A new calendar year offers a clean slate in many aspects of life. From joining a gym to eating more healthily, many people use the ticking over of the calendar as a means to review.
Whilst you don't have to do anything particularly drastic, making sure that your private health insurance is giving you the best possible coverage should be high on your list of resolutions. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Make sure your premiums are up-to-date
If your premiums are not up-to-date, your health fund is unlikely to pay out in the case of a claim being made. Also, if you fall behind on your premiums then your insurer could ultimately cancel your policy.
Taking the time to ensure that your payments are as they should be doesn't have to be laborious, and it will better help you understand whether you are getting the best from your policy.
Keep hold of all the paperwork
It can be easy to file away the paperwork that comes through from your health fund and forget about it over the course of the year. However, keeping track of – and reading – all of the information that is sent to you can be crucial in learning how your policy works.
Any changes to your premiums are likely to be announced to you in writing. Keeping all of the applicable paperwork organised and to hand will make it easier to deal with any issues further down the line.
Inform your insurer if circumstances change
If you're moving house, changing bank or even going overseas, keeping your insurer informed of your situation may slip down your to-do list. However, making sure that your health fund has only the most relevant information regarding your circumstances can avoid issues that arise if and when you need to make a claim.
Learn the limits of your benefits and extras cover
Extras cover – such as dental treatments or optometry – are likely to have limits on claims. If it's been a while since you reviewed your policy, double checking these can help understand how much financial assistance you will receive from your insurer in the event of such a claim.
Each health fund is likely to calculate their limits differently, so making sure you have a handle on what each individual insurer can offer you is key if you want your policy to be as effective as possible.
Tell your health fund promptly after you receive treatment
Whilst reviewing your policy is all well and good, you will only find out how useful it can be in the event of a claim. Getting treatment as soon as possible is a priority in most cases – especially emergencies – so informing your health fund of exactly what has happened may slip your mind.
However, if you want to have any benefit paid promptly, telling your insurer of the nature of your claim as soon as possible is incredibly important. Furthermore, as time passes, you are also more likely to misplace receipts and invoices which will be needed by your health fund as and when they process your case.
Review your policy
Reviewing your policy to make sure it is most applicable to you should be done at least once yearly. Think about whether you are getting best deal for your money, and begin comparing your policy with similar ones offered by your current, and other health funds.
If you go through this process and decide you need extra impartial advice, talking with experts can really help identify which is the right health insurance policy for you. To do just that, discuss your options with HICA on 1300 44 22 01.