Impending increases to health insurance premiums from April may have you considering switching health funds to get a private health cover that better suits you and your family's medical and budget needs.
A health insurance plan review is especially important for those who have a progressive condition, as their health needs can significantly change over time.
Choosing to switch your health plan can result in you saving hundreds of dollars per year.
Portability – What is this?
Health fund members wanting to switch between health funds are protected by federal legislation which allows 'portability' for hospital cover.
What this means is that members will not have to be subject to waiting periods again when they change funds to an equal level of cover.
To be able to utilise portability, the old health fund needs to give you or your new appointed health fund a Transfer Certificate.
If you elect to receive the Transfer Certificate from your former fund, then it is recommended you send it to your new fund as soon as possible.
The Transfer Certificate ratifies the waiting periods that have already been served and identifies the level of cover that was previously held.
Also confirmed by the certificate is the member's Lifetime Health Cover status and who was previously covered by the membership.
To ensure members get the protection of portability, it is important to make sure that the fund is paid up to date before making the transfer.
When will the new benefits apply?
Waiting periods for hospital cover provide a one year wait for "pre-existing ailments and obstetric conditions", and generally there is a two month waiting period for all other conditions for new members.