Take a look around and do a quick comparison on the going rate for the basic health insurance package you want. Remember: hospital cover is compulsory under the Lifetime Health Cover program, extras aren’t. So, if in doubt, hospital cover comes first, then set a budget for how much you can afford to pay for your extras package.
Cheaper health insurance doesn’t have to mean nasty, but be aware that there are some policies out there that may not provide the peace of mind you are looking for. If you find a policy that’s seems simply too good to be true, it probably is. Do your homework on the exclusions – things that aren’t covered and why. Even the cheapest health insurance becomes a waste of money if it doesn’t cover you when you need it.
The must-haves for your health insurance will depend on where you’re at in life – what are your plans and priorities? If you’re a couple hoping to start a family, cover for pregnancy and obstetrics will be important to you. If you’re young and single, you may want to minimise hospital and extras coverage to keep your premiums as low as possible, while still meeting your obligations and avoiding a loading in the future.
If there’s regular treatment you receive like physio, acupuncture or dental, look for an extras package that makes the most of those benefits you’ll actually use. Let someone else pay for hip replacement cover.
When you know your budget and what you need from your health insurance package, you can use our free service to start comparing policies. It costs you nothing to use our service, and we’ll offer the same policy at the same price as you’d get by going straight to the provider.
One of the most important things to check when you’re comparing policies is waiting periods. Waiting periods can be a deal breaker when you’re looking for the right health policy. If the new policy won’t honour waiting periods you’ve already served with another provider, for a similar service you need now, they might not be a good choice for you.
It’s also important to compare like with like – use a comparison service which shows your likely Private Health Insurance Rebate (most people get their rebate applied to reduce the premium they pay upfront, but you can also choose to claim it back via your tax return1). It’s also important to remember the costs shown are based on the information you provide about your income, so if that’s incorrect, you may not get the cheap deal you think you’re entitled to.
It’s easy to get drawn into the ‘what ifs’ when you compare policies. What if I need major dental work this year? What if I need heart surgery? Go back to the start and look at your budget and your non-negotiables. If you’re in doubt, talk to an iSelect expert about your choices and how to make them work for your budget – you can call us today on 13 19 20.
A regular check in on your health insurance, every year or so, helps make sure that your level of cover still suits your age and life stage. As you get older or your lifestyle changes, cardiac cover, pharmaceutical benefits, and private hospital rooms may be more important to you.
There’s nothing to lose by doing a quick comparison on your policy – even if you can’t get anything cheaper, you may find some benefits you didn’t know you were entitled to.
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