Party of Five - Tips and Tricks for choosing health insurance
So I really am a nerd at heart and will take time to bother changing insurers, banks, take advantage of balance transfers (when I had a credit card, I no longer do). Although I offered to share what I excitedly found out about private health insurance, I didn't actually expect the IG Story vote to come out with this one on top.
So what have I discovered.....
1. If you are under 31, have a good job - get health insurance. I have had health insurance since my early 20s due to income and tax benefits, particularly when I was married. But Wayne, being an Aussie by default now, never had health insurance until he met me. Little Miss Responsible set that straight given he was paying the medicare levy anyway but because he was over 31 he gets slogged with a percentage loading on top of his fees for ten years!!! However, because he's joined forces with me and I had it so young, his loading is halved because I don't get charged one. So if you are looking to put finances together with someone, definitely look into your health insurance options.
2. Have a look at Members Health Fund Alliance - these funds provide more bang for your buck! It covers certain industries but if an immediate family member is employed in these industries you may be able to access it as well. Many also allow you to access them if you are an ex-employee too.
3. If you are looking into extras then see whether you can consider splitting your hospital and extras across funds. I didn't realise this, but you can have one fund covering hospital and another covering extras so you can really tailor it to what you need. I had figured it was sort of a one in all in type thing. Apparently not!
4. Be mindful if you are joining forces with someone that often extras limits are combined for everyone under the policy. So for instance, one fund I inquired with would give us $300 in chiro per year combined. Well that won't go far for us given I visit the chiro every second week and Wayne every month.
5. If you can't access a fund under Members Health Fund Alliance then really ask questions about how much you get back when you choose your own provider (think trusted Dentist) that might not be on their list. Health funds will tell you what a great return you can potentially get with a visit but don't share that if it is not on their list of providers then the rebate will decrease.
6. See if you can find a health fund where your extras cover can be flexible. For example, the health fund I went with has $900 per person per year that can be used across a range of services like chiro, physio, psychologists, dieticians, scripts etc. Often you will get $300 for the thing you use most but that's the limit and then you have all these other small limits for services that you never use but are roped into having.
7. Also ask about loyalty increases, one fund was offering an additional $100 each year on extras each year you stay with them - hey every little bit counts!
8. Try and think outside the box too - there was one that was offering lump sums back for swimming lessons for kids. This would have been good for us but the option we went with was too good to pass up!
Anyway, you may read this and think well you are slow on the uptake woman, I already know it all - but then again you might find a few new items there you can look out for. We all know the customer rarely wins out when it comes to insurances.