How to Find the Perfect Health Insurance Policy
Let’s face it – a medical emergency can knock on your door at any time. This uninvited guest may not only affect you emotionally, but financially as well. With cost of living pressures, the thought of an unexpected financial outlay to deal with a medical emergency can be daunting. This is where health insurance steps in.
You might be wondering: what is health insurance? What types of health covers are available in Australia? How can I find the perfect health insurance policy? Keep reading this post to get the answers.
What is Health Insurance?
A health insurance policy is insurance coverage that covers the surgical and medical expenses of the policyholder during medical treatment. Having health insurance in Australia is one of the most effective ways to help cover the costs of medical services. It also provides the policyholder the ability to choose their own hospital and doctor, and crucially, avoid potentially lengthy waiting lists for treatment in the public system.
Different Types of Health Insurance Covers in Australia
There are essentially 3 types of health insurance policies available in Australia. These are hospital insurance, extras insurance (otherwise known as ancillaries), or hospital and extras combined policies. Let’s have a detailed look at these policy types below:
This insurance covers the cost of in-hospital medical treatment. It also covers other expenses in the hospital such as prostheses, accommodation and theatre fees. With this type of insurance, you can have the doctor of your choice in a private hospital, and often have your own private room. Following the reforms to Private Health Insurance in April this year, there are four levels of hospital cover:
- Basic Hospital – Covers only a minimal number of clinical categories
- Bronze hospital – Covers many of the major clinical categories
- Silver hospital – Covers most of the major clinical categories
- Gold hospital – Covers every clinical category
A detailed summary of what is covered and what isn’t covered by each tier is provided in the link above.
This type of insurance covers the costs associated with non-medical health services, such as optical, physio and dental services, which are not generally covered by Medicare. The three levels of Extras covers include:
- Basic extras: Includes a limited amount of cover on services such as general dental and physiotherapy.
- Medium extras: includes cover for general and major dental, and any of these five services – Chiro, hearing aids, psychology, podiatry, physiotherapy, non-PBS pharmaceuticals, orthodontics and optical.
- Comprehensive extras:Includes the most extensive range of services and the highest rebates for each.
Most health insurance policy providers allow you to combine hospital and extras covers together. You can mix and match the type of hospital and extras according to your unique health needs. For example, you can choose to be covered for everything on your hospital policy, however just include optical, physio and dental services on your extras.
It is also important to note that most health insurance policies cover ambulance as well, on either the hospital or extras component. If you only have one of these, and you want to be covered for ambulance, you should check your policy to make sure you are covered. Medicare doesn’t cover ambulance services except for the states of Tasmania and Queensland. This means you have to pay from your pocket if you need an ambulance or any emergency transport. Some people who do not want private hospital cover, or extras, elect to purchase a standalone ambulance policy. To compare different health insurance in Australia, visit Health Deal. As a member of the Private Health Insurance Intermediaries Association, they offer genuine choice when it comes to selecting health insurance policies for you and your family.
How Does Health Insurance Work?
Health insurance in Australia either covers some or all medical expenses of the policyholder. The policyholder pays premiums in advance to the health fund in order to be covered. Most Health Deal customers elect to pay monthly however, health funds may allow you to pay fortnightly, quarterly, bi-annually, or annually.
To choose the perfect health insurance policy, you need to follow the approach of ‘Choose’ and ‘Combine.’ This is about tailoring an option that provides the most appropriate cover for yourself and your family, depending on your unique needs. You can take out a policy for yourself only, combined with your partner, or the family to also include you’re children.
Finding the Perfect Health Insurance Policy
Choosing the right health insurance policy is not rocket science when you have options to compare the services of different insurance covers. If you know your needs then you can compare various health insurance policies via visiting comparison businesses such as Health Deal.
However, when you are ready to get the right health insurance, make sure to keep the below points in mind.
- Excesses & Co-payments:If your hospital cover includes an excess this means you have to pay the required amount upfront when you are admitted to hospital. Also, if the policy features a co-payment, you have to make this payment each day whilst in hospital.
- Waiting Periods:If you are taking out cover for the first time, or upgrading your policy, waiting periods may apply before you are eligible to claim a benefit. For hospital procedures, these periods range from 2 months for new conditions, to 12 months for pre-existing conditions.
- Know your policy: It is important to know what procedures are restricted or excluded on your policy. For starters, it’s advisable to view a restricted item as an exclusion. And equally, you should be aware of your exclusions. The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman recommends you review your policy at least once a year to avoid any unwanted surprises.
No matter where you reside in Australia, holding a health insurance policy can be very beneficial. If you are looking for the right health insurance coverage, fill out this online form and receive a call back from our experts to select an appropriate option.
How to get private health insurance
If you have been thinking of starting a family, are intent on taking control of your health, or if you simply want to avoid the Lifetime Health Cover Loading (LHC), you would then be considering private health insurance.
Health Deal agents are ready to assist you with finding the best policy to suit your needs. Our highly trained representatives can help you review your cover and ascertain whether you are under or over-accommodated in your current policy.
New to cover? If you plan on having a baby, for example, you’ll want to take up health cover at least 5-6 months before conceiving. This way you’ll have completed your 12 month waiting period by the time your baby arrives. If pregnancy insurance is for you, Health Deal can help you get the most out of your obstetrics cover.
If you want to know that you’re getting the best deal out there, for any of your health insurance policies, call 1300 369 399 for a free comparison today.
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