Want the Cheapest Private Health Insurance?
Everybody wants the cheapest private health insurance, right? Well you’d be surprised how many Australians are paying way too much for health cover. It makes Billy Explores angrier than getting bad sushi for lunch. That’s why he’s made it his mission to help Aussies get the best deal on their health insurance.
Billy’s even been busy tapping away at his keyboard to make this handy guide for all you Aussies out there who want the cheapest private health insurance. Read on to find out more!
Understand Your Needs
Understanding your health insurance needs is the first thing to think about. In a perfect world, nobody would get sick or need health cover. However, we’re not in a perfect world nor can we predict the future. We never know when we might get sick, but only you can make an informed decision about the type of health insurance you need.
For example, if you’re an incredibly fit and healthy person, you probably don’t even need health cover, right? Wrong! In fact, if you play a lot of sports or put extra strain on your body, there’s a strong chance you may need some form of surgery at one time or another. Likewise, if you leave a not-so-healthy lifestyle, you could be at risk of a whole range of health problems.
Nobody can predict when they’ll get sick or injured. That’s why you need to be satisfied you’ve got the best cover for your individual needs. Hospital cover is a great idea for everybody, but you may be able to save some money by not choosing a whole range of extras you won’t use.
Choose the Right Extras
Many health funds offer different levels of extra cover, such as:
- Basic Extras
- Medium Extras
- Comprehensive Extras
The basic package will provide a small range of services, compared to a comprehensive package with everything you could ever need. Some of the services you’ll be covered for with an extras policy include:
- Medical equipment/appliances (hearing aids etc)
- Natural and Alternative therapies (naturopathy, acupuncture)
- Pharmaceuticals not covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
- Gym memberships
Essentially, an extras policy works on a reimbursement basis. Depending on the provider, you may be able to claim through your private health fund straight away, or submit a claim for reimbursement later. Most levels of cover will have an annual limit you can claim, so read very carefully about what your policy covers. If you don’t need it, ditch it and save money!
Beware – Cheapest Private Health Insurance Now, Big Costs Later
It’s tough finding the right balance between the cheapest private health insurance and the most effective insurance. A private health insurance policy may seem cheap and look great, but like most things the devil is in the detail.
One of the worst scenarios is to be paying your health insurance premiums for years only to be disappointed when you need it. Some of the cheapest private health insurance deals may not cover certain types of surgeries or treatments. It would be horrible to pay for years, only to suffer from an illness that isn’t covered. Not only will you be out of pocket for the treatment you need, you’ll feel like the years of health insurance payments have been wasted.
So, when you’re choosing cover, remember that cheapest isn’t always best. Find yourself some cover that has a good range of inclusions without costing an arm and a leg.
Pick a Manageable Excess
Excess is a lump sum amount payable should you have to claim on your hospital cover. The way excess affects your monthly premium is nice and easy:
- Low excess payment, higher monthly premium
- High excess payment, lower monthly premium
Do you imagine needing to go to hospital more than once every 5-10 years? If not, you’re better off choosing a high excess which reduces your ongoing monthly costs. If you’re admitted to hospital it may be a little more difficult to manage. But if your hospital visits aren’t too frequent, you’ll probably save the money in your monthly premiums.
Comparatively, if you’re at a stage in life where you think hospital visits may become more regular, you may favour a low excess. Your monthly premiums will be a little higher. However it won’t cost as much if you’re admitted to hospital.
Avoid Expensive Future Costs with the Lifetime Health Cover
One of the easiest ways to get the cheapest private health insurance is to take out cover before you turn 31. The Australian government has introduced an initiative called Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading. It’s designed to encourage Australians to take out health cover at a younger age. Here’s how it works:
Every year after your 31st birthday, your health insurance will be subject to a 2% loading if you don’t already have cover. It’s important to remember that if you already have hospital cover when you turn 31, you will always be entitled to the lowest rate you can find through a provider. You pay no extra loading.
For example, if you waited until age 35 to take out health cover, that’s five years worth of loading you’d have to pay. 2% each year for five years means your cover would cost 10% more. The loading rate stays with you for ten years, so getting in before age 31 can save you plenty of money per year.
Reassess Your Cover Regularly
Making sure you’re only paying for the things you need is another good way to save money. As we get older, our private health insurance needs change.
You may not have needed extras when you were in your 20’s, but in your 30’s you may find greater benefit in having them. Check your policy regularly. There may be ways you can save money.
Compare to Find the Cheapest Health Insurance
Probably the easiest way to find the cheapest private health insurance fro our panel of providers is with Billy Explores help! Billy has already done the hard work, so all you need to do is pay him a visit and let him compare health insurance plans for you!