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7 Ways to Reduce Your Health Insurance Costs

Jonathan January 4th, 2013 0 comments

The presence of health insurance can be a reassuring one for people who require medical attention. Other than being able to choose treatment in a public or private hospital, as well as from specific doctors, it also means waiting for a shorter time to receive treatment. While this convenience comes with a price, there are ways to reduce the health insurance costs so that the assurance of continual care doesn’t wind up burning a hole in your pocket.

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Sooner Rather Than Later!

You can actually save a bundle on private health insurance if opt to purchase a policy at an earlier age rather than later. Ensuring that you have private insurance before July in the year of your 31st birthday means t hat you will pay much lower premiums compared to taking out a policy when you’re 32 years old.

The reason for this is “loading”, which states that individuals who purchase a health insurance policy following the date mentioned above can be charged 2% more for every year they are uninsured. This means paying a hefty 20% more on top of your existing premium if you take out a policy when you’re 40!

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The Grass Might Be Greener on the Other Side

Don’t be afraid to take the time to shop around for the policy that is most economically viable for you. The areas covered in different policies may be similar, but there is, very often, a chance that Policy B might provide greater benefits and is more appropriate to your requirements compared to Policy A, which otherwise provides the same sort of cover.

If that sounds like a lot of work, comparison tools are there to make it easier. Switching from one fund to another is a consumer’s prerogative, and the waiting period generally doesn’t apply between lower or similar levels of cover between funds.

Failure to Plan is a Plan for Failure

Buying a new policy or switching to a new one is a search that can take time, but it pays off in the sense that you only pay for what you want.

In addition to considering your current health insurance requirements, you might want to try extending some thought to what you might need in the next two years. For example, a basic cover might appeal to you at the moment, but if you plan to start a family, you should remember that obstetric cover is subject to a waiting period. Rather than face the mental hassle of evaluating the advantages and drawbacks of a new policy then, it’s much more advisable to give thought to it now.

Narrow the Gap

While Medicare and health funds will pay for a particular medical service, there might also be a difference between the doctor’s fee and the amount they’re willing to process. This is known as the gap, and the policy holder has to make up the difference.

If medical treatment is a constant feature in your life, you might want to consider identifying doctors who don’t have a gap fee and subscribe to the fund with whom they’re affiliated. The gap is also subject to how comprehensive a cover you have, so you might still wind up paying a nominal sum.

Make the Most of Extras

Everyone knows about the significance of hospital cover, but what about extras cover? It might seem like a trivial concern initially, but extras can take the sting out of having to pay for expenses like physiotherapy, chiropractics, and optical and dental treatment. Opting for relevant extras cover is one way of cutting your health insurance costs while reaping the most of its benefits.

Is That Your Only Premium?

You might be paying a lot more for health insurance than your current lifestyle actually requires. Taking a fine-toothed comb through different insurance policies may turn up cover or benefits that you don’t actually need or want.

Keep in mind, too, that premiums themselves can vary greatly between different funds and similar policies, which underscores the importance of shopping around. A good bet is to find a balance between your excess and the chance of you being hospitalised over the next two years so that it may neutralise any increase to your premium.

Good Behaviour Begets Discounts (Usually)

We all know that paying off credit card bills before they’re due translates in to lower interest charges, but did you know you can qualify for similar benefits by paying your premiums in advance? It may not be a significant amount initially, in your opinion, but for some people, a discount of 4% is nothing to sneeze at.

You can also obtain a discount if you pay via direct debit or credit card deduction. Additionally, consumers can also take advantage of the government rebate on health insurance. The deduction can be claimed as premiums reductions, cash from Medicare or a tax rebate when annual tax returns are filed. This means that you only pay for a part of your actual insurance costs.

As with many things in a consumer’s life, it’s always best to just get what you need when it comes to health insurance. There really is no excuse for not taking up a policy as there are a number of way it can be made more affordable.

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