- With the change in age, health, interests and mental conditions, healthcare insurance too requires a switch or a modification.
- Health funds provide a fact sheet called the Private Health Information Statement (PHIS) for all the policies that help one compare the existing cover with the others in the market.
- In Australia, where reviewing and changing medical health insurance is common, a few points should be considered before planning an insurance coverage change.
Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously said that ‘the only constant in life is change’. With changes being an inevitable part of life, it is normal to see people change in age, interests, situations, and health.
A shift in an individual’s health might necessitate an adjustment in methodologies one uses to take care of it. Thus, it completely makes sense that as health status changes, healthcare cover too needs alterations and modifications.
In Australia, reviewing and then changing healthcare covers often is a common thing.
How to reevaluate your existing healthcare policy?
As we grow older, searching for better healthcare coverage is something what should be our prime focus. We can start by mulling a review or change of the existing cover by analysing the current benefits. Are they relevant to our lifestyle? For instance, there are different policies and health funds for different health situations like expecting the first child needs a policy upgrade.
Switching health insurance funds shouldn’t be a tough task. Health funds provide a fact sheet called the Private Health Information Statement (PHIS) for all the policies. This helps one compare the existing cover with the others in the market.
In addition, a Standard Information Statement (SIS) can be obtained from the insurer or online at privatehealth.gov.au for any policy in order to check the details.
Main considerations while switching health insurance
One should check the benefit limits for special services. They are normally a fixed amount, listed as a dollar amount. But sometimes, this limit can be listed in form of a percentage or the PHIS. This suggests that the fund will provide that percentage of the actual cost of the service. Though, if one sees a benefit listed as a percentage in a fund’s marketing material, it may mean something else. Hence, it is always advisable to go by the PHIS.
One should be cautious of lifetime limits and get them combined with annual limits for an assortment of services. For instance, if a person opts for a package like $400 for physiotherapy, natural therapies and chiropractic, and claims $400 for only physiotherapy, he will not be able to claim for any other service throughout that 12-month duration.
For Extras cover, one should take into account the services that are used the most. Services like dental treatment, optometry and physiotherapy make extras cover interesting. Hence, one must think of those general treatments that are used most often and then check the annual cap per person and per family.
If an individual is switching healthcare insurance to a plan that features services comparable to the old cover, the waiting period he has completed gets waived off.
Search for lesser costs and try to save. There are funds that offer considerable discount on payments with direct debit or by paying annual premium upfront. Just keep an eye, keep researching.
There is no need to be worried if one loses the loyalty bonus after switching the healthcare insurance. There are instances where the new policy recognises the previous loyalty limits.
On opting hospital cover
If an individual is in the pink of his health and the only reason for opting hospital insurance is the LHC, one can go for an inexpensive hospital cover policy and can upgrade later, when it is needed.