Entries by chrisquinn

HIF Health Insurance Fund of Australia Review

hif health insurance fund of australia review

Who Are HIF? 

Health Insurance Fund of Australia (HIF) are a not-for-profit health fund. They were founded all the way back in 1954 when they began life as the “Western Australian Government Railways Employees Hospital and Medical Benefits Fund Inc”.

HIF rebranded to be called the Health Insurance Fund of WA in 1978 and finally settled on Health Insurance Fund of Australia in 2010, to represent their nationwide level of coverage.

Today HIF have agreements with over 92% of Australia’s private hospitals and day hospitals nationwide and have won countless Canstar Awards for their “Outstanding Value”.

5 Reasons to Choose HIF

#1 More Money Back

On average 91.3% of premiums paid are returned to members as benefits with HIF. The industry average is 85.8%.

#2 More Choice of Hospitals

HIF has agreements with 92% of Australias private hospitals and day hospitals. 

#3 Better Gap Cover

HIF outperform the industry average for covering more Medical Services with No or Known Gaps in most states across Australia.

#4 Award Winning Cover

HIF currently hold three Canstar Awards for Outsounding Value Hospital Cover. 

#5 No-Excess Day Surgery

HIF waive the excess on day surgery on all of their top cover options! 

HIF Hospital Cover 

It has been no surprise to Health Deal that HIF has won multiple awards from Canstar for their Outstanding Value on Hospital Cover for the past 3 years running. HIF not only consistently price their policies to be some of the most competitive in the country, but they also offer exceptional value too.

For example, there aren’t too many basic health insurance plans which provide private hospital cover for spinal surgery and renal dialysis, but HIF Goldstarter covers these both!

It’s not just on the basic level where HIF excels. HIF Gold Hospital and Goldstar Hospital both come with No-Excess for same day surgery, which is fantastic if you have regular colonoscopies or other day-surgeries.

HIF Gold Hospital

This is an award-winning hospital cover. HIF Gold Hospital offers exceptional value for money in most states. This is a top cover, so you’re covered for all procedures with a Medicare Item Number.

Shared room in a private hospital – all stays (with optional upgrade to a private room)

No Excess on Day Surgery 

Accidental Injuries

 Surgical removal of wisdom teeth in hospital

 Brain surgery

Back Surgery 

Joint reconstruction

Renal Dialysis 

Cancer Related Services

All other medical services not listed as an exclusion.

✔ Non-Cosmetic Eye Surgery

✔ Pregnancy & Birth-Related Services

Assisted Reproductive Services

✔ Heart Procedures

Joint Replacements

✔ Obesity-Related Services

In-hospital rehabilitation

Psychiatric care and treatment

Palliative care

Private Room 

Procedures where Medicare pays no benefit

View pdf 

Enquire

HIF Gold Star Hospital

If having a private room is important to you, then look no further than HIF Gold Star Hosptal. Gold Star Hospital is identical to HIF Gold Hospital, except for the fact that you will not be charged a daily co-payment if you want a private room, as this is HIF’s private room cover option.

Private room – all stays

No Excess on Day Surgery 

Accidental Injuries

 Surgical removal of wisdom teeth in hospital

 Brain surgery

Back Surgery 

Joint reconstruction

Renal Dialysis 

Cancer Related Services

All other medical services not listed as an exclusion.

✔ Non-Cosmetic Eye Surgery

✔ Pregnancy & Birth-Related Services

Assisted Reproductive Services

✔ Heart Procedures

Joint Replacements

✔ Obesity-Related Services

In-hospital rehabilitation

Psychiatric care and treatment

Palliative care

Procedures where Medicare pays no benefit

View pdf 

Enquire

HIF Extras 

One of the great things about HIF Extras are their generous limits. Not only does HIF Extras give you large limits straight away, but HIF will also actually increase your limits on certain extras every single year for up to 5 years!

This is down to HIF being a not for profit health fund. HIF state that “Unlike many Australian health funds, we do not have shareholders. Moreover, cash dividends are not paid directly to our fund members. Instead, we return any surpluses to our members in the form of lower premiums, increased rebates and new benefits and services. This is our way of rewarding our loyal members.”

