If you are considering taking out health insurance, then it's important to know the type of cover that you're after.
There are two types of private health insurance, with hospital policies covering you when you go to hospital and general treatment policies – also known as extras or ancillary – covering you for ancillary treatment (such as dental or physiotherapy).
Some health insurers offer combined policies that have a 'packaged cover' for both hospital and general treatment services, or you can choose to 'mix and match' through buying separate hospital and general treatment policies.
"Both hospital and general treatment products are available with varied levels of cover, and few of the available range are exactly the same – products vary by a mix of exclusions, restrictions, benefit limitations, excesses and co-payments," The Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC) states.
Generally, products with lower levels of insurance cover are cheaper than more comprehensive cover.
PHIAC states that there are four main levels of cover that are commonly offered.
This is a comprehensive level of insurance that covers the majority of insurable services, with benefit levels designed to "minimise out-of-pocket" expenses.
A mid-level insurance cover, this often specifies a select range of services which are not covered, with generally lower benefits than top cover options.
This is a low-level insurance that covers a "minimal set of services, generally having low benefits and additional out-of-pocket expenses.
"Hospital treatment insurance that covers the lowest amount that an insurer is permitted to pay for a hospital service and generally designed to cover services provided in public hospitals," PHIAC states.
Your health consultant can help you with a private health insurance comparison so that you have a plan that is most appropriate to your health and financial needs.