Health insurance is a must-have in every household. However, you never know when you, or a family member, can fall victim to a serious illness or an accident.
And many times, the medical bills are too much to cope with. This is when health insurance comes into play. It gives you the flexibility to pay your bills conveniently.
As of June 2022, almost 45.2% of Australians have private health insurance coverage, and the numbers are increasing yearly.
So if you’re confused about choosing your perfect health insurance, here are some tips!
1. Look out for Lifetime Health Cover
The Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading is a government initiative that urges Australians to get themselves health insurance before the age of 30 years.
If you don’t have your health insurance by the time you earn 30, you’ll have to pay a 2% extra loading fee on top of your premium for every year after turning 30.
One good way to avoid that is to take up the health insurance scheme that covers only the basic hospital charges. It will not only save you a ton of money but will also ensure that you have insurance.
2. Consider your individual needs
Since every individual is different, their health insurance will also depend on their lifestyles. So someone else’s health insurance scheme might not be perfect for you.
Start by examining your personal needs and which insurance schemes cover that.
For example, if you’re an active student, you will require a different healthcare scheme than a couple planning to give birth soon.
Or if you require special medical care, you must also get that insured.
3. Consider the waiting period
You may not know this, but in Australia, insurers have to undergo a waiting period before they can claim their benefits.
This is done to ensure that people don’t use their private health insurance from the moment they are issued.
Waiting periods might vary, depending on your insurance plan and the rules laid down by the government.
However, the waiting period for hospital services is not more than 12 months from the pre-existing conditions.
4. Talk to experts
Finding the perfect health insurance plan for you can be overwhelming, especially if you’re young and there isn’t anyone around to guide you through the process.
However, several different insurance companies are more than willing to educate you on this topic.
For example, Australian Unity Private Health Insurance covers all types of scenarios, right from singles to couples, and health insurance for single parents. You can talk to them and compare several options available to you.
5. Understand your life stage
It’s great to be conscious about your health decisions, but what’s more important is to ensure that you have insurance that promises a happier and fuller life.
For example, suppose you’re in your twenties, and you’re a working individual. In that case, you need basic-level health coverage to ensure that you can be treated privately in case something serious happens.
But if you have a family, complete with kids, you need a family plan to make sure the children are safe.
6. Check the customer service
You might be equipped with a great health insurance scheme, but if the customer service is poor, you won’t get any work done. And during health emergencies, time is of the essence.
So it’s important to choose a fund where the customer service representatives are prompt and willing to give you solutions.
The State of the Health Funds reports will provide you with information so that you can compare the customer service of your scheme with others in Australia.
7. Mind the gap
Even if you do have good health insurance, you’ll need to be prepared for any out-of-pocket costs that might arise later.
The private health funds will pay you back around 50-60% of the bill, so you’ll have to bear the remaining costs.
Some rare corporate policies might be generous and pay up to 90 or even 100% of the costs.
However, once the annual limit is reached, your provider won’t cover any more charges until the next year.
Over to you…
These are a few basic tips you must remember while going for a private health insurance scheme in Australia. If you stay alert and mindful, you will get yourself a profitable scheme in no time!