Guest Post: With 2015 just around the corner, it’s a great time to review your health insurance situation. Even if you’ve had a policy for years, you may be missing out on ways to cut back on your premiums without compromising your level of cover. Here are eight hot holiday tips for getting the most from your health insurance in 2015.
Why it’s good to re-evaluate your health insurance needs
1. Choose a health insurance policy that’s right for you
Ideally, your health insurance policy will cover the services that are most important to you – or as much of this as your budget will accommodate. Depending on your life stage, these needs will change. Young and healthy singles can often get away with having a basic hospital policy that excludes obstetrics and age-related services but this type of policy will be far too restrictive for families and seniors, for example.
2. Review your policy annually
Even if you’re not moving into a different life stage, it’s still wise to review your health insurance at least once a year to make sure that it is still the most appropriate option for your situation and your budget. Now is an ideal time to look at your existing policy and seeing if you can cut back anywhere without getting rid of services that you definitely need.
3. Assess the right policy for your age bracket
With a mid to top-level hospital policy, you might currently be paying for services that are irrelevant to your situation. This is particularly true for those who are young and healthy and are not expecting to need to use services that become more necessary as you get older, such as joint replacement surgery, cataract surgery and cardiac services.
4. Downgrade your policy
You can save money on your premiums by downgrading to a lower level of hospital cover that still gives you good peace of mind. Many health funds offer hospital-only or hospital and extras cover that is aimed specifically at young and healthy singles, for example.
6. Drop unnecessary policy items
If you are not planning to have a family any time soon or you have already finished having children, obstetrics is another area that you can drop without compromising on your cover.
7. Anticipate future needs such as planning a family
Waiting periods mean that you’ll have to anticipate when you may need certain services to avoid being caught out. Obstetrics is a prominent example, given that there is a 12-month waiting period. If you wait until pregnancy is confirmed, it will be too late to be covered. This means that you’ll need to already have obstetrics cover in place before it’s definitely needed. If you’re planning to start a family in the not-too-distant future, make sure that your policy includes obstetrics. For those on a basic hospital policy that excludes obstetrics, this will require you to upgrade to a broader policy.
8. Consider future dental needs
Major Dental is another area with a 12-month waiting period, which can be crucial if a check-up reveals that you require relatively significant dental work or you have children who are likely to need orthodontic treatment.
Think about the type of services that you’re likely to need cover for over the next year and get ready to upgrade your health insurance in line with this, if needs be.
Bonus Tip: Use your holiday time wisely
Use your free time during the holidays to take a good look at your policy and make sure that it is as cost effective as possible. Unless you’ve already got a basic policy that excludes services that are not relevant for your stage of life, there is often some scope for downgrading your cover for lower premiums. On the other hand, your changing situation may mean that you need to upgrade your policy in 2015 to avoid being caught out by waiting periods.
HealthInsuranceComparison.com.au is more than just a comparison site; we want to help more Australians to understand health insurance. Whether you’re just trying to get an idea of the market or you have a specific policy in mind, we’ll provide you with the tools and knowledge to make informed decisions about your health insurance options so that you can compare policies with confidence.
This post was written in collaboration with Health Insurance Comparison.