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Insurance Policy:
Broadly, the entire written contract of insurance. More narrowly, the basic written or printed document, as distinguished from the forms and endorsements added thereto.

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    Professional Indemnity Australia :: Articles

    Health Insurance Secrets

    Health Insurance Secrets

    1. Switch funds

    There are great deals out there and don't be afraid of switching funds.

    If you change funds and you have similar level of cover, you will not have to wait before you can claim.

    Often people don't switch funds because they falsely believe they'll have to go through a new waiting period.

    But legislation governing health funds guarantees that if you switch to another fund with the same level of cover, you will get continuity of cover.

    Don't set and forget your policy ... make sure the premium is still competitive.

    2. Review your extras

    Many consumers opt for hospital cover as well as ancillary cover for dentistry, physiotherapy, optical requirements and others.

    The is a wide variation between funds on what you'll get back so make sure that your cover is competitive.

    Price of the policy must we weighed up with what you'll get back in real terms.

    Beware - Policies vary widely on rebates.

    For example some policies apply limits on a per person basis, or per policy basis, some apply per visit, or have annual limits or combinations of "limitations".

    This wide variation makes comparing extras almost impossible for the average consumer.

    3. Tailor-make your policy

    You need to work out what "life stage" you're at.

    According to a leading health insurance broker there are five broad life stages.

    “In over five years of operation we have seen tens of thousands of policy mismatches. If you're single you may not need hip replacement and if you're empty-nesters you won’t require birth cover."

    "Or for families with dependent children in their 20s, look for cover that includes your children up to the age of 25, rather than the standard 21."

    "Once you’ve finished your family remove the obstetrics cover, if your 40 plus then major dental is probably on the cards."

    In short, you should look at your situation, your family history and tune your policy accordingly.

    4. Part-pay the hospital bill

    By agreeing to pay a higher excess - up to the first $500 of a hospital bill if you're single, $1000 if you're a family - you can cut your premium cost.

    Or you can pay less by agreeing to a daily "co-payment" - a set amount per night for each night you're in hospital - for example, $50 for five nights.

    Funds use either or both.

    Choose a fund that doesn't charge a co-payment on day surgery since it could save you money in the long run.

    5. Mix, Match & Review

    You don't need to have both hospital and extras cover with the same insurer.

    Often you can get a better deal on ancillaries with a different provider.

    With premiums rising at up to 3 times the rate of inflation it’s vital to review whether you policy is competitive in the market.

    Make sure that your orthodontics cover is giving you the maximum back.

    Choosing the right extras cover can make a huge difference in your out-of-pocket expenses.

    6. Don't Pay the Taxman

    Beware! If you’re moving up the income scale, you could be paying an extra 1% in tax through the Medicare Levy Surcharge if you don't have private health insurance.

    For example ... if you're single earning $50,000 a year or above, or a family earning $100,000 or more, you are exposed to an EXTRA 1 per cent Medicare Levy Surcharge ... in addition to the 1.5 per cent Medicare Levy that you're already paying.

    7. Use a broker

    Using a broker helps take the mystery of Private Health Insurance.

    Plus, by using a broker, you’re getting choices and comparisons on what’s available for your individual circumstances.

    A good broker you can often cut policy costs by up to 30% and help you find the best rebates on offer.

    Using a broker usually you nothing because they are paid a fee by the funds – which are essentially standard across the industry.

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