✔ $1,000 Dental (Limit increases over time)

$450 Physio (Combined with other therapies)

$140 Optical (Limit increases over time)

 $75 Healthy Lifestyle

 Emergency Ambulance

Plus More!

Medical Appliances

View pdf 

Enquire

✔ $1,300 Dental (Limit increases over time)

$900 Physio (Combined with other therapies)

$260 Optical (Limit increases over time)

$550 Chiro (Limit increases over time)

 $100 Healthy Lifestyle

 $740 Psychology

 $1,500 Medical Appliances

 Emergency Ambulance

Plus Much More!

View pdf 

Enquire

✔ $1,500 Dental (Limit increases over time – up to $3,000!)

$1,200 Physio (Combined with other therapies – Limit increases up to $1,500!)

$280 Optical (Limit increases over time – up to $350!)

$650 Chiro (Limit increases over time – up to $750!)

 $125 Healthy Lifestyle

 $1,000 Psychology

 $1,500 Medical Appliances

 Emergency Ambulance

Plus Much More!

View pdf 

Enquire

HIF Dental

One of the most important aspects of any extras policy is dental coverage. That’s why HIF created Smart Teeth. The premise is quite simple, HIF aims to pay more for the dental services that people regularly use.

Below is a table of the dental rebates for some selected dental services. As you can see for a yearly check-up, clean & flouride (12, 114 & 121) HIF would rebate back up to $191.50 on your first visit and $153.20 on subsequent visits.

These high rebates are perfect for people who want to choose their own dentist and not be limited to dentists who have proffered provider status with certain health funds. 

Full a full breakdown of Smart teeth click here

hif dental extras smart teeth


Item Name


Item Number


Visit/Service


Premium, Super, Special & Saver Options Rebate

Comprehensive Oral Examination

11

First visit

$59.25



Subsequent visits

$47.40

Periodic Oral Examination

12

First visit

$52.75



Subsequent visits

$42.20

Removal of Plaque and/or Stain

111

First visit

$61.50



Subsequent visits

$49.20

Removal of Calculus

114

First visit

$107.15



Subsequent visits

$85.70

Topical Application of Remineralising Agent

121

First visit

$31.60



Subsequent visits

$25.30

HIF Health Insurance Fund of Australia Comparison

Health Deal has partnered with HIF since 2015 and we’re proud to have such an illustrious health fund on our panel. If you want to compare your existing HIF health insurance plan against a range of funds, or you’re wanting to inquire about one of the HIF health insurance plans discussed on this page, then let us give you a call and we’ll discuss your options.

Health Deal represents a range of health funds, and it’s our job to find you a better deal, either with or without HIF.









HCF Health Insurance Overview

hcf health insurance

Who are HCF?

HCF are the largest not-for-profit health fund in Australia, as well as being 3rd largest overall. Originally called the Metropolitan Hospitals Fund, HCF traces it’s rich history all the way back to 1932. 

Today HCF have more than 1.5 million members and have paid out more than $2 billion dollars in hospital and extras claims each year for the past 5 financial years in a row. 

Why Choose HCF?

There are a myriad of reasons why 1.5 million Australians have entrusted HCF to provide their health insurance. For starters, HCF pays more than the industry average for hospital admissions. According to the the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman, HCF covers more medical procedures with No-Gap than the industry average across every single state and territory in the country. 

HCF extras also offer excellent value for money. With thousands of dentists across the country, HCF offer their members no-gap dental check-ups on selected plans. Continue reading to learn all about HCF extras and their rebates.

Five Reasons to Choose HCF?

#1 Better Gap Cover

HCF covers more medical procedures with No-Gap than the industry average across most states in the country. 

#2 HCF Extras

Last financial year HCF paid $517,000,000 in extras claims

#3 HCF Dental

HCF have recruited thousands of dentists across the country in their More for Teeth programme, offering customers no-gap check-ups on selected policies. 

#4 Better Customer Service

More than 1 million phone calls were answered by HCF’s customer service team last year. 

