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LETTER OF THE MONTH

Going private in a public hospital

I thought I would only use my private health insurance for elective surgery to avoid a waiting period, but recently used it twice and in a public hospital. I had surgery on a broken leg and returned three weeks later to give birth! I learnt of the hospital’s private patient team department, which runs a scheme paying up to $500 of a patient’s health insurance excess fees.

My excess was covered. I had no out-of-pocket medical costs and received gifts from the hospital, such as coffee vouchers, chocolates and wine. I was also fortunate to receive my own private room with TV. The hospital, whose service I was extremely happy with, received a bed fee that went towards equipment and research, benefiting the community.

I encourage readers with private health insurance who are happy to be treated at a public hospital to inquire about a similar scheme.

Kalma, email

Readers come first

Lately I have been noticing an insidious trend in Money magazine. I have always seen the advertisements presented full-page opposite the particles. It has mostly been rather clear that they are commercials, which seemed harmless.

What we are starting to see now is entire double-page promotions disguised as articles – for example, on pages 60-61 and 72-73 in the November 2012 issue. While this kind of trickery is generally recognisable before deciding whether to read, I will note that it is the same kind of trickery that Paul Clitheroe warns about with respect to spamming and other scams.

What I did find offensive was a blatant mergence of advertisement with article on pages 76-78 in the same issue, which was clearly funded by DHA. While you may be thinking that they are just harmless ads and that their intentions aren’t as evil as the scammers’, what you need to know is that it is your integrity which is being harmed. I would like to see your magazine show that you put your readers first before your sponsors; after all, we are the ones who actually pay for your magazine.

Cameron, email

Ed’s note: At Money we always aim to put our readers first. The promotions were clearly labelled so readers would not mistake them for editorial. The article on p76-78 was sponsored by DHA but was independently written and covered a wide range of information we thought our readers would find useful. The fact is that if we did not have paid advertising our cover price would have to be much higher. We would love to hear what other readers think.

Where there’s a will ...

Thank you so much for the offer on wills in October 2012. I borrow Money from the library and was almost going to skip this edition. Coincidentally, wills had been a priority goal for some time, but had been put off due to cost. Anyway, you can’t imagine how surprised I was when I discovered Money’s offer. So now we both have wills. I also enjoy reading Web Find - a fun gem in the magazine. Hope the entire Money team and readers have a fabulous 2013.

Aimee, TAS

NOTES

Correction: The fees shown in a table on page 83 of the Best of the Best 2013 edition of Money magazine are for pension accounts with a balance of $250,000, not $50,000 as shown. Hostplus, the winner of the Best Pension Fund Manager category, charges fees of $2540 on an account with a $250,000 balance, compared with the industry average of $3344.

Best of the Best: Due to space reasons the Best Australian Shares Super Fund category was omitted from the Best of the Best issue. The winning fund is Colonial First State’s Wholesale Developing Companies Fund. It invests in around 60 companies outside the top 200 companies on the ASX that are capitalised at less than $200 million. The fund’s performance has consistently beaten the index over time. Runners-up were Perpetual’s WealthFocus Ethical SRI Fund and REI Super’s Australian Shares Fund.

PRIZE WORTH WINNING

Each month we’ll award one letter a 12-month subscription to Money magazine.

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