How to get the most value from your health cover

Written on the 3 April 2019 by Arrow

How to get the most value from your health cover


It's time to schedule an annual checkup. A health insurance checkup, that is.

Because a lot can change in a year your needs may have changed, the insurance market has most certainly shifted and living expenses continue on an upwards trajectory.

For example, in 2018 some banks put their interest rates up, which can put extra stress on the family household budget.

So, let's take a look at the steps you can take to complete a health insurance policy checkup now.

Review your policy
When conducting a health insurance checkup, the obvious starting point is to pull out the details of your existing policy.

Specifically, identify what level of cover and inclusions you're getting and whether the mix is still right for you, and look at how much you're paying. This will give you a good baseline for comparison.

Comparing inclusions and limits
There are three common ways to take out private health insurance in Australia as private hospital cover, extras cover or combined cover (hospital plus extras).

- Hospital cover
Most health insurance providers offer a range of hospital cover policies.

At the basic level, you'll likely be covered for common hospital treatments and Medicare recognised services. But you'll probably face waiting periods, plus exclusions or restrictions around cardiac and cardiac-related services, plastic surgery, rehabilitation, psychiatric services and palliative care.

At the top of the range, you're more likely to be covered for pregnancy and birth-related services, obesity and weight loss surgery, joint replacements and renal dialysis. There may, however, be waiting periods associated with these procedures.

- Extras cover
Extras cover is usually for services that are provided outside a hospital, and which Medicare does not generally cover. There's often an annual limit to cover under each category of treatment and waiting periods.

Your entry level cover tends to be for the most common procedures things like preventative dental treatment, optical appliances, physiotherapy, chiropractic, osteopathy and preventative tests.

At the top end of the scale, you may be looking at receiving some cover for services such as hearing aids and speech processors, home nursing, antenatal classes and postnatal services.

Comparing costs
You can start by comparing premium costs between different providers and their various policy levels.

Don't forget to compare your additional costs excesses for hospital admission, co-payments for hospital accommodation, and gap-fees when insurance doesn't cover the total cost of treatment.

For additional savings, look to see if you can secure cheaper cover if you pay premiums months in advance, or if you combine hospital and extras cover.

Finally, take note of any costs or penalties associated with switching providers.

With health insurance premiums set to rise in April, now's a great time to review your cover. For help finding the right cover for you and your family, get in touch.


The information contained on this website has been provided as general advice only. The contents have been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before you make any decision regarding any information, strategies or products mentioned on this website, consult your own financial advisor to consider whether that is appropriate having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.
Whilst Arrow Focus on Wealth Pty Ltd is of the view the contents of this website is based on information which is believed to be reliable, its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed and no warranty of accuracy or reliability is given or implied and no responsibility for any loss or damage arising in any way for any representation, act or omission is accepted by Arrow Focus on Wealth Pty Ltd or GPS Wealth Ltd or any officer, agent or employee of Arrow Focus on Wealth Pty Ltd or GPS Wealth Ltd.

GPS Wealth Ltd Head Office Level 15,115 Pitt Street ,Sydney. NSW 2000 Tel: (02)8074 8599

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