#5 Not-For-Profit

On average, over the last 5 years HCF have paid out more cents in every dollar in premiums to members as benefits, than the industry average. 

HCF Hospital Gap Cover

You can never know with 100% certainty that you’ll never have an out-of-pocket expense when switching to a new health fund. This is because doctors are under no legal obligation to participate in a health funds gap cover arrangement. 

What you can do though is compare a health fund’s no-gap performance against the industry average and see where they rank in comparison to other funds. HCF members enjoy more medical services with no-gaps than the industry average in most states across the country.

So we can’t promise you’ll never have a gap with HCF, but we can say the likelihood of you having one could be less if you switched.  

HCF Health Insurance Comparison

Health Deal has partnered with HCF since 2015 and we’re proud to have such an illustrious health fund on our panel. If you want to compare your existing HCF health insurance plan against a range of funds, or you’re wanting to inquire about one of the HCF health insurance plans discussed on this page, then let us give you a call and we’ll discuss your options.

Health Deal represents a range of health funds, and it’s our job to find you a better deal, either with or without HCF.









 

 

Invisalign and Health Insurance

Invisalign health insurance

Invisalign & Health Insurance: What You Need To Know 

(5 Minute Read)

You’re probably reading this because you’re thinking about getting Invisalign but are unsure about how it all works. That’s why Health Deal has compiled this article to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision.

We’ll explain how Invisalign works, what sort of cost you can be looking at for Invisalign treatment, as well as important information around how it all works with private health insurance and what you can expect to claim back.

What is Invisalign?

Firstly, Invisalign is not actually a dental procedure but is, in fact, a company. Invisalign has become synonymous with clear aligners because they are by far the biggest player in the clear aligner industry (like saying Google instead of saying search engine or Hoover instead of vacuum cleaner).

Invisalign is a convenient alternative to traditional braces. They are clear aligners that fit over your teeth, which over time will straighten your teeth, leaving you with that smile you always wanted. They are brilliant for people who want to have their teeth re-aligned but don’t want the metal train track look from braces. Unlike traditional braces, you can also take them off whenever you want!

How does Invisalign work?

The Invisalign process all starts off in the dentist chair. Your dental practitioner will take a physical impression or a digital scan of your teeth. This scan will be used to help create a digital 3D impression of your mouth, which will be used to create an individual treatment plan for you. Once you’re happy with the plan, your 3D impressions will be sent across to Invisalign to begin the process of making your aligners!

The number of aligners you need will be dependant on the length of your treatment plan. The length of your treatment plan will vary on the amount of work you need doing. Invisalign themselves say that the average length is around 12 months – 18 months for an adult, but again it really is dependant on your individual work, so don’t be alarmed if your treatment plan is up to 2 years.

Once you have your aligners, you’ll need to wear them for around 22 hours a day to receive maximum benefit. You should take them out only to eat, drink & brush your teeth. You will also need to replace your aligners every 2 weeks. When you leave your orthodontists, you’ll be given a series of aligners to wear, it is the gradual replacement of these aligners that slowly alter the arrangement of your teeth. It is recommended that you visit your orthodontist every 6 -8 weeks, to make sure your Invisalign treatment is working correctly.

invisalign

Invisalign Cost

The cost of Invisalign treatment will be dependant on a few different factors such as:

  •    How long your treatment plan lasts?
  •    How many aligners do you need?
  •    Do you need to have mid-treatment adjustments?

Australian Dentists Clinic estimate the average cost of Invisalign to be anywhere from $3,500 – $7,000. Some dental practices even put the estimates up as high as between $4,500 – $9,000. What is certain though, is that Invisalign is not cheap by any stretch. This is why most people have private health insurance to help them pay for a portion.

Invisalign & Private Health Insurance

You can claim a benefit on Invisalign through your private health insurance. Invisalign is orthodontic work, and as such, any claims you make for Invisalign will come off your orthodontic limit.

If don’t currently have coverage for orthodontics on your current extras plan, or you don’t have an extras policy at all, then you’ll need to wait 12 months before you’ll be eligible to make a claim for your Invisalign treatment. So, if its something you’re considering getting & you currently have no cover, it might be worth investing in an extras policy.

