Are you on the fence about whether or not extras cover is value for money? Many young Australians, in particular, tend to avoid purchasing extras cover because they don’t think the cost of infrequent services will outweigh the cost of the policy.
While this might be the case some of the time, you never know what the future holds. You might not think you need coverage until it’s too late. Further, have you considered the benefits available to you?
Ahead, we’ll explain how you can save money by looking at two of the most popular extras services: vision and dental. Not to mention the array of other health benefits you can score—and the increasing desire to stay healthy and take better care of ourselves.
The Cost of Extras Cover
We can’t give you a universal answer for the price of extras cover. Many variables go into play here, including location, family vs single policy, health fund, and more.
On top of that, there’s no universal definition for what “extras cover” is supposed to include. Most health funds offer package deals that include hospital and extras cover, adding even more variance to the price.
Let’s look at an example. We’ll use $550 annual cost as a reference point for a single individual with extras only cover.
Again—this is an example—and you should use our comparison tool below to get a better idea of pricing based on your circumstances and desired health fund. This number will also fluctuate depending on the number of services you’d like covered.
Dental coverage is one of the most popular extras service for obvious reasons. Most people want the ability to visit the dentist for a cleaning, filling, or other procedure without paying a large amount of money out of their own pocket.
Since dentistry is one of the most popular extras services, it’s also the place where you’ll save the bulk of your money.
According to the Australian Dental Association’s data, the average comprehensive oral exam will cost you around $70. Add a scale and clean ($110) and fluoride application ($35) and the visit can cost you more than $200. That’s not much, and two visits a year doesn’t justify the $550 ballpark figure we mentioned above.
If you need dental X-Rays, though, this service can cost you another $106. If you have a cavity and need a filling, this will add around $150 – $200 to your bill. Any oral surgery will usually cost you at least $200, and your hospital cover won’t take care of it if it isn’t an emergency.
You can expect to pay upwards of $1500 if you need a crown put in, which is where dental coverage is a must-own.
As you can see, the cost of oral treatment can add up quickly. Sure, you might not get your money’s worth if you visit the dentist for an oral exam twice a year, but you’ll start to see savings based on what they find during that exam.
Keep in mind that this isn’t even considering other services your extras plan will cover.
If you have glasses, then you probably know that a pair of frames and contact lenses are expensive. Extras cover takes care of the bulk of that cost until it reaches an annual limit.
That annual limit will vary depending on your health insurer, but they generally cap you somewhere in the ballpark of $200-$300. Most health funds will cover 100% of the cost up until that point, but check the specifics of your plan to make sure.
If your plan covers vision and dental alone—one of the most basic extras policies—you can start to see your savings after an oral exam, restorative procedure, and a set of new glasses or contact lenses.
Again, you can’t be sure what will happen in the next year. You might lose your contacts or break your glasses. If you don’t have vision coverage, then you’ll be paying for replacements out of your own pocket.
These replacements will cost you upwards of $150 depending on what type of lenses you need.
The Services Add Up
Vision and dental are two of the most popular extras cover, but there is a long list of others from which you can choose. Basic chiropractic services alone cost about $100 per visit for an adult.
When you include the list of therapies that an extras policy might cover, you’ll start to see even more savings.
Extras cover is especially beneficial for aging Australians, as they often require treatments that can take advantage of a greater range of services.
Regardless of age, you never know what the future holds. You can take care of your teeth but still end up needing a filling. Your vision could start to deteriorate, and you might need to upgrade your glasses.
Even if nothing serious happens—Aussies tend to take better care of themselves these days. There are tons of health benefits associated with remedial massage or even seeing a psychologist to clear your mind and improve general well being. Extras cover often allows you to practice preventative and self-care on a regular basis without the huge price tag.
Benefits may also include discounts off gym memberships, prescription sunglasses, fitness classes and dietitian consultations. You can learn more about some of these hidden benefits here.
The Savings Are Up to You
In the end, how much money you’ll save with extras cover depends on how much you plan to use the services. If you don’t plan on visiting the dentist, a massage therapist, the optometrist, physio, or a psychologist, then it doesn’t make sense to spend more money on an extras policy.
If you use these services frequently, on the other hand, it’s foolish not to purchase extras cover. As we covered above, some of the most popular extras services can cost a lot of money if you don’t have coverage. Our comparison service is free—why not check-in on your potential savings?