Waiting periods refer to the amount of time you will have to wait before you can claim on your private health insurance policy. New policyholders are required to serve these waiting periods when they first join a health fund.
Why do health insurers have waiting periods?
It’s simple: without waiting periods, people could sign up for cover and immediately claim on something expensive (like dental surgery), and then cancel their policy before paying anything substantial. This would effectively allow anyone to access greatly discounted private treatment, which would mean insurers would need to increase premiums to compensate for their losses. Regular Aussies would then have to shoulder these increased costs.