’s important to study the actual schedule of what a fund pays out. They love to use the term “cover” but that can mean 5% of what you actually pay. I had extras cover with another fund for some years, until faced with some pricey treatments. When I read how much I’d get back vs how much they cost, I ditched extras cover real quick.

They bung on all these fluffy things like sports shoes, but when you have a $3000 dentist bill, that’s when you really need them and much of the time, they’re not there.

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