18th Oct 2017
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Do you need your health insurance extras?
Author: Ben Hocking
chiropractor

Private health insurance premiums continue to rise at an alarming rate. So it is always a good idea to review your insurance cover regularly, and as your health and financial positions change.

Giving up health insurance altogether could prove to be a costly mistake.

Without private health insurance you will only be entitled to health care as provided by the state. This can often mean long waiting lists, care in public hospitals and limited access to extras such as dental, physiotherapy and podiatry. The services you will lose depend on the level of cover you currently have.

Your extras cover deserves closer scrutiny, though. Sometimes you may blindside by the fact that your extras insurance covers glasses, contact lenses or dental work, but have you done the maths?

You could be paying more to your health insurance fund for the cover than for what you're getting back in benefits.

Unless you're confident of receiving more in benefits than what you're paying in premiums, you should consider dropping your extras insurance.

Consumer group CHOICE has analysed some figures regarding private health insurance, and discovered that you can make significant savings on your health care costs by cutting your extras cover.

To work out if your extras cover is giving you value for money, CHOICE recommends asking your health insurance provider for a claims statement from the previous year, the Standard Information Statement (SIS) for your policy, and (if you have a combined policy) the value of the extras component of your total premium.

If your premium is higher than the benefits you receive and you don't anticipate your health needs will change any time soon, consider switching to a less expensive policy or cancelling your extras.

The other alternative is to look closely at your SIS statement and make sure that you get the most out of your policy. If you skipped dental check-ups, make sure you use them in the next cycle, book in more physio sessions and make sure that you put in the effort to ensure you are getting value out of your cover.

The extent of your cover depends on the type of policy you select and may include services such as:

  • dental treatment
  • chiropractic treatment
  • home nursing
  • podiatry
  • physiotherapy, occupational, speech and eye therapy
  • glasses and contact lenses
  • prostheses (e.g. hearing aids).

 

Do you have private health insurance? What extras cover do you have? Do you think you get value for money?

Read more at choice.com.au

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