Did you spend any time looking at health funds during your last health insurance comparison? If not, this is something to think about next time you compare health insurance. Finding a health insurance policy which fits your needs is always key but what about those other extras that some health funds also offer? If you compare health funds, you can see if these extras would work for you. Here, we look at Medibank Private.
Basic health fund information
Medibank Private has been around since 1975. It is now Australia’s biggest health fund and also controls AHM. Medibank Private offers health insurance and health services to members. Medibank has been highly rated by CANSTAR for ‘Outstanding Value’ between 2008 and 2011.
The Members’ Choice network is extensive. This covers most private hospitals and a range of extras providers. Visit a Members’ Choice hospital and you will usually get better value for money. However, there may still be some out-of-pocket costs to meet.
Members Choice offer a number of benefits compared to providers who are not involved. For extras, benefits include capped charges, optical discounts, 55-100% back, broader cover options and lower out-of-pocket costs in most cases.
Medibank also have the Members’ Choice Optical Network. As the largest of its kind in Australia, it offers optical discounts for members. Medibank have arrangements with a number of optical providers. This includes Specsavers, Budget Eyewear and OPSM. They also have an agreement with the Vision Eye Institute for members wanting laser eye surgery. Provided you have the relevant cover, members can get a discount on the surgical fees. This applies to LASIK and ASLA surgery performed by a Vision Eye Institute surgeon.
Health support services are available through Mi Health. This includes the 24/7 Health Advice Line, Hospital Support and the Health Hub. Hospital Support helps you to get the most out of your hospital cover but is not available in all Members’ Choice hospitals. Members can get health support and advice in the Health Hub. The Wellness Record calculates your health age. It also offers personalised goals and recommendations. Other highlights include meal planners and risk assessment tools. All information in the Health Hub is kept up-to-date by doctors.
Betterhealth telephone programs are also offered. Betterhealth On Call is a 12 month support program for members with health conditions. Betterhealth Coaching is a 6 month health management program. This supports goals such as weight loss and reducing stress.
Got adult children? You can keep them on a family policy until they reach 21 with no extra charge. This extends to 25 if they are in full-time education. This is the case as long as they are not married or in a de facto relationship. What if they are not full-time students? Medibank has a cover option aimed at those who adult children. This does cost more but is less than having separate cover for them.
Types of cover
Medibank offer hospital, extras and ambulance cover.
Hospital cover. There are several options for hospital cover. Basic Hospital and Young Hospital are two of the more basic. The latter is aimed at those who are young and healthy and only want limited cover. Want to go beyond basic hospital cover? Mid Hospital is better suited to those planning to have a family. Top Hospital is the most comprehensive option. This cover has no major exclusions or restrictions.
Extras cover.There are a few options for extras cover. Basic Extras 55 and 70 both include popular extras such as dental checks, optical and physio. Want to have broader extras cover without blowing the budget? Top Extras 55 includes major dental while Top Extras 70 and 85 include pharmacy too.
Use a Members’ Choice provider and you will get a percentage of the costs back. This ranges from 55% to 100% depending on your cover. The higher your cover, the more you can expect to receive back. Top Extras 85 gives up to 85% back, for example.
Hospital and extras cover. Want to combine hospital and extras cover? Ultra Health Cover is a comprehensive combined package. It offers up to 100% back on extras at Members’ Choice providers.
Ambulance cover. This is available for members who live in ACT, NSW, VIC, SA, NT or WA. Members who live in QLD and TAS are covered by state schemes.
Members can claim for extras at the provider if they use an electronic claims system. Just swipe your membership card and your claim is processed straight away. This is the most efficient way to claim for extras. What if your provider does not offer this? There are a couple of other options. Most extras can be claimed through Online Services. Members with smartphones can download the Medibank Mobile App. This supports most extras claims.
The feelbetter magazine includes discounts on health, fitness, travel and lifestyle products. The magazine is free for members.
Medibank has Stores and Agents in every Australian state.
Not in the habit of looking closely at health funds when you compare health insurance? You may want to change this next time around. If you do not usually compare health funds, you may be missing out on knowing about health support that could benefit you.
Read more about Medibank online: http://www.medibank.com.au
This article is opinion only and should not be taken as financial advice.
Filed Under: Private Health Funds