Private health insurance can seem a little daunting, but having some experts on your side to guide you through the process can make the difference between paying for a policy because you feel you “have to have it”, versus one that actually benefits your health and wellbeing.
Also, it’s important to become familiar with the lingo, as well as what matters in private health insurance. Do you want hospital cover, extras cover or both? Can you save money by confirming you don’t smoke? You may even find a policy that rewards you for healthy activities you already do, like gym memberships and physio visits.
The best private health insurance is different for everyone. Finding the policy that suits you, and the level of cover you want, means asking yourself some questions about where you are now, and where you’re going to be in the future.
For example, if you’re planning to start a family, you may want to look for a policy that covers pregnancy and obstetrics (they will generally have a 12-month waiting period). If you’re getting older, you might be more interested in optical and joint replacement coverage.
Young and single? Think about boosting extras benefits for things you regularly use, like visits to the physio. Take some time to reflect on what you’re looking for, and your lifestyle as it is now, not a perfect version you’d like it to be in the future.
Most private health insurance offers choice, including a private room if you’re admitted to hospital.
But policies can differ on whether you get to choose your provider (your doctor, dentist, physio or specialist), or you’re tied to using providers approved by your health fund. If complete freedom of choice is important to you, don’t compromise. Find a policy that offers the kind of flexibility that’s important to you.
You can't put a price on the peace of mind that health insurance brings, right? Wrong. Paying for a deluxe policy that's beyond your means is not doing you any favours.
Start with a comparison of the type of policies you'd like to have, and get a sense of what costs you're up for. See how these costs fit into your budget, and if you need to adjust your expectations on your policy, or make more room in your budget for the things that matter most.
Even if you’re signing up for a policy to avoid the Lifetime Health Cover loading, or lock in some tax benefits, that doesn’t mean you should make a quick decision just to get it done.
If it makes financial sense for you to have the cover, don’t waste the opportunity. Make the most of it with a private health policy that suits your needs. Even if your goal is the cheapest health insurance you can find, it’s still important to compare the fine print, and make sure you’re not paying for a worthless policy that won’t have your back when you need it.
When you’re comfortable knowing what you can spend, start comparing again and get serious about your choice.
The excess on your policy can affect your premium. Depending on your policy, if you’re willing to increase the excess amount you’ll pay if you’re admitted to hospital, you may be able to reduce the overall costs of your policy.
Start comparing with iSelect to see policies from some of Australia’s biggest health providers. You can see multiple policy choices from the same providers too, and compare the prices and benefits side by side.
It's also a good idea to check in every couple of years to make sure your policy still reflects your needs and budget. Benefits may tick over at the end of the calendar or financial year on most policies, so it can be an excellent time to see what you’ve used, what you haven’t, and think about what’s happening in the year ahead.
At iSelect we make it easy to compare health insurance policies side by side, and find the right one from our range of providers for you.
We know finding a policy that meets your needs isn’t easy, that’s why our expert health insurance advisors are on-hand and ready to answer any of your questions.
Start comparing or call our expert team today on 13 19 20.
*iSelect does not compare all health insurance providers or policies in the market. The availability of policies will change from time to time. Not all policies available from its providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, your stated needs and circumstances, not all policies compared by iSelect are available to all customers. Some policies and special offers are available only from iSelect’s contact centre or website. Click here to view iSelect's range of providers