Many Australians fall into the trap of believing once they have taken out a suitable health insurance policy, they have fulfilled their long-term healthcare requirements.
However, due to the competitive nature of the private health fund industry and unique lifestyle changes, it's important to review your private health cover regularly – ideally once a year – to ensure you still hold the best policy for your needs.
In fact, there are a few key reasons you may wish to change policy or provider. We've listed a few of these below.
Changing family situation
Any change in family situation can affect the level of cover you need. A good example of this is if you have started thinking about having children. Because of the typical waiting periods applied to pregnancy and childbirth benefits, you will need to select a new policy at least a year before the birth to ensure you can claim for any hospital accommodation costs or medical expenses.
On the other hand, if you previously held a family health plan but your adult children have now moved away from home, you could potentially reduce your premiums by downsizing to a policy to only cover your own healthcare costs.
A change in health
If you or a family member has developed a chronic health condition, you may wish to adjust your cover to better accommodate future medical needs. This could include decreasing excess payments to make each trip to the hospital more affordable or adding additional benefits and extras to your cover.
Because each health fund and insurance policy is different, you may find swapping to an entirely new provider is more suited to your needs, depending on which services are available under certain policies.
Health fund industry developments
Each year the health fund industry is able to raise or lower premiums and make significant changes to policies that affect their members. Often in these cases, the changes will be more severe in some health funds than others.
If you are unhappy with your provider's premium increase or have been affected by the removal of certain benefits, you may wish to review and alter your private health insurance cover.
To make the most of a health insurance policy change, it is important to conduct a thorough private health insurance comparison to ensure you understand the options available.
For more information on changing your health fund or for help comparing health insurance, contact the team at HICA today.