According to the government's Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO), one of the "golden rules" of having health insurance is keeping your premium payments up-to-date.
Doing so will save you money in the long run, and it will also make sure that you can actually access the medical care covered by your policy if and when you need it.
The following are a few tips to help you manage your policy payments.
How can I make sure I pay on time?
A good way to make sure your payments are always on time is by setting up a direct debit.
Doing so will mean you don't have to worry about remembering when to pay or if you've already paid – it'll all be taken care of.
However, PHIO encourages anyone paying by direct debit to keep an eye on their bank statements – just to make sure you aren't accidentally paying more or less than you need to.
The majority of health funds will require you to make payments in advance. Some even offer incentives, such as discounts, to customers who are willing to pay their premiums at least three months in advance.
So, if you're super organised, why not talk to your health insurance provider or the team at HICA about paying this way?
What happens if I do fall behind?
Some health funds will allow you a grace period of a few weeks if you do happen to fall behind with your payments, but this is best avoided.
Your health insurance policy will not help you to cover the costs of hospital treatment or diagnostic, therapeutic and custodial services if you are too far behind on your payments.
If you fall two months or more behind on your premium payments, your policy will lapse and you will no longer be insured.
PHIO explains that insurance providers may not "accept payment of arrears in excess of two months". That means any waiting periods may apply again when you resume payments.
If you are only temporarily unable to keep up with payments, your insurance provider may be willing to set up some sort of payment plan.
How can I find out more?
If you want to know more about managing your Australian health insurance policy payments, or what kind of health insurance plans are out there, contact HICA today.
Our private health insurance comparison services can help you find the policy that best suits your health and financial needs.