Considering Health Insurance for the First Time? This is What you Need to Know
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Why do 50% of Australians take out health insurance?

Every Australian has access to the public health system at no additional cost. All taxpayers pay a Medicare Levy that funds it for everyone. So why pay for health insurance on top of this?

Health insurance provides you with more choice and control when it comes to your healthcare, and it may provide tax benefits. But it can also be expensive so it’s important to understand what you need before you sign on the dotted line.

There are only two types of cover you need to think about

1. Hospital cover

2. Extras cover

Each type pays benefits for different types of treatment. Most people take out combined hospital and extras cover, but you can choose one or the other depending on your needs.

1. Hospital cover – pays benefits toward the cost of treatment in hospital. It gives you control over:

  • WHO you’re treated by – some people prefer a surgeon recommended by their doctor
  • WHERE you’re treated – access to a private hospital close to home and a more comfortable environment
  • WHEN you’re treated – because waiting times are usually shorter in the private system

The level of hospital cover you choose determines the types of procedures you’re covered for (like pregnancy or heart surgery). The higher the level of cover, the more procedures you will be covered for.

When a procedure is “covered”, that means that 100% of the cost (minus any excess) of your hospital admission, and a proportion of your doctor’s fees, are paid by your health fund.

2. Extras cover – pays benefits towards treatment for things that Medicare doesn’t cover. This includes non-GP services like general dental, major dental, optical, physio and more.

Extras is all about your lifestyle and it’s the area where you can claim benefits more often. It’s the cover that you’ll actually use, whereas hospital cover is there just in case.

There are two different ways that health funds calculate benefits for extras treatment:

  • as a percentage of the fee charged by the provider (eg. 65% back from a dental consultation) – which works out best for occasional treatment, or
  • as a fixed dollar per visit (eg. $30 per Physio visit) – which can be more cost-effective for frequent treatment

Choose a cover with the option that’s going to suit you best. Then enquire about the total annual limits your cover will provide across different services.

If you never use these types of services, then maybe extras cover isn’t a must-have for you.

There are also two types of health funds you need to be aware of:

Once you know whether you want hospital or extras cover, or a combination of both, you need to think about which health insurer will give you the best peace of mind and best value.

1. Not-for-profit or mutual funds are run to benefit their members, so premiums are invested back into increasing benefits and improving customer service.

2. For-profits insurers, like Medibank, BUPA and nib, answer to their investors and focus on their business goals of delivering the best customer service.

The Compare Health Insurance Online compares and suggests funds that provide superior value through better coverage and more benefits, which is why we have happier customers.

Now, here’s one of the best kept secrets in health insurance

There are also not-for-profit funds connected to specific industries that millions of people qualify for but many Australians don’t realise they are eligible to join them.

This is a big deal because some of these funds (also known as ‘Restricted’ funds) can provide the best value. You can find out more about these health funds through the Compare Health Insurance Online comparison service.

Compare Health Insurance Online comparison service is a brilliant way of identifying the top policies for your needs, and you can finish off the process by talking to one of our health insurance experts. We can ensure that you’re going to be able to benefit immediately from your health insurance by exploring your waiting period options and also take the time to properly explain the tax benefits you’ll receive.

You can use our online comparison service to do most of the work for you, or give us a call on 1300 73 96 92, and we’ll find the best health cover for you from a panel of health funds.

How our service works

Enter a few details
1. Enter a few details

We’ll ask you some questions to better understand your needs and find cover that’s right for you.

Compare policies
2. Compare policies

Review your personalised policy options, or get some advice from our team over the phone.

Apply online
3. Apply online

When you’ve found the policy that’s right for you, apply online or give us a call and we’ll set up everything for you.

How we rate 5/5
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Very helpful

The person I spoke to was very helpful and not at all pushy. We ended up saving $1400 per year on family hospital cover.

Sarah HC
How we rate 5/5
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Great service & saved some money

I came across this service from a Facebook post and thought I had nothing to lose. And indeed I had everything to gain! Liz was most helpful - she did the hard yards in comparing my current cover with other funds in the market, and I ended up changing from our current provider with whom we'd been for over 30 years to another fund, providing high level benefits for a lower monthly premium. It was a seamless process with Liz making all the arrangements.

Margaret Blade
How we rate 5/5
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Fantastic customer service

Precise and very informative. Approach was very polite and friendly with a low key, non pushy style mixed with good humor, definitely very user friendly with sincere approach to needs of consumer and finally with an added bonus of excellent product knowledge. Thanks Tia.

Mike
How we rate 5/5
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I have only just joined

I have only just joined, but the advice and help I was given in finding the right policy for me was exceptional.

John McKay
5/5 heart rate
Tia’s service was great

She listened to everything I needed and I was able to save over $1,000 for the year on my health insurance. Thank you so much Tia :) Sarah, Greater Melbourne

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