When you start your health insurance comparison, here are a few simple questions to have in mind:
- Do you need hospital cover, extras cover or both?
- What are the absolute “must have” things that you need covered?
- Is it just about saving money on government charges and tax penalties – because if so, you can deal with the public hospital system and reduce your premium
- What level of cover (basic, medium or full cover) do you need?
- How much can you afford to pay each month?
- Are you prepared to pay an increased excess or co-payment in order to reduce the amount you pay each month?
As well as health insurance comparison via RateCity with our participating health funds, you should also look at some other resources, both online and offline. One place that too many people forget to look is their own GP! Remember – no one really knows your medical history as well as your local GP. They particularly understand your risk factors in relation to the sorts of things that might end up being big and expensive health and treatment issues. So make sure you ask your GP for their views about what you absolutely need included as part of your cover.
Because it’s such a tightly-regulated industry, health insurance has excellent government website resources as well. Health insurance comparison via a government website called the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman is well worth doing. This service offers a unique view of health fund performance; including complaints and claims experience (for example how long does it take to get claims paid?).
Many of the things that are part of your health insurance comparison between different health insurance funds are actually not necessarily in their control, and are in fact mandated by the Federal Government. For example, when you compare waiting periods for hospital cover, remember that these waiting periods are actually regulated by the Federal Government. If you are a new fund member, the maximum waiting periods for hospital cover are:
- 12 months for pre-existing conditions
- Between 9 and 12 months for obstetrics (that is, pregnancy)
- 2 months for psychiatric, rehabilitation and palliative care whether or not there is a pre-existing condition
- 2 months in all other situations.