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Switching Health Insurance: Complete 2022 Guide

Megan Fraser Updated: 07 April 2022
Types of Health Insurance

Are you looking for a new health insurance company? You may be wondering if you have to start your waiting periods all over again if you switch health funds. Or, maybe you’re curious about the benefits of changing health insurance companies. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about switching health funds so that you can make an informed decision.

We understand that making a change like this can be daunting, but we aim to make it as easy for you as possible. We’ve compiled all the information you need in one place, so read on to learn more about switching private insurance funds.

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Reasons for switching health insurers:

Health insurance switching can be complicated, but with most companies helping you during the transition, it’s not impossible. Before making this decision for yourself, consider your requirements and which insurer will best suit them at an affordable price. Below are the most common reasons people are changing health insurance companies or those who want to cancel health insurance altogether:

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Switching health insurance: A step-by-step guide

You can downgrade, upgrade, or switch your health insurance fund at any time of your choosing. If you’re wondering, “How can I change my health insurance?”, this is for you. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you change your health insurance provider:

  • Step 1: Gather quotes — Review various quotes from leading health insurance companies and compare which is best suited to your requirements.
  • compare which is best suited to your requirements.
    Step 2: Apply for cover — arrange coverage from your new fund and ensure premium payments of your old policy are up to date. Make sure to specify that your new membership should start once cover from your old fund has ceased as you don’t want to pay for both premiums.
  • Step 3: Request a clearance certificate — Also known as a transfer certificate, you will need to arrange one from your previous insurer. This certificate provides a record of your current health insurance coverage and must be completed within 14 days of a request. If your new insurer is handling the transfer, check to ensure your old policy details have been sent.
  • Step 4: Check the paperwork — Any additional paperwork from your new health insurer must be reviewed carefully to confirm that your purchase matches what you expect to be covered.
  • Step 5: Cancel your previous health cover —  once cancelled, be sure to check your bank statement to make sure the deductions have stopped.
  • Step 6: Start your new cover — Contact your new fund and permit them to deduct premiums from your bank account.

Switch insurers and take advantage of these sign up offers

There are many reasons one wants to switch health insurance policies, whether due to budget or a lifestyle change. Luckily, no matter what reason you’re changing, there are several sign up offers for new members that you can take advantage of. These include discounts, gift vouchers and more.

Will health insurance waiting periods be waived when you switch?

If you are switching to a new health insurance plan, there is generally no waiting period if your current policy’s coverage levels and types of benefits match or are lower than what’s in place. If not already completed after serving all required waiting periods (if applicable), then changing over to this new fund will provide continuity for those who have already served their allotted time frames. However, you’ll generally still be able to apply for cover with a pre existing condition.

However, suppose you’ve taken out a new policy, either a higher tier or allocate completely different benefits than your previous plan. In that case, you will have to wait the specified amount of time before claiming those benefits.

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What to consider before switching

  • Change of Requirements: Think about your stage in life and the type of healthcare services that will best suit you. For example, seniors might require coverage for hip or knee replacements depending on their current condition, while new families may need to purchase coverage that includes pregnancy services.
  • Benefits of New Plan: To ensure that you have the right type of coverage for your needs, conduct an analysis before investing in any funds.
  • Budget of Monthly Premium: The health fund might be affordable now, but what about in the future? You should review their history of yearly increases to indicate whether or not they will still offer good rates for your needs.
  • Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Your new fund may only partially cover certain treatments and services your previous fund fully covered. Be sure to investigate which out-of-pocket costs change and if the switch itself is worth it.
  • Loyalty Offerings: If you’re a loyal customer, many companies will give bonuses or discounts when switching over. You don’t want to get worse off in your new company.
  • Annual Limits: Annual limits are different for each health fund. But, if you want to be safe rather than sorry and ensure that your benefits stay covered, then get clarity on what percentage of services will count towards those yearly amounts before making a decision.
  • Network Providers: Make sure that the dentist, doctor and specialist of your choice is part of your new health fund’s network.
  • Customer Reviews: If you want to find the best health insurance company for your needs, check out what other people have said about their experience with them. You should also look at an insurer with a high customer satisfaction rate, so it will be easy on both yourself and any dependents in need of care.

