When it comes to choosing health cover, there are so many funds out there with multiple polices, meaning you can literally find yourself choosing between hundreds of options.
Read below for some tips on how to compare health insurance to best suit your needs and save money.
There are two broad categories of funds to choose from: for profit and not-for-profit. As you can imagine, a for profit fund is largely run in order to improve returns for itself or its shareholders which can result in higher premiums for you or more restricted services. Not-for-profits market themselves as returning their profits back to their members through services and benefits. A good way to start is compare a few products from each type of insurance and see what you get for your money in order to decide which fund type will suit you best.
Therefore as a general rule, the best value for money funds will be run as not-for-profit or are restricted funds. Police, navy and defence personnel for example will all have dedicated types of health insurances so check to see if you can join as a result of any family members or affiliations that will allow you coverage.
Consider reducing or getting rid of extras cover. If you rarely use the services on your policy you may find that long term, it’s better to pay for them in full when the time comes to use them. In order to determine whether this will save you money overall, you will need to have some data on hand from the last financial year, or more. If you notice you don’t get back in rebates enough to cover the cost of maintaining extras cover, it could be time to contact your fund and see what other options they can offer you.
Adding an excess that is payable for any private hospital admissions is a great way to save money. But be aware that even the highest levels of cover will not provide rebates to reduce the cost of liposuction and other elective, cosmetic procedures. Also remember excesses will normally reset each financial year meaning they could be payable twice in a calendar year if you don’t time elective admissions well.
Direct your fund to return your private health rebate to you as a reduced monthly premium. The rebate is income tested and can be up to 25.6% for those aged 65 and under. If you find your income reduces your rebate and you have a partner, consider taking out a joint health policy if you haven’t already as families are subjected to higher income thresholds. Children will also add an additional amount to the threshold. Don’t forget that to avoid a Medicare Levy surcharge of up to 1.5% of your annual income, you will need hospital cover. This is on top of the 2% that most people pay through the Medicare Levy, so save money on the surcharge by having insurance.