Choosing The Right Health Insurance Cover For You
Do you believe in paying for private health?
Are you using it to your best advantage?
I often find myself justifying my private health payments with the non-believers who feel it is just a “waste of money”. Sure that can be true, but not for me. As a full-time student and just all round stingy 25-year old, I ensure all my money goes to all the right places. And for me, paying for private health each week is one of those right places.
However, this wasn’t a, hand my debit card over with eyes closed situation... I did my research and I play the field (no pun intended).
At the Fieldwork front desk, I have multiple clients asking me,
“is $24 a decent rebate?”
“how much do other clients get back?”
“arrrgh bloody BUPA they give me nothing back”
I then share my very own HEALTH INSURANCE HACKS that I’ve been working on for a few years.
Before reading on, here’s what you’ll need to succeed in carrying out
HEALTH INSURANCE HACKS:
Guts! Get ready to be your own ballsy accountant
Here are my 5 HEALTH INSURANCE HACKS that I’d love to share with you!
#1 - Only Pay for What You Use.
Hospital cover, lifestyle/extras... or both?
If you don’t need dental implants, then why are you paying for them each week? Think about what health services you will be accessing within the next six months and choose extras as part of a lifestyle/extras package.
Set your health goals to help guide you with what services you'll need. If you discover you will need Physio and Massage for 2months, opt for a lifestyle/extras cover that offer a great money pool for both. If you know you want laser eye surgery in a year or so, great! Start paying for it each week as there is usually an unavoidable 12month waiting period. But if you can see clearly, don't pay for optical cover!
However, sometimes this is hard to avoid as optical usually comes at baseline with most providers.
If I don't need reading classes, well...I just go into Specsavers and use my health insurance to buy some funky sunglasses! Obama approves!
#2 - Max Out & Switch
Once you’ve set up your health fund- start using it! And often!
If you’re paying for massage and physiotherapy, start having treatment every week or every two weeks! Once again, you should have set some health goals for yourself.
If your cover includes a free scale and clean- call the dentist!
If your cover includes glasses, hit up Specsavers! You can usually get two pairs for free!
When you use your private health frequently, it will MAX OUT! As I have massages every week, my health fund ran out in 5months. But as the HBF door closed, the AHM door opened. What I mean is, as soon as I maxed out my funds with HBF, I called and cancelled my payments and told them I will be back when the funds roll over at the end of the year.
I then joined AHM that same day (lifestyle/extras ONLY) and started having massages again the
As I said, play the field!
#3 - Save Your Gap Saver
If you’re paying for a Gap Saver, you might want to consider not using it and letting it roll over and stack up. For example, if you pay $50/quarter, that’s $200 for the year. Did you know you don't have to use the $50 within it’s quarter? You can let your Gap Saver tally up to $200 then use it all at once! This is suitable if you’re having major dental or something like laser eye surgery and you don’t want to be left with a big gap on the treatment day.
So save up that Gap Saver and get those braces done at the end of the year!
Just ask your health provider to take it off the automatic setting and when you’re ready to apply that $200, let your health provider know before the big appointment.
#4 - Combine Fund Limits
Where possible, choose a health provider that lets you combine all your service funds
into one big money pool.
For example, if your health fund offers $200 for Dental and Optical, $300 for Physiotherapy and $300 for Massage, request that you have a combined fund of $1000. (This is only possible with certain health care providers and and under certain packages)
Why do this?
Well if you know that you’re going to be needing more than $300 for Massage, you don’t want to be capped at your limit. So if your limits are combined, you actually have up to
$1000 for massage. This is what I have previously done with HBF.
Combined fund packages usually max out pretty quick, but that’s ok- remember HACK #2.
#5 - Avoid Waiting Periods
Now this is where those GUTS come in that I mentioned earlier.
If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s the silly ‘waiting period’ rule. It pretty much means you’re not able to use something that you’re already paying for. *cough “scam!” cough*. Why should you have to wait to see a physiotherapist if you’re in pain? When choosing your health provider, if they mention waiting periods, utter these magic words...
“no i refuse to wait."
"I am in pain now and need to start treatment."
"I am happy to go elsewhere that will waive waiting periods for me.”
Simple as that! Be ballsy...but realistic; this would only work for lifestyle/extras like Physiotherapy, Massage, Minor Dental, and Optical. Understandably, major dental and surgeries that cost a few hundred bucks or thousand, you would need to wait a year.
It’s now time for you to look at your health insurance and see what you’re paying for, how much it is costing you and how often you use it. It may be time to lower down to a more basic cover or to switch to a different fund.
Or... perhaps you should get creative and join more than one healthcare provider at one time.
Right now I am paying for Urgent Ambulance cover ONLY with HBF for the year... and Lifestyle cover ONLY with AHM every week. Being a member of both providers for different covers, is the cheapest and most beneficial option for me.
Still confused if health insurance is right for you? Start googling! Bring up all the healthcare provider websites and compare. I often tell clients that it's all about setting aside the time to reassess your finances and explore the market.
Or maybe... you simply, don’t need it!
Check out the video below and listen in on the debate at Studio 10
Ok total brain explosion!?
Want to talk this all out? Feel free to chat to me at the front desk next time you visit our Inglewood clinic.
Front Of House Extraordinaire
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