Which Health Fund Has the Best Extras Cover & How to Compare
You’re ready to buy extras health insurance and have been looking around for the best option.
Choose your own extras health insurance
The benefits you’ll receive from an ancillary health insurance policy depends on your level of cover. There are generally three types of extras only health insurance you can choose from.
Basic extras generally provide only the essential benefits and have the most restrictions and exclusions. Usually includes general dental, optical and physiotherapy.
Adds additional benefits, like major dental and psychology but generally still excludes or restrict services like pregnancy-related procedures, orthodontics and hearing aids.
Generally, there are no exclusions or restrictions on benefits and payment will be made for all procedures where Medicare pays a benefit. Typically, this is the most expensive option.
The price of health insurance, including extras cover, rises annually on the 1st of April. It’s important to regularly review whether your extras cover is worth your general treatment expenses. However, your unique requirements should be at the forefront of your mind when comparing health insurance policies.
Extras cover comparison by health fund
The above list is just some of the health funds available in Australia. There are over 30 private health insurance providers to choose from. For a complete list, please visit PrivateHealth.gov.au
How to compare extras cover
One of the most effective ways to determine which ancillary option is best for you is to use a comparison website like ComparingExpert to request quotes and then review what each health fund has to offer. When comparing general treatment services, make sure the cover is relevant to your:
It's important to think carefully about your needs and let your specific circumstances guide you. For example, you might enjoy playing many contact sports, or have a family history of certain illnesses, or you might be planning to start a family.
Request a general treatment quote
Best extras cover in Australia for different stages of your life
The stage of life you’re in now or planning to enter could be an indication of the level and type of cover you need. For example, if you’re starting a family, you’ll likely want an ancillary policy that covers pregnancy-related services. Of course, personal health factors, like pre-existing conditions and your family’s medical history, should also be taken into consideration.
Whether married or unmarried, couples might want to consider whether one policy will suit both individuals or if two separate plans with different levels of cover catering to their individual requirements will be better.
Australian over the age of 55 generally make the most claims on their extra's benefits. If you're a more mature individual, you might want to consider a comprehensive extras plan that includes treatments, like major dental services, cataract surgery, hip replacement and the cost of hearing aids.
Choosing an ancillary policy based on your age
Different age groups require different medical treatments and services. When you’re reviewing your policy options, it’s important to keep in mind that your age might influence the type of cover and annual limit you need. What works for a 24-year-old, might not be the best extras health insurance for a 65-year-old.
- Under 30: If you don’t wear glasses or need lots of dental care, you might not need extras health insurance and only want an ambulance-only policy, because Medicare does not cover the cost of ambulance services.
- Between 30 – 40: If you have a family or plan to start one, it might be more budget-friendly, in the long run, to consider a mid to top level extras cover that includes, antenatal, postnatal, orthodontics, various therapies and other services relevant to a growing family.
- Over 50: At this age, you likely don't need cover that includes maternity services or IVF, but a policy that has higher limits for major dental, optical and physiotherapy might be more appropriate, depending on your health.
- Over 65: You might want to consider extras insurance that includes ambulance services, a fuller range of prescription medications, osteopathy and podiatry.
- Over 70: People over the age of 70 usually requires more intensive general treatment services, including hearing aids, surgical stockings, home nursing, and comprehensive ambulance cover.
The cost of extras health insurance
If you want a more comprehensive policy, you’re probably looking for top ancillary cover and will need to pay more in premiums. Medium cover will usually cost less but provide fewer benefits and have more restrictions. Consider which benefits you are forfeiting to obtain a lower premium.
Make a list of treatments you regularly claim for (e.g. dental check-ups, physiotherapy, contact lenses or glasses etc.) and decide whether your yearly extras premium is less than what you would pay out-of-pocket if you had no cover.
Paying a larger excess will generally result in a lower premium. The more you're willing to pay to cover treatment, the cheaper your extras cover will usually be.
Compare benefit limits
Private health insurers set limits to the amount you can claim annually. Before purchasing a policy, review the policy’s annual limits, sub-limits and lifetime limits.
Should you switch your ancillary health insurance plan?
Competition among private health insurers is a good thing because it provides you with a broader variety of choices at different price points. So, request quotes from leading health insurance companies and decide which one offers you the best extras only health insurance policy.
If you then decide to switch extras policies, you'll be glad to know that when you choose a similar or a lower level of cover, you won’t have to reserve your waiting periods.
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