September 21, 2017

Understanding Different Types of Health Care Cover

While you strive to stay healthy through proper diet and exercise, there may come a time when you get sick and need to be confined in a hospital. Everybody knows that hospital and other medical-related costs can be expensive. That is why it is important to have health insurance. It serves as your security blanket, knowing that there’s something you can depend on in times of sickness.

Who doesn’t want to get cheap health insurance? But we need to understand that affordability is just one of the deciding factors. Look at several health care plans and choose what meets both your needs and budget. It is likewise important to know the different types of health care cover. In this article, learn more about hospital cover, extras cover, ambulance cover, overseas visitor cover, and corporate plans.

Hospital Cover

When you have hospital cover it will help cover the costs of in-hospital treatment and other related expenses. Make sure to check the Medicare Benefits Schedule as medical services are usually listed in it. There are hospital services that are not covered under the MBS. Hospital cover falls under four categories: top private hospital cover, medium private hospital cover, basic private hospital cover, and public hospital cover.

Extras Cover

The extras cover or excess is what you agree to pay for the cost of hospital treatment in exchange of lower premiums. The amount you need to pay depends on your private health insurance policy, and you will pay that amount for each day that you stay in the hospital. It can also be paid the first time you go to the hospital.

Ambulance Cover

This health care cover covers costs related to treatments by paramedics as well as ambulance transport. Medicare doesn’t cover emergency transport and ambulance services, and the ambulance insurance cover will provide the assistance that you need for urgent medical care. Ambulance cover comes in two types: emergency ambulance and comprehensive ambulance.

Overseas Visitor Cover

An Overseas Visitors Health Cover is designed for those who are visiting Australia with a temporary visa. This provides coverage for costs incurred when you need to consult a doctor or stay in a hospital. In some instances, one of the visa requirements is a health insurance.

Corporate Health Policy

This refers to the health care plan that an employer gets for their employees. There are three ways this policy is paid for. It can be fully funded when the employer offers a corporate plan as an employee benefit. It can also be partially funded wherein employees and employer share the cost. Another method of payment is voluntary wherein the employees have the option to join a policy and pay for it themselves.

Do you have other ideas on health care plans and cheap health cover? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Understanding Extra Lifestyle Policies Covered by Your Health Insurance

“You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Indeed, it is important to take good care of ourselves, especially our health.  You cannot buy the things that you want or provide for your family if you’re sick and cannot go to work. Health insurance is helpful in covering medical bills and other expenses as a result of certain illnesses. But did you know that there are some health care plans that offer extra lifestyle policies? In this section, let’s delve into the different extras you can get from your health insurance:

  • There are health care plans with extras that cover memberships to various health and lifestyle programs. These include memberships to gym or exercise classes including yoga, Pilates or swimming, skin cancer screenings, programs on weight management and how to quit smoking, as well as health assessments. Ask your insurer about the gyms and fitness centres that they recognise.
  • Check the percentage benefits. In some cases, policies cover 60% or even 100% of your bill on a certain service. To get the most out of the percentage benefits from extras, check different policies and compare their annual limits for various services.
  • Ask about loyalty bonuses. There are health care plans that reward loyalty by giving long-time members higher benefits.
  • Know more about provider schemes. Extras can come with provider schemes, wherein the insurer will agree on a price, which is generally lower than the normal price, for a particular service. You will also get a higher benefit.
  • Why do insurers offer extra lifestyle policies? At first glance, it may be hard to believe that some extras policies cover a percentage, if not the full amount, of certain services. If you maintain a healthy lifestyle, you will have fewer claims on your policy. You rarely get sick, and the insurer will not have to spend anything on claims.
  • The amount that you can claim should be in your policy brochure. Bear in mind that not all policies are created equal, so the way some insurers treat extra lifestyle policies is different from how other insurers do it.

These are just some of the things you need to know about extra lifestyle policies covered by your health insurance. As always, remember that cheap health insurance doesn’t mean you can get significant cost savings. It really depends on your lifestyle and coverage. Don’t treat the cost as the sole deciding factor when looking for the right health insurance for you.

