While health insurance is one of those things many of us would prefer not to worry about, the good news is that it’s relatively easy to compare health insurance in Australia and save money – either by tailoring your policy, or simply by looking for lower-cost options.
The first step when you compare health insurance in Australia is to decide what features of a policy you really need. A single person in their 20s, or a couple in their 50s, might not need to pay for full coverage including pregnancy, so make a list of the things that really need to be covered in your hospital coverage, and get rid of the things you don’t need.
The same goes for extras packages. Extras coverage is one of the great things about health insurance policies, because of the range of very specific treatments and programs you can get access to – physiotherapy, wellness programs, even weight loss. But when you compare health insurance in Australia, you can tailor your extras coverage by removing things that aren’t important to you.
All insurance policies, health or otherwise, have excess payments – meaning the amount you pay that insurance doesn’t cover. Most health insurance policies for hospital cover offer 3 different levels of excess - $0, $250, or $500, for example. If you choose a higher excess you will generally be able to reduce your monthly or annual premium and the good news is that your level of coverage won’t be affected.
Compare health insurance costs in Australia before April 1 and after April 1 every year and you’ll find a big difference. This is because legislated premium increases take effect from April 1. So if you’re able to pay a full 12 months’ premium upfront before April 1, you will get the benefit of the lower premium before prices rise.
Finally – switching health funds when you find one that meets your needs and is cheaper is very easy. Remember – when you switch to a similar or lower level of cover, you get to “keep” the waiting periods you’ve already served (this might not always be the case if you upgrade your level of cover, of course). Importantly, there’s no impact on your Lifetime Health Cover status, either. Switching is much easier than some funds make it out to be, so if you think the price is right, and when you’ve compared health insurance in Australia and found the policy that meets your needs, don’t be afraid to make the switch.