If you’ve ever scratched your head, wondering whether health cover extras are worth it, you’re not alone.
The short answer is the true value of taking out an extras health insurance policy depends on a whole range of factors, from our individual health needs to our lifestyle choices.
But before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s chat about what health cover extras actually are.
What’s All This Talk About Health Cover Extras?
In Australia, we divide private health insurance into two main categories:
Hospital insurance swoops in to cover costs tied to treatments in the hospital. On the other hand, extras cover is your safety net for services not covered under Medicare.
Extras insurance covers everything from:
- Dental check-ups
- Chiropractic care
- Remedial massage
- Optical care
- And even handy add-ons like contact lenses and hearing aids
There are different levels of extras cover, and if you take out top extras cover, you’ll be covered for pretty much every extra under the sun.
Out-of-Pocket Costs – What’s the Damage?
One of the big reasons we Aussies lean towards an extras policy is to dodge those sky-high out-of-pocket expenses out-of-pocket expenses of popular health services.
We all know healthcare services can be a bit steep, and let’s face it, Medicare can only do so much.
Extras cover does its part by offering health insurance rebates on specific health services, potentially saving us a tidy sum.
But remember, your rebate level and the number of services covered all depends on your policy, your annual limits, and your provider.
Weighing Up the Extras Benefits and Premiums
Like every type of insurance, extras cover comes with premiums. This is basically what you pay fortnightly, monthly or yearly for the pleasure of having private health insurance. You could pay as little as $20 a month to over $100 per month, depending on your level of coverage.
So, it’s essential to have a good hard think about whether the cost of these premiums is worth the benefits you’re getting.
For example, if you’re a regular at the physio or need some orthodontics work, an extras policy that covers these services might just be a sensible investment.
The Lowdown on Waiting Periods and Annual Limits
Just a heads-up on the waiting periods that come along with extras health insurance. These are the set timeframes during which you can’t claim any benefits after starting or upgrading a policy.
They can vary, depending on your health fund and the type of service. Annual limits, on the other hand, are the maximum amounts you can claim for particular services each financial year.
So, before you sign up, make sure you’re clear on these terms to avoid any unpleasant surprises down the line.
What are health cover extras?
Health cover extras services, also known as ancillary cover, are a type of private health insurance in Australia that provides coverage for services not covered by Medicare. These services can include dental check-ups, physiotherapy, chiropractic care, osteopathy, podiatry, remedial massage, and additional benefits like contact lenses and hearing aids.
Why do Australians consider getting extras cover?
Many Australians opt for extras cover to avoid high out-of-pocket costs associated with healthcare services. While Medicare provides coverage for certain treatments, extras cover offers rebates on specific health services like chiro and optometrist, potentially saving individuals a significant amount of money.
How do waiting periods and annual limits affect extras cover?
Waiting periods are timeframes during which you cannot claim benefits after starting or upgrading an extras policy. The length of waiting periods varies depending on the health fund and the type of service. Annual limits, on the other hand, refer to the maximum amounts you can claim for specific services within a financial year. Understanding waiting periods and annual limits is important to avoid any surprises when making claims.
What factors should I consider when comparing extras cover providers?
When comparing extras cover providers, consider factors such as the range of services covered, the rebate level provided, annual limits, waiting periods, customer reviews, and the overall reputation of the insurer. Evaluating these aspects will help you make an informed decision.
Do health cover extras replace the need for Medicare?
No, health cover extras do not replace Medicare. Medicare remains the primary healthcare system in Australia, covering essential medical treatments and services. Extras cover acts as a supplement to Medicare, providing additional coverage for services not covered by the public system.
Can I claim health cover extras for consultations and hospital treatments?
No, consultations with doctors or hospital treatments are generally covered under hospital insurance rather than extras cover. Extras cover focuses on services like dental, physiotherapy, chiropractic care, and similar treatments that are not typically performed in a hospital setting.
Does extras insurance cover exempt me from lifetime health cover loading (LHC) and Medicare levy surcharge?
No, you need to take our hospital cover to be exempt from the LHC or Medicare levy surcharge.
What are some of the most popular extras policies?
Medibank, Bupa, and HBF offer some of the most popular extras cover policies in Australia.
So, is Extras Cover Worth It?
In the end, whether health cover extras are worth it really boils down to your personal needs, health goals, and budget. So take some time to shop around, compare providers, and find the right fit for you.
Need help to find the right extras health cover provider? Let CHI be your trust guide. Use our simple online comparison tool below to find the best value extras cover for your needs – in just a few minutes!