Got other ideas on extra lifestyle policies and cheap health insurance? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Physiotherapy Cover in Health Insurance

We all know that it is important to get health insurance. Life is so uncertain that having insurance will at least give us some peace of mind and protection when something unfortunate happens with our health. One of the things to look into is physiotherapy cover. At some point in your life, you may need physio treatments to manage certain conditions that affect your mobility. With physio cover, hospital costs can be one less thing to worry about.

Here are some things that you need to know about physiotherapy cover in health care plans:

  • Why do you need to have physiotherapy cover? It can save you money. Initial consultation from a physiotherapist costs a lot of money. When you have physiotherapy cover, you may not need to pay for a diagnosis and treatment plan.
  • Physio treatments may include functional exercise, massage, taping, heat, dry needling, manipulation, electrotherapy, postural correction as well as mobilisation.
  • Complex physiotherapy is usually needed by those who have severe and extensive burns, chronic pain or acquired brain injuries. Make sure to check if your policy covers these treatments as well as the annual limits.
  • What are the medical conditions that usually require ongoing physiotherapy treatments? These include musculoskeletal problems such as back pain, arthritis, muscle strains, sprains, bursitis, and other sports-related injuries, cardiothoracic conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema, as well as neurological conditions including stroke, injuries to the head and spine, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.
  • When do you need to visit a physiotherapist? Your physician or healthcare professional will refer you to a physio if you’ve developed a movement disorder. Bear in mind that you can still see a physiotherapist even without a referral. There are instances wherein a quick consultation can do wonders to your overall health.
  • Medicare will cover physical therapy costs incurred if you were confined in a public hospital. But when you have a private health insurance with extras cover, you can get benefits on some or all of the costs incurred for out-of-hospital physiotherapy treatment. Of course, it depends on the level of coverage you have.

Bear in mind that while we want to have cheap insurance, there are other deciding factors when it comes to choosing the right policy. Check the coverage and extras. Read the fine print and understand the terms to avoid inconvenience later on especially when you need to make a claim.

Got other ideas on physiotherapy cover and health care plans in Australia? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Private Health Insurance – Why Do I Need it?

Life is full of uncertainties. We may not want to think about it but the reality is, we can get hospitalised at some point in our lives. To ensure that you’ll be prepared for whatever life throws at you, get an insurance. There are so many health care plans available nowadays, catering to a wide range of markets. One type to consider is the private health insurance.

Do you need a private health insurance? Here are some things to think about:

  • In general, those with private health insurance are given a chance to choose their doctors, room, hospital, and even the time of the procedure, depending on the availability.
  • Cheap health insurance may not be the best one for you. Who wouldn’t want to get cheap health cover? But this should not be the sole deciding factor. By comparing the offerings of several insurers, you will be able to find a private health insurance that offers both good coverage and affordability.
  • Waiting periods can be shorter for private patients who will undergo elective surgery. The same goes for certain hospital procedures which are not considered medical emergencies.
  • You can actually save money with your health insurance. For instance, you can avoid paying the Lifetime Health Cover of the Australian Government if you manage to take out the hospital cover before July 1 after your 31st birthday. Otherwise, you may need to pay an extra 2% up to 70% for hospital cover every year.
  • You can also get rebates from the government. This amount will depend on your age and income. For instance, a single individual who is below 65 years of age and earns $90,000 or less will get a 26.791% rebate.
  • People who reach an age when serious illnesses can occur get private health insurance. This applies even if they’re considered fit and healthy. Again, you never know what’s going to happen so it’s best to be prepared.
  • You can save money come tax time. The Medicare Levy Surcharge is an additional 1% in tax for single individuals who have a taxable income of more than $90,000, or $180,000 income for couples, single parents, and families. You will need to pay this extra tax if you don’t have private health insurance.

