Health insurance is a well-known product, but it’s not necessarily well understood. It’s for this reason that everyone from comparethemarket.com.au works hard to demystify these products for every Australian who may need it.
With that in mind, we’re here to explain what health insurance is, and why it can be a smart purchase for any household.
What is private health insurance?
Private health insurance is a product that can help cover your healthcare costs. Depending on the type of cover you take out, a health insurance policy can help pay for your treatment as a private patient in a hospital (i.e. hospital cover) or treatment outside of hospitals (extras cover). Additionally, combined health insurance policies cover both hospital and general treatment costs.
However, there may be restrictions on what you can and cannot claim. For example, certain treatments require you first sit through a waiting period. By making you wait several months before you can claim, the health fund can be sure that you’re not just joining up to take advantage of subsidised treatment before cancelling. This kind of behaviour would increase the cost of health insurance for everyone, which is why waiting periods must be observed for many types of treatments.
How much does health insurance cost?
Your health insurance premium – the amount you pay monthly or yearly to maintain cover – is affected by a range of factors, including (but not limited to):
- The excess you choose to pay in the event of a claim
- The product and insurer you chose
- Your level of cover
- The Private Health Insurance Government Rebate (itself determined by your family status and income)
- How many people your insurance policy covers
When you need to pay for treatment, you can either make a claim online, over the phone or in person at a brick & mortar store. Alternatively, you can take advantage of HICAPS to make a claim instantly, which will cover part (or all) of the cost of treatment.
Do you feel you’re paying too much for health insurance? We’ll explain how you can drive down costs.
Why should you take out private health insurance?
The cost of medical treatment will always be significant to regular Australians. If you’re wary of these costs, or would prefer to be treated as a private patient, consider taking out health insurance.
- Already have a policy? Learn how easy it can be to switch health funds or policies.
- Don’t know what to look for? We’ll show you how easy it is to compare health insurance.
- Still confused? We’ll give you a few more tips to help you select a policy.
Need help? Call us to speak with one of our health insurance experts on 13 32 32. And if you’re ready to find a better deal for yourself, get started with our health insurance comparison tool.