Understanding health insurance can be tricky with waiting periods, excess, rebates and surcharges to think about – particularly if you’re part of a couple or family and need cover to suit the whole gang.
Here are some tips to help put you on the right path and find suitable cover at the best price for your greatest assets – your family.
Your ideal policy will depend on your personal circumstances and the age of your dependents. So if you’re single, part of a couple or family or in your retirement, then there will be a policy suitable for your life stage, which makes choosing cover simpler.
It’s important to think beyond your immediate circumstances when selecting private health cover. Instead, think about where you’ll be in a few years’ time – perhaps starting a family or needing a specific service – because waiting periods can be as long three years for some claims. Most providers have a 12 month wait period on birthing related services, for example, so you’ll need to add this service to your policy at least three months prior to trying for a baby.
For those of you with children, most health insurance policies for couples include cover for dependents aged up to 21 years who are not working full time – although the age criteriacan differ depending on your provider so it’s best to always check.
Your personal circumstances will also determine your entitlements including the rebate amount you’re able to claim from the government, which is determined by the age of the oldest member on your policy, for instance.
2. Compare and save
Policies and provider’s inclusions can differ vastly, so it’s important to select health insurance by more than simply the premium to be paid. Look at the features offered, waiting periods and excesses for a more comprehensive comparison. The trick is to find appropriate cover at the best price.
In the past, finding the best health insurance policy at the best price meant visiting a number of provider’s websites and manually comparing quotes. But with the advent of financial comparison sites, such as RateCity, you can compare several quotes in one location. So by shopping around you can save time otherwise spent trawling provider’s sites, and potentially money – because you may save on your premium by only paying for the services that you and your family need.
Policies and premiums may change over time, as can your family’s needs so it’s important to revisit your cover annually or as your circumstances change.
Switching to another provider doesn’t mean you’ll have to reserve waiting periods for services that you were covered for with your previous fund (in most cases), which is known as continuity of cover. So it’s well worth taking a few minutes to compare online and switch to a health insurance policy for your family’s needs.