If you do have private health insurance which covers orthodontics, you should shop around and see which health fund will give you the best rebate for your price range. If you switch over to another policy that covers orthodontics, you will not need to re-serve your wait period.

Be aware though, if you switch to a plan which increases your orthodontic limit, you will need to wait 12 months before you can claim any of the additional benefit. For example, if you currently have an orthodontic limit of $1,000 and you switch to a plan with $1,500 for orthodontic treatment, you will gain access to the $1,000 straight away, but you will wait 12 months before you can claim the extra $500.

Listed below are some health funds which will cover you for Invisalign. We’ve also listed the individual policy names and important fund information you’ll need to be aware of if you decide to switch.

HIF Invisalign

HIF can offer fantastic limits on orthodontic & Invisalign treatment. However, they have a few fund rules which are different to the majority of other health funds, which you need to be aware of. Firstly, to quote HIF’s policy booklet “Orthodontic benefits are not payable by HIF if the treatment or service has commenced prior to joining HIF”. This means if you have already started orthodontic treatment, HIF will not pay out a single dollar on orthodontic treatment if you switch to them.

Secondly, your orthodontic lifetime limit will depend on how long you have been with HIF when you make your first claim. HIF’s orthodontic lifetime limits increase each year you stay on the plan, however, the year you claim is the year that your lifetime limit will come into effect. So for example, if you had Super Options for 3 years and you made an orthodontic claim, your orthodontic lifetime limit would be $1,700 (see table below).

HIF invisalign

nib Invisalign

If you want to claim a benefit on Invisalign through nib, you currently have two policy options; Top Extras & the Family Extras bolt on.

With Top Extras, the yearly limit starts at $800 per year, however, it does increase by $100 each year you remain on the policy until you reach $2,600. For example, if you switched to Top Extras, but you didn’t claim on Invisalign for 2 years, nib would actually pay $1,000 yearly instead of $800 yearly. This policy can be good if you have young children who won’t be claiming on orthodontic treatment for a number of years.

Family Extras is a bolt-on package with nib. Family Extras cannot be purchased as a stand-alone product. This means you must at least also purchase either Core Extras or Core Extras plus, alongside Family Extras.

nib invisalign

ahm Invisalign

ahm currently have 3 stand-alone extras policies which will cover a benefit for Invisalign; Lifestyle Extras, Family Extras, and Super Extras. The two things you need to know about ahm policies in relation to orthodontic/Invisalign claims are; ahm are a financial year fund & that your yearly limit increases with loyalty.

ahm run on a financial year, unlike most other health funds. This means that all your yearly limits re-set on July 1, as opposed to January 1 like most other health funds, for example, Bupa, Medibank, HIF, HCF etc. With this in mind, it means that you could claim for your upper teeth in June & your lower teeth in July, granting you the highest amount of claims in the shortest amount of time.

Like HIF, ahm will also reward you for your loyalty, by increasing your yearly limits on orthodontic treatment over time. The table below will show you how much they increase by.

ahm invisalign

HCF Invisalign

HCF currently have 2 extras policies which will cover you for Invisalign; Gold Extras and Platinum Extras. Unlike the previous health funds discussed in this article, there are no loyalty benefits over time with HCF when it comes to orthodontics.

Something you need to be aware of though, is that HCF will limit your claims if you get your orthodontic work done by a dentist and not an orthodontist. So if you do decide to switch with HCF, double check with the dental practice & HCF customer service team, that you’ll be able to claim your entire yearly limit, and not 50% of it.

hcf invisalign

Still need more info?

If you still need more information regarding Invisalign and private health insurance, speak to a Health Deal health cover consultant & they’ll be able to run you through all your different options and assess which health insurance policy is right for you.

 

hcf health insurance


HCF Health Insurance Overview

Who are HCF? HCF are the largest not-for-profit health fund in Australia, as well as being 3rd largest overall. Originally called the Metropolitan Hospitals Fund,


Read More »

Student Health Insurance: A Complete Guide

Student Health Insurance

 

Student Health Insurance:
A Complete Guide

 

Going to university can be one of the most exciting experiences of your life. It is an opportunity to grow as a person, expand your world view and to make new friends & experiences that will last a lifetime.

