5 tricks to get the most out of your private health insurance

Private health insurance can be a significant cost each month, so it’s worth making sure you recover as many benefits as possible.

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Are you one of the more than 14 million Australians who invest in private health insurance?

If so, do you know exactly what you are paying with the chosen policy? Without a solid understanding of what you’re getting for your money, you may be missing out on a variety of rebates and benefits.

To make sure you get your money’s worth, we take a look at what you need to do to get the value you deserve in your health coverage.

1. Know what your private health insurance covers

If it’s been a while since you looked at your insurance policy and what it covers, now is a good time to reacquaint yourself. After all, you don’t want to keep paying for coverage you don’t really need or discover that you really don’t have enough insurance.

To find out the finer details of your health insurance policy and what it covers, contact your health insurer directly.

You may be asked for your membership number, so make sure you have it handy. You may also be asked to prove your identity by providing specific details about yourself.

If you’ve already set up an online account, depending on your health insurance company, you may be able to access your policy details online by simply logging in.

Alternatively, you can call your health insurer and request that the information be emailed or mailed to you.

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2. Understand the annual limits on extras coverage and when coverage reinstates

It is important to be aware of the limits placed on the extras coverage offered by your policy. For example, if you regularly see a physiologist, some policies will only pay up to a certain amount each year.

If you exceed that cap amount, you are expected to pay the full consultation fee for the rest of the calendar year until the caps are reset on January 1.

If you are familiar with your policy’s annual limits on covered services, you can better take advantage of all the benefits your policy can offer.

For example, if your extras coverage includes optics, depending on your policy you may be eligible for a new pair of glasses each year; and if you have dental coverage, you can claim an annual cleaning.

Make a to-do list at the beginning of the new calendar year to get services on your schedule for the next calendar year so you get the most out of your extras. For example, January might be a good time to get your eyes checked by the optometrist and upgrade your sunglasses.

And schedule your annual general dental checkup every June to make sure you’re taking advantage of your coverage benefits while taking preventative steps to maintain your oral health.

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3. Review your health coverage annually

There are likely extras in your policy that you never use or no longer need, but are still paying for, which is why an annual review of your policy is an essential money-saving service you can do yourself each year. to ensure you get the best value for your investment.

Additional coverage only offers savings if you use these types of services regularly; using them only sporadically can be more expensive than paying health providers outright, so it’s important to do your homework.

4. Check other benefits

Keep an eye out for special offers and benefits that health insurers offer to new members; you might be able to take advantage of some really good deals.

For example, while some health funds set a 12-month waiting period for new members who claim certain extras, insurers sometimes offer promotions that eliminate waiting periods altogether and allow new members to make claims on their extra coverage right away.

This is especially common around the time premium increases take effect, which is typically April 1 of each year.

5. Don’t settle for what you have

You deserve value for money and if you think you’re not getting it with your current perks policy, don’t be afraid to switch. If you’re happy with your current health insurer, contact them directly and ask about your options to save money.

Otherwise, there is a huge variety of health insurance policies, all varying in price and coverage.

Online comparison websites are a great tool for comparing policies and selecting those that offer exactly what you want.

However, if you have any pre-existing health conditions, you should speak directly with the health insurer to determine if you are eligible for immediate coverage. For most, unless the insurer offers a promotion to attract new members, you will inevitably have to wait the 12-month waiting period, unless you need psychiatric, rehabilitative and hospice care, which have a two-month waiting period. months. even if it is pre-existing.

RELATED: The biggest benefits of private health insurance in Australia

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