Benefits of changing to a different health insurer

To help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of changing health insurance providers, we’ve listed some factors to consider. The decision is a personal one that should take into account your current needs as well as any changes in the future. Below is a list of benefits when changing health insurance policies and companies:

When is the best time to do a health insurance transfer

If you’re looking for a new plan this year, there are two periods where it may be worth your while. The first peak period before annual premiums increase on 1 April and another in June before the LHC loading kicks in for 31-year-olds on 1 July. 

Moving around these deadlines can provide discounts if you move during those months. However, switching at other times will only give certain promotions like medical saving accounts instead of true access per policy plans.

Tips for finding the best health insurance policy

The decision to purchase health insurance coverage for the first time can be one of considerable complexity. However, there are a few things you should know before making this important choice:

  • Decide what your specific healthcare needs are: When you take out insurance, it is important to think about what services are most necessary for your family’s health care needs. Do any household members require frequent trips into town, or do they have an unusual amount of optical requirements? Whatever their specific demands on medical attention may be. Choose accordingly so that there won’t ever be needlessly high bills from unnecessary procedures.
  • Review your budget: The most affordable monthly rates will cover the bare minimum, while more expensive health insurance policies provide comprehensive benefits. It’s important to analyse your budget and choose a plan that best suits your needs to avoid gaps when it comes time for treatment. However, if something better becomes available later on down the road, switching is always an option.
  • Always undertake a comparison: Health insurance can be a complicated topic, but luckily, many companies out there offer different policy levels to suit your needs. It’s important that you research each company and compare prices before making any decisions.
  • Check the out-of-pocket costs: Health care is an expensive business, and you may find yourself with extra expenses should your policy not cover it. For example, dental treatment or eyeglasses if need be, but don’t forget about the cost of these things when considering what’s covered.
  • Consider waiting periods: When shopping for health insurance, it is important to be aware of the waiting periods and monetary caps that come with each policy. Some policies restrict what treatments can be paid out-of-pocket, while others have an annual or lifetime cap on coverage. In addition, certain policies come with waiting periods that can range from two months to two years, so be sure to check the waiting periods before making your final decision.

Frequently asked questions

  • Can we shift from one health insurance to another?

    Yes, you can switch to a different health insurance provider. Just make sure that if there are any incomplete waiting periods left before making your claim for the service covered by their plan, it is completed so as not to incur penalty charges or delays when switching providers later on down the track. Remember that if you switch to a higher policy level, you may reserve your waiting periods.
  • When you can change your health insurance plan?

    You are entitled to change insurance providers at any time if you find that the coverage from your current health fund no longer meets your needs. It’s important, however, before switching over all of sudden and without comparing rates with other leading companies in order for it to be most effective on what will work best not just now but down the road as well.
  • What is portability in health insurance?

    Portability is a major benefit of health insurance. It guarantees that you can move your coverage from one company to another, provided it has been maintained without any breaks in between periods.
  • Is there a penalty for Canceling health insurance?

    Generally speaking, you do not have to face a penalty for changes. You can cancel your health insurance without penalty if you live in a state or region with its cancellation mandate. However, certain circumstances might mean that tax obligations will be imposed on top of any fees charged by the company – so make sure to research what’s possible before going through this process.
  • How do I transfer my health insurance policy?

    If you want to maintain your current policy or similar level of coverage but wish to change service providers, there is a simple way to do so. First, you need to review and compare various health insurance companies and the policies they provide that are of the same budget and benefits as your current plan. Once you’ve found a new company you trust, you can inform them that you want to make a switch, as well as notify your current insurance company. The new insurers will handle the paperwork for you; you just need to tell them the date you wish to cancel your policy and begin your new coverage.
  • Do I have to have Hospital cover and Extras from the same provider?

    No, you can choose to have Hospital cover with one insurer and Extras from another. Some people prefer this option as a way to find better value or save on premiums. However, it might require some more admin from your part. Make sure you know precisely which fund covers which policy type and keep records of your benefits, co-payments and annual limits.

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