Are your health insurance extras really worth it?
One of the most common complaints we get here at the Fiftyup Club is from members saying they pay substantial dollars in premiums and don’t ever make a claim. Don’t let this happen to you.
One policy you can try to get more value out of is called “Extras Cover” and includes things like dental, optical, physio etc, in other words, procedures that aren’t performed in a hospital generally.
Latest Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) statistics revealed more than 13.5 million Australians (about 55 per cent of the population) have some form of extras cover. But are we all making the most of it?
Click here to shop around using HealthInsuranceComparison.com.au and ask an expert to help you get better value for your money
Or, if you prefer to do the legwork yourself, here are 3 ways to get more out of your extras cover:
1. Find out what extras you could be saving on
I recently popped into Specsavers to get my 2 pairs of glasses for $199 as I do every year or two. I’m grateful every year for this health fund benefit and the money it saves me.
You may not think it’s worth the extra money to have “extras” but some of the things you can claim for with some funds include:
- Dental – Routine and Major
- Certain pharmacy items
- Laser Eye Surgery
- Natural Therapies
- Diet and Nutrition
I’m entitled to 2 visits to my dentist each year for “preventative treatment”, in other words, a check up and clean. By taking advantage of this, I could save myself out of pocket expenses down the track if the dentist finds a problem early.
2. Check you are using your extras!
Extras limits expire annually and cannot be accumulated. Most health funds reset each year on January 1 so check with your fund. (Defence Health resets on July 1). With most funds you can check your claims history easily either through an app or via an online portal or just call your health fund and ask.
If you’re not using your extras now and won’t be in the future, it could be worth considering dropping some from your policy to reduce your premiums.
On the other hand, if you’re entitled to say $200 a year on optometry and you wear glasses, make sure you claim a new pair each year.
3. Do a cost-benefit analysis
The simplest way to know if you’re getting more than you’re putting in for extras is to do an annual comparison.
Ask your fund how much you claimed last year on extras all-up, and how much you spent.
Put the two numbers side-by-side and see if you came out in front.
If not, consider claiming more this year if you think that’s worthwhile – or maybe dropping the extras policy (you can do this and still avoid the extra tax hit because the government rewards you for having a hospital policy at tax time, not an extras policy).
FIFTYUP CLUB MEMBER OFFERS:
Click here to shop around using HealthInsuranceComparison.com.au. The Club has teamed up with them because they specialize in older policyholders and saved 100 older customers an average of $375^ on their premium last year.
Click here to see the members’ offer from HCF, or call the hotline for a quote: 1800 345 044
^ Savings figure is based on data from 100 customers of Choosewell/HealthInsuranceComparison.com.au, analysis conducted Jan-Mar 2016.