Shopping for health insurance might not be the most exciting of activities, but having this important insurance cover is crucial for yourself and your family. Unless you get health insurance through your job where you’re probably provided with a plan chosen by your employer, you’ll have a vast range of different options to choose from.
Unfortunately, choosing health insurance can be a super confusing task, so keep the following factors in mind to help you choose an insurer and policy that’s the right fit for you.
#1. Annual limits:
Most policies will feature annual limits, which basically place a cap on the amount that you are able to claim each year for individual services. Be sure to compare the annual limits between funds, so that you are sure of the extent of the cover provided and double check whether the limits are set per person or per policy.
#2. Restricted membership funds:
Bear in mind that some funds will restrict membership to people who work in certain occupations, for example, emergency services or transport employees. If you work in this kind of occupation, it’s always worth checking whether or not you are eligible for restricted fund membership, where you can take advantage of lower insurance premiums more often than not.
#3. Extra benefits and bonuses:
Many insurers will also offer a wide range of additional benefits to members as part of their cover. For example, this could include dental and eyewear discounts, gap-free services for kids, discounted or free health management programs to help you stay in shape, and discounts with a wide range of retail partners. It’s always worth taking a look at any extras on offer first so that you can determine which would be the most suitable for your lifestyle and needs.
#4. Policy types:
You will need to determine which type of policy is best for your needs. Consider your lifestyle and current health to figure out which type of private cover would be the most suitable. There are three types to choose from; hospital cover allows you to receive treatment as a private patient in any hospital, extras cover will provide you with the additional general healthcare services that are not covered by Medicare, and ambulance cover will provide cover for the cost of emergency ambulance transportation and treatment. Ambulance cover can be taken as a standalone policy or as an add-on to one of the two other policies. You can also opt for combined cover, which provides all three options in one package.
Don’t forget about your own personal budget too when it comes to choosing the right health insurance. Whilst higher monthly or annual premiums often mean that you get a higher level of cover with more included, the last thing that you want is to be paying out more than you can afford. It’s a good idea to sit down first and go through your income and outgoings to determine how much you can afford to spend on a health insurance policy each month or year. It’s always worth considering whether it’s worth paying more – if you’re fairly healthy, don’t suffer with any health conditions, and haven’t needed to get medical attention other than a check-up for a while then you might be just fine with a cheaper plan.
#6. Other medical services:
In addition to getting cover for medical care such as emergency treatment and hospital stays, you may also want to think about including other medical and healthcare services with your cover. For example, dental work tends to be quite expensive, so it’s worth looking into whether or not you can get an insurance policy that covers you for dental treatments, too. If you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, it could be useful to think about getting insurance that offers additional cover for maternity care, or if you wear glasses or contact lenses, look for cover that includes the cost of visiting the optometrist and any treatments that you may require. Getting all your medical needs covered in the same place can often work out cheaper, but don’t rule out getting separate policies for each – shop around to find the most cost-effective option.
#7. Check the fine print:
Last but not least, check the fine print for your health insurance here to make sure that you know exactly what it entails. Some key areas to take notice of include your excess, which is the amount that you will have to pay if you make a claim, the waiting period which you will need to undergo before you can redeem the benefits of the cover, and what is and is not covered, particularly if you have any pre-existing health conditions.
Getting the right health insurance is crucial when it comes to having access to the best care and treatment.