One thing you should consider when choosing the right health cover is to understand what options are available to you in your workplace. Before you get started, be sure to check whether your company has an arrangement with a health & care partner that could make you eligible for discounts and other benefits.
Health insurance policies can be made up of a combination of hospital and extras covers. All Bupa Hospital and most Extras covers include emergency ambulance services, usually capped at one (for singles) or two (for couples/families) trips or attendances per year. When reviewing policies, it’s important to make sure you compare the same level of cover (eg. hospital cover with hospital cover) for a fair and accurate assessment.
When comparing hospital covers, it’s important to look at the fine print. Are there any services your cover excludes? For those services that are included, how high is the level of cover? When comparing the price of hospital covers, check to see if the policy has an excess or co-payment. An excess or co-payment on your cover can lower the overall price of the premium, but will mean a payment is required upfront if you do need to go to hospital.
When comparing the services that are covered, you may come across the terms ‘minimum benefit’ and ‘restricted service’. You will be able to identify this if either term is noted beside each included service or procedure. These terms mean you’ll only be partially covered for a service and will likely have large out-of-pocket expenses should you need to be admitted to hospital.
Before you start searching for health cover, make a list of all the ‘extra’ health services you’re likely to need in the foreseeable future. Do you use a physio or visit the dentist? Do you need glasses?
Once you have a list of these services, compare the percentage or amount you’ll get back for a particular treatment and the dollar limit of what you can claim each year (or in some cases, over a lifetime).
Most Extras covers cap the amount you can claim per year on each service like ‘general dental’, ‘optical’ or ‘physio’. Other products will have a combined yearly limit that groups several services together and lets you claim up to that single set amount for all of those services. For example, if physio, osteo, chiro and natural therapies are all grouped together, it means that these services share an overall yearly limit. The more services that are bundled together, the more chances there are of you reaching your yearly limit, sooner than you’d like, which can be restricting.
Handy tip: If there is more than one person covered under your policy, remember to check that the limit for each Extras cover is per person or per membership.
Find out whether your health insurer provides additional support to help keep you healthy every day, in addition to supporting you when you’re sick or injured. For example, here at Bupa we offer Bupa Plus, an exclusive range of health discounts and tools to provide value to members even when they’re well.
We understand that illness can strike anytime. That’s why we teamed up with 13SICK (13 7425), National Home Doctor Service. As a Bupa member, you have complimentary access to their After Hours Plus membership. This means that when you need urgent medical care after-hours and book a bulk-billed home visit, should you require commonly prescribed medications, they will be provided on the spot at no cost.
To check coverage areas visit our website.
If you’re going to use a comparison website, it’s important to be aware that:
So there you have it. We hope we’ve given you enough information to help you make educated comparisons when it comes to choosing your cover.
Check out our buyers guide to spot quality and avoid Junk policies.
Private health insurance isn’t just for emergencies, it can offer value in your everyday...
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