Push it to the limit: Aussies urged to use their Extras before December 31
Want to get the most out of your health insurance cover in 2018? The time to act is now.
Time is running out. Most health insurance holders only have until the end of the year to use their cover before their Extras claiming limits reset.
By January 1, 2019, most members will lose the ability to maximise the potential of their Extras health cover, with many insurers resetting their limits after December 31. It is important to act now to avoid losing the benefit entitlement for treatments that do not roll over to the new year.
To better assess the remaining areas within which you can claim, you should check your personal claiming history in your insurer’s online member services. This allows you to view what you claimed during 2018 in real-time, and lets you optimise anything that may still be available for you to claim before the year ends.
Considering the cost of health insurance, all members deserve to get the most back from their cover. In the last reporting period, Aussies got back more than $20.5 billion in benefits collectively on their health insurance claims in 2017 – 18. Australians, on average, claimed $422 by September, with 13.5 million people across the country holding extras cover.
Dr. David, a spokesperson on behalf of the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority, stated, “APRA’s report dispels the myth that health funds are hiding a pot of gold. Health funds, whether run as a for-profit or a not-for-profit, must operate as successful businesses to be able to keep premiums affordable for their members and to ensure members’ care can be funded if and when it is needed.”
Amongst the most popular things to be claimed, dental and optical are two of the highest. On average, $223 was paid out to members from their dental visits alone, followed by $73 for optical, $35 for physiotherapy, and $24 for chiropractic.
Most importantly, all health insurance policies are set to face major overhaul in 2019. Almost every Australian health insurer runs on the same calendar, and these changes will come into effect from April 1, 2019.
Hospital cover will be re-categorised into gold, silver and bronze levels. Extras cover will not be categorised. These changes aim to provide consumers with more certainty regarding the services covered by each treatment product.
The Australian Government has stated that these changes will “help consumers compare different hospital treatment products more easily and shop around for a better deal”.
Many natural therapies will no longer be covered from April next year, including yoga, naturopathy, aromatherapy, and pilates.
We believe in staying informed, and recommend keeping on top of any private health insurance variations in 2019.
- Double check your claims history across the last twelve months by visiting your fund online or giving them a call.
- If you do have remaining value left, use it to the best of your ability for any necessary claims before the end of the year.
- Assess the included lifestyle benefits from your private health fund. This includes swimming lessons, gym memberships and sunscreen.
- Follow our helpful guide on how to make a health insurance claim here.
Our tips to help you get the best from your extras claims in 2018:
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Step 2: After answering a few questions, you will have the opportunity to compare quotes in your area and could be eligible for significant savings.