With all the new changes that are going on in your life, health insurance is probably not one of your top priorities right now. But it is important to at least have some understanding of how it all works and more importantly, if you actually need it.

That’s why Health Deal has created this complete guide, which will cover all the basics for you in one easy to digest place.

For questions surrounding Overseas Student Health Insurance, we recommend you check out a great article by Canstar called “What Is OSHC (Overseas Student Health Cover)”

compare single parent health cover

 

What is Health Insurance?

You’ve probably heard of some of the big health funds already like Medibank, Bupa and HCF, but what do they actually do? Well, health funds essentially offer two products, hospital cover and extras cover, which help cover the cost of various health services.

Thankfully, health insurance is heavily regulated in favour of consumers, and as such, health funds can not price-discriminate against you on a whole range of things like age, sexual orientation, race, religion and gender. They even can’t discriminate against you for pre-existing conditions or lifestyle choices! 

So, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a heap of pre-existing ailments, you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, enjoy extreme sports on the weekend or live a healthy plant-based lifestyle, you will end up paying the same base price as everyone else for the same policy!

Hospital Cover Explained

Hospital cover can cover you for hospital procedures at a private hospital, with a doctor of your choice. Even better than choosing your own doctor and hospital, is the fact that you will not be subject to the public hospital waiting lists when you require surgery.

Health funds will generally only cover you for procedures which are “medically necessary” and have a “Medicare Item Number” (a procedure that Medicare also covers). So basically, you can’t get stuff done which Medicare doesn’t cover.

If you are brand new to health insurance you will have to serve a “waiting period” before you can claim for a procedure. Waiting periods are designed so that you can’t simply join a health fund, claim, and then leave. If everyone did this, health insurers would be out of business. 

The waiting periods for hospital cover are as follows:

  • 2 Months for a new condition;
  • 12 Months for a pre-existing condition;
  • 2 Months for palliative care, rehabilitation and in-hospital psychiatry; and
  • 12 Months for pregnancy.

Once you have served the waiting periods on a procedure though, you won’t ever have to re-serve it again if you maintain cover.

Now if you’re unfortunate enough to ever need surgery, you need to make sure that you ask your doctor if s/he will participate in your health fund’s “gap cover”. If they say they will not, you could be looking at having some pretty nasty out-of-pocket expenses, which is not what you need whilst living on a student budget.

Gap Cover Tip! 

If your doctor says s/he will not participate in your health fund’s gap cover, then ask them if there are any health funds which they will participate with. You can switch your coverage to a new health fund straight away, and get the surgery done with your new health fund because when you switch, you do not re-serve any waiting periods, even for pre-existing conditions!

Just bear in mind, it can sometimes take around 10 working days for the heath funds to swap your transfer certificate across and be able to honour your claim. The other option you have, (if you’re not fussy about having a particular doctor), is to speak to your health fund before your procedure to find a doctor who will participate in their gap cover scheme. Of course, it depends on the situation and your preferences as a patient.

What is Extras Cover?

The other type of insurance health funds offer is what is known as “extras cover”. Extras cover will cover you for a whole range of ancillary health services, which you’ve probably used at some point in your life already. You can claim benefits on a whole range of things, such as:

  • Dental visits
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractors
  • Glasses
  • Remedial Massage
  • Podiatry
  • Psychology Visits
  • Speech Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy

  • Gym memberships
  • Weight Loss Plans
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Hearing Aids
  • Medical Appliances
  • Non-PBS scripts
  • Ambulance Cover
  • And more!

ahm health cover

You can buy an extras policy on its own at a fraction of the cost of a hospital plan. Extras can be great for paying for expensive visits to the dentist and various other health services. But more importantly, if you’ve selected the right one for your needs, you can even claim more money back in benefits than what you’ve actually paid in premiums! 

For Example

Let’s say you’re a student earning (well) below $90,000 and living in Melbourne. You can buy an extras policy from AHM called Black 60 for approximately $351.30 for the year (as of April 2018 with the rebate applied). 