Getting the best private health insurance can be helpful in giving you some peace of mind, knowing that you have something to depend on in case an unfortunate event arises. Look at different health care plans, weigh their pros and cons, and choose the best deal.

Got other ideas on health care plans and how to get cheap health cover? Share your tips in the comments section.

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Why You should Review Your Health Insurance Policy Regularly

Aside from maintaining a healthy lifestyle, there’s no better way to provide protection than to get a health insurance. This ensures that you’ll have something to depend on in case of illness that may affect your capability to work, and even death.

Review Health Insurance on a Regular Basis

As we age, you’ll notice several changes in your lifestyle needs, as well as activities that may affect your health. That is why it is very important to review your health insurance policy on a regular basis. You need to make sure that your coverage, extras, and other details are updated based on your requirements to avoid any inconvenience should you need to file claims. If your health cover comes with restrictions or exclusions, make sure to understand them as well.

Also, having an annual health insurance check-up will serve as a refresher so you don’t miss out on latest offerings that may be suitable for you. This is likewise an ideal time to catch up with your insurer and maintain a good working relationship with them.

Aside from reviewing your health insurance every year, it pays to check all materials sent to you by your insurer. Read all emails and updates so you are aware of everything there is to know about it.

Choosing the Right Health Insurance Policy

There are a lot of different health care plans being offered nowadays, catering to a wide range of needs and preferences. For the money-conscious, you may look at several options and choose the cheap health insurance. Bear in mind that the key to finding the right policy is to look for one that offers greater value for your money and better coverage. Keep an eye on policies that offer lower premiums especially if you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Restrictions and Exclusions

Part of your annual health insurance check-up is reviewing the restrictions or the agreed benefits for certain services, as well as the exclusions or services that are not covered by your health insurance. Some of the common procedures that may be restricted or excluded are cardio-thoracic services, plastic and reconstructive surgery, psychiatric services, cataract and eye lens, services related to pregnancy and childbirth including assisted reproductive services, hip or knee replacements, and obesity surgery.

Don’t be worrisome when an unfortunate event happens. Take time to look at your health insurance policy every year to keep your records updated and make the necessary changes based on our lifestyle and preferences.

Got other ideas on how to get cheap health insurance? Share your tips on health care plans in the comments section.

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About Health Insurance in Australia when You have a Working Holiday Visa

We all know that health insurance is very important. You’ll never know what will happen in your life so it’s best to always be prepared for anything, especially in an unfortunate event that you got sick or injured. Having a health insurance is likewise essential when working overseas. Obviously, different countries vary in insurance policies that they offer.

Do you have plans of working or taking a working holiday in Australia? Overseas working visitors need to obtain proper working visa for employment eligibility. Aside from that, you need to get health insurance since medical costs can be expensive when you get sick or injured, unless your home country is under a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement. In that case, you may get some benefits from Medicare which is the public healthcare system that offers health services at discounted prices for most Australians.

Here are other things to consider when it comes to health care plans in Australia for overseas working visitors:

Know what is covered by the health insurance

Coverage of health care plans varies depending on the insurer but in general, a working holiday insurance covers manual and non-manual work, guide work, retail, teaching, childcare, tourism, and work on cruise ships. Of course, there are types of work that working holiday insurance policies don’t cover. These include personal liability, working at heights of at least five metres above ground, offshore work, as well as mining or work underground. Make sure to ask what a certain health insurance covers before signing any document.

Compare several options

There are several insurance providers so when looking for cheap health care plans, do your research. The options available may be overwhelming but take time to check the features and offerings of a few insurers and see which best suits your needs.

Look beyond the cost

While we’re all for saving money, it does not mean automatically getting the cheapest health care plan there is. Your health and safety are of utmost importance and we all know that insurance can be expensive, so strike a balance between what you can afford and what meets your healthcare requirements so you’ll be covered throughout your stay in Australia. Besides, it’s better to have comprehensive coverage that having to deal with medical costs when something unfortunate happens during your stay in the country.

Do you have other tips on cheap health insurance in Australia and working holiday visa? Share your ideas on health cover in the comments section.

