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How to Compare Health Insurance Without Wasting Time

April 23rd, 2012 0 comments
Compare health insurance

Health insurance may be one of your priority expenses in this era of rising medical costs. Whether you have a medical condition that requires regular treatments, or just want to be protected in case of an accident or illness, health insurance helps you cover the cost of visiting a doctor or obtaining needed treatments.

However, many people believe that health insurance comparison may be time-consuming and frustrating. There are so many different options and programs, all with different fee schedules and prices. Here are some tips to help you find health insurance without wasting a lot of time.

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Start With Facts

Knowledge is power and having some basic information will help you pick the best provider for your needs. Below are some basic facts, and questions to ask, to get you started.

  • Who will be covered? You can insure just yourself if you are single. However, if you are married with dependents, you may want cover for the entire family.
  • What is covered?  Standard Australian public health care through Medicare will pay for some things. You are also encouraged by the Australian government to have your own private health insurance to cover the areas that are not paid for by Medicare.
  • Types of coverage – Choose from hospital coverage or general treatment coverage for yourself and your family. You can also choose to purchase both types of coverage, together or separately.
  • Private health insurance rebate – This federal government subsidy is used to help people afford private health insurance premiums.
  • Lifetime Health Cover – This addition to your private health insurance premium is designed to encourage people to get insurance early and keep it. It kicks in at 2% of your premium after your 31st birthday, and will continue rising every year that you go without private health cover. It is capped at 70%.
  • Medicare Levy Surcharge – High income earners without private insurance will be charged an additional surcharge.

Know What You Need

Window shopping aimlessly can take up hours without results. To make your health insurance comparison faster, it’s important that you have a good idea of what you need before you begin shopping. If you know whether you want hospital cover, ancillary cover, or both, then you can narrow down the selections in the early stages. Make these decisions first, and then start to compare health insurance policies that look suitable.

It is important to understand that the amount you pay and the services that will be covered are often directly related. When you are willing to pay more, you may enjoy greater coverage levels and fewer limitations. The less you pay, the lower your coverage levels may be. Before you compare private health funds, decide which you is more important to you: the cost or the level of protection.

It’s also important that you have some idea of what the future holds. If you are a woman and may potentially become pregnant, you may want to consider adding coverage for pregnancy and childbirth. On the other hand, if you have had an operation (such as a tubal ligation or a hysterectomy) that prevents you from becoming pregnant, then you may choose to skip that coverage if doing so will reduce your premium.

Geographic Location

Keep in mind that where you live matters. When shopping for insurance, look at private health funds that are available in your state. Also, are you covered for medical emergency transport? Residents of some states have access to a free ambulance service, but residents of other states may want to ensure they have ambulance services covered.

Health Insurance Comparison Sites

There are many health insurance comparison sites that can be used to find the best health insurance without spending days wading through information. With these sites, you will be shown policies that are a good match to the information you enter into the website. Comparison sites help you through the process by asking questions and filtering the results based on your answers. Knowing what you are looking for will save time, and using insurance comparison sites can help you to quickly narrow the field.

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