Buy Health Insurance the better way

Many people are unsure as to whether they should stay in the public system or purchase private cover. But when people move from being single to a family situation, private health insurance can often be high on their shopping list.

Each ‘life stage‘ is filled with its own health challenges and getting the most appropriate cover for your particular situation is difficult without getting the right advice.

Furthermore, part of the rise in demand for people taking out private health insurance is due to the ‘age loading’ penalties – if you’re over 31, the Government adds a loading of 2% to your annual premium for each year you’re uninsured.

On the tax front, for 2014-2015 if you're single and earning over $90,000, the Government may add an additional 1% tax through the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS). For singles, the MLS will increase to 1.25% if you earn over $105,000 and 1.5% if you earn over $140,000.

iSelect helps you compare a range of policies from its participating health funds, helping
to put you in control of your purchase. It offers a free online and over-the-phone advice and policy comparison service.

Use iSelect to Compare Health Insurance

iSelect helps take the mystery out of Private Health Insurance. iSelect helps you compare a range of policy combinations from participating health funds, plus you’re getting choices and advice on what’s available for your life stage, individual circumstances and needs. Through using iSelect, you may be able to save on the cost of your health insurance.

Switch funds

There are great deals out there so don’t be afraid of changing health funds. If you change funds to a similar level of cover, you generally will not be required to re-serve those waiting periods with the new fund in most cases.

People often don’t change health funds because they falsely believe they’ll have to go through a new waiting period. But legislation governing health funds guarantees that if you switch to another fund with the same level of cover, you will get continuity of cover.

Review your extras

Many consumers opt for hospital cover as well as ancillary cover for dentistry, physiotherapy, optical requirements and others. There is a wide variation between funds on what you’ll get back, so make sure that your cover is competitive.

Tailor-make your policy

You need to work out what 'life stage' you’re at. At iSelect, we suggest that there are five broad life stages. For example, if you’re young you may not want hip replacement, if you’re an empty-nester you probably won’t require birth cover, or if you’re 40-plus then major dental is probably on the cards. Look at your family history, and tune your policy accordingly. Also by paying a higher excess you can cut your premiums.

Don’t pay the Taxman more than you have to

Beware if you’re moving up the income scale you may be paying extra tax through the MLS.

For example if you're single with a taxable income over $90,000 ($180,000 for couples, families and single parents), it's likely you will be exposed to a 1% Medicare Levy Surcharge if you do not have private hospital cover.

The MLS will increase to 1.25% if you earn over $105,000 ($210,000 for couples, families and single parents) and 1.5% if you earn over $140,000 ($280,000 for couples, families and single parents).

So for many high income earners, it's worth taking out hospital cover rather than paying the MLS.