November 23, 2017

How to find cheap health insurance plans in 2017

Like all years, 2017, is a great year to reassess your fixed costs to ensure you are getting the best value available. Health insurance is a one such expense that you should take a look at this year. Here’s how to find and decide among cheap health insurance plans and save some money in 2017.

Knowing what you need is the most important part of finding cheap health insurance.

 Decide what type of health insurance you want

Private health insurance can be broken in to two types; private hospital cover and extras cover. Private hospital cover will help pay for cost associated with private hospital stays, extras cover is for things like dental, glasses, and physiotherapy.

Both types have different levels of cover depending on how much you want to spend and get back. You can mix and match policies, or only take one without the other. The price will depend on the level of cover you want, the amount of excess you are willing to pay, your pre-existing conditions, and the length of waiting period you want.

Knowing what you need is the most important part of finding cheap health insurance.

 Find out about industry funds

There are many member-owned health funds for specific industries. These funds generally offer better rates than private funds. Most industry funds will take family and ex members so it’s worth taking a look.

 Look at the data

The Government has a very handy reference site, www.privatehealth.gov.au, which provides performance data on every health fund. You can find out how much the fund pays bank to members as a percentage of contributions. It also lists member retention rate. Both are useful pieces of information to start assessing different providers.

 Go online

There are multiple websites to help you compare the price health insurance providers. All funds have different terminology and wording, so just be sure to compare similar products before you pick a winner.

 Check for awards

There are some sites that independently assesses funds and releases awards each year. While not necessary that useful by its self, an award may be an extra feather in the cap of a fund, if you need something to differentiate otherwise equal options.

 Live chat

Once you have a fund you’re happy with, you can ask questions through the live chat function on their website. This can save you stacks of time, compared to waiting on the phone. Either way, contacting their customer service will give you a good indication of how you can expect to be treated in the future.

Ultimately, cheap health insurance is about finding the right balance between cost and benefit for your individual circumstances. There is no point having a dirt-cheap policy with a huge excess if you intend to claim semi regularly. Once you know what you need compare prices before you commit, and don’t forget to check member funds.

About the author  ⁄ Adrian Allwood

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