But you’d be able to claim 2 check-ups, cleans & fluoride treatments at Pacific Smiles in Melbourne worth about $380 in claims (2 x $190). On top of that though, you can claim $200 on a new pair of glasses, and 60% of the cost of a physio, chiro, osteo and even remedial massage. As you can see, you’ll be well ahead for the year and save yourself a couple hundred dollars by having this plan. It also gives you the added benefit of covering you for emergency ambulance transport!

Ambulance Transport

We really hope you’ll never need an ambulance during your time at university. But unfortunately, accidents can happen, and depending on where you go to university, you’ll need to be aware of each state’s emergency ambulance system. 

Each state has their own set of laws and rules regarding ambulance coverage. Some states have free ambulance coverage (Queensland / Tasmania), but others could leave you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars out of pocket if you don’t have coverage.  A comprehensive guide to ambulance rules can be found on the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman’s website, here.

Mental Health

Thankfully addressing mental health issues is not as taboo as it unfortunately once was. However, an alarming number of students still suffer from mental health issues in silence. In fact, Headspace (the National Youth Mental Health Foundation) has stated that “one of the largest national student surveys into the mental health of Australian students has revealed that close to 70 per cent of respondents rated their mental health as poor or fair. While two-thirds reported high or very high psychological distress over the past 12 months.” (full article here).

If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression or any other mental health issue, and you’re unsure where to look for help, Beyond Blue and Headspace are both excellent places to start if you don’t feel comfortable speaking to your doctor just yet.

Heath insurance can play its role in combating mental health issues by covering you for services such as psychology visits and in-hospital psychiatry if you ever need it.

Sexual Health

At present you cannot claim for condoms or the pill on private health insurance. Fortunately though, if the budget is tight, and you still want to practise safe sex, you can often receive free condoms from various sexual health clinics across the country.

Can you stay on your parents’ plan?

Do your parents have health insurance already? The good news is, you can stay on your parents’ plan up to the age of 25. Even better, if you’re still in university up until the age of 25, it won’t cost them any more money in premiums to keep you on.

When you’ve graduated and no longer in full time education past the age of 21, you can still stay on your parents’ policy until the age of 25, but your parents’ premium will jump up by around 25% in what is known as “Adult Dependant” cover (so be extra nice to them!)

health insurance seniors

So, do I need health insurance?

If you currently don’t have health insurance and you’re unsure whether you need it or not, our advice is that it really depends. Health Deal is a health insurance comparator, so it’s in our interest that you buy a policy, but for students who are generally fit & healthy, it really comes down to personal preference.

If money is tight and you can’t afford a hospital policy, and if you’re happy being in the public system, then maybe a hospital policy isn’t right for you at this moment. On the other hand, if you’ve got a few health ailments, or you generally live a more accident prone / riskier life, then it might be something to consider to give you peace of mind. It should definitely be something that you talk about with either your parents and/or a family friend to make sure it’s right for you.

With that being said though…if you currently don’t have any health insurance, we do strongly suggest you weigh up the benefits of purchasing an extras only plan. Remember, extras policies are a fraction of the cost of hospital policies and will almost always cover you for emergency ambulance as well as dental and other services.

If you do decide to purchase an extras plan, don’t go buying the most expensive plan with the nicest sounding benefits. Instead, buy the plan you’re most confident you’ll claim the most return-on-investment from. Remember you’re paying $X amount for a plan, you want to make sure you claim that back and more in benefits, otherwise it would have been better to have just saved your money!

 

 

save health insurance

Where to shop for health insurance?

There are dozens of different health funds to choose from, all offering hundreds, if not thousands of different policy combinations. If you want to speak to a consultant, Health Deal represents a panel of different health funds, and we can guide you to a policy that’s the right fit for you at this time in your life. Simply enter your requirements here, and we’ll give you a quick call back and see how we can help.

You may also be interested in reading….

hcf health insurance


HCF Health Insurance Overview

Who are HCF? HCF are the largest not-for-profit health fund in Australia, as well as being 3rd largest overall. Originally called the Metropolitan Hospitals Fund,


Read More »