Reviewing your health insurance at least once a year is a really good idea. Potentially, you could save money, and it’s a good idea to make sure you’re covered for everything you need to be. Saving money doesn’t necessarily mean you need to lose features of your cover. Often, there are things you can take away that you’ll never realistically use.
Often, Hospital cover is a mental and emotional decision. It is designed to give you peace of mind, so that it’s there if at any point in time you need it. Extras are deliberately designed to be used, to improve and maintain your health, and should be bought based on the value and what you’re able to get out of them. Often, it can be useful to look at the amount of claims you’ve made in a calendar year versus the amount you’ve paid for extras. If you’re finding you’re claiming a decent amount, or you’re claiming more than you’re spending each year, the extras pack you’re currently on will most likely be right for you.
- If you’re finding that you are not using your extras at all, or very little, it may be worth downgrading, or potentially not having extras. If you’re the type of person who only claims glasses once a year, or has the odd dental check up, you may want to consider your extras. You can take away things you definitely won’t use, or have no intention of using going forward. Too many people are on extras that include far more than they actually need.
- If you’re on a couples cover, have you considered both your needs and what each person is paying for? For example, there are a lot of young couples who are both paying for pregnancy cover, when the dad to be does not need to be covered for birthing or pregnancy related services. In this scenario, it’d be way more cost effective for mum to be on a pregnancy cover, and dad to be on a more general level of cover, so they’re not doubling up.
- We have extras cover that come in different percentage bases – and if you’re currently paying for a cover on one of our higher percentage bases (75, or 85 percent), you may want to look at downgrading to a lower package to save money. We have a range of cost effective extras packs that you may be able to downgrade to that’ll still suit your needs.
We understand that reviewing your health insurance isn’t exactly riveting stuff. It can be confusing and a massive chore, but the last thing we want is for you to be paying more than you need to, or to be on a cover that doesn’t suit your needs. In order to combat this, we recommend reviewing your cover at least once a year to ensure you’re getting the best value for money out of your health insurance. The below article is designed to help you self-review your cover, and make sure you’re on the correct product for yourself/your family.
Hospital vs Extras
Often, there are two main reasons why people buy hospital cover. Some people are driven by the need to feel covered, and purchase their health insurance with the day to day safety of themselves and their family in mind. Whilst you may not be currently suffering from a particular ailment or condition, the fact you’re covered and have the option to go to a private hospital in the event of an emergency/sickness is seen as an investment, and reason to pay the fortnightly/monthly premium.
Individuals also purchase hospital cover because they have an upcoming procedure and need to serve the waiting periods in order to have it done, avoiding potentially longer public waiting periods. This tends to be for major things like joint replacements, cataracts or any pre-existing condition that must be subjected to a 12 month waiting period before it can be covered.
Hospital cover is there to ensure you’re covered. However, actually using your cover to go into hospital is never ideal (who wants to be sick in hospital, right?). Extras are the best way to get day to day value out of your health insurance, while maintaining your health and ensuring you’re getting some value back for the money that you’re spending on your insurance.
The key point to remember here is that extras are designed to be used, whereas hospital (in most cases) is there in case you need it. If you’re spending a tonne of money on extras but not claiming, you may need to downgrade your extras pack to something a little more general, or even look at hospital only cover.
Take a look at the extras you currently have, and if there are quite a few you’re never going to use you should definitely look at downgrading. The aim of the game here is to spend the least amount of money for the most return. On the flip side, if you’re maxing out most of the limits you have each year ( or even running out too soon), you’re probably on the right package, or may even need to step up a bit higher in order to get even more value out of your insurance.