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Optical Cover In Health Insurance Policies In Australia

Although healthy eyesight is one of the most important functions of the body, the majority of people take it for granted. Our vision is an essential component of our daily lives and therefore it is something that we should be diligent in taking care of. One of the main reasons as to why people opt out of optical coverage is because of the cost, but there is cheap health insurance available if you look for it.

Investing in a health insurance policy means that you can make a claim on things that will make a difference to your eyesight. If you want optical coverage, you will need to consider what you will require your policy to cover.

What coverage am I entitled to?

Major coverage: This includes things such as lens and cataract procedures. Hospital policies will only partially cover laser eye treatments because it is not listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule.

General cover: This includes eye checkups and glasses and is typically covered though extras insurance.

One of the major advantages of optometry coverage is that you are entitled to free glasses, you can also claim on prescription sunglasses, swimming goggles and contact lenses. Limitations do apply, there is a cap on the amount you can claim per year and you can only pick up your frames or lenses from designated stores.

Your annual limit is reset every year making you eligible for another claim. Therefore, a 5 year plan entitles you to at least 4 pairs of glasses.

Waiting periods

Wait times for an extra policy will differ in comparison to someone holding a policy with a different fund. This is due to health funds setting their own waiting periods for an extra policy, but hospital wait times are established by the government.

There are some general outlines for wait times that have been set by the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO). Before claiming on lenses and glasses you should expect to wait for six months. However, if you have a pre-existing medical condition you may have a longer waiting period.

There are some insurers who will waive their wait times when they are running a promotion. You should take advantage of this if you can, but make sure that you read your policy brochure so that you are clear on what you are signing up for.

Final thought

If optical cover is something that you would be interested in make sure that you spend time researching the different types of health care plans that are available to you before making an investment.

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Dental Plans in Health Insurance and How to Compare Them

The best way to avoid paying dental expenses is to maintain good dental hygiene. Brush and floss your teeth on a regular basis. A dental check-up twice a year is likewise important to prevent any dental problems later on. But dental visits can be costly. On average, you may spend up to $200 for dental treatments such as prophylaxis, basic x-ray, and other procedures. You can offset most, if not all, dental costs if you have a dental plan as part of your health insurance.

There are different dental plans being offered by health insurance providers in Australia nowadays, and choosing the right one may be a bit overwhelming. Also, take note that a dental plan is not included in hospital cover. Instead, it is part of the Extras policy. But don’t worry, you can make the selection process easier by comparing several dental plans and zeroing in on the insurer that offers affordable health care plans without you having to spend a fortune. Here are some things to take into account when comparing cheap health plans:

Know the type of health cover that you need

Dental plans can be general dental which covers oral exams, prophylaxis, plaque removal, x-ray, and fillings. On the other hand, major dental plans include surgery, emergency treatments, braces, wisdom teeth removal, cover for dentures, etc. Check your Extras policy to ensure that you have access to the dental plan that you need.

Inquire about special offers

Take advantage of great offerings such as reduced waiting periods. Some insurers also offer free coverage for one month, for instance. You can save some cash by looking for special deals in your health cover.

Know the annual limits

Dental plans usually have annual limits. This means that the insurer sets a maximum amount that you can get back annually. Consider your current situation and lifestyle and determine if you are likely to get several claims for dental services in a year. If this is the case, you may need to get a dental plan with high limits. Otherwise, get one with lower limits.

It pays to have a good dental plan as it greatly reduces out-of-pocket costs of dental visits and procedures. Though cheap health cover can help you save money, it may not always be the best option. Look at several health insurers, compare their dental plans, and choose the one that offers the right coverage for your needs and lifestyle at a reasonable price. As with all other types of coverage, don’t forget to check the fine print to ensure that you get what you pay for. You’ll have a winning smile at the thought that there’s something you can rely on when the need arises.

Got other tips for cheap health insurance? You can share your ideas in the comments section.

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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.

 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.

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