Do you pay close attention to the different health funds when you compare health insurance? If not, you could be missing a trick. By comparing health funds, you get a better idea of whether you are making the right choice. Here, we will be looking at AHM.
Health fund information
AHM has been around for over 40 years, having started out as a small club in 1971. It was set up in Wollongong and had a strong NSW focus. These days, it is one of the most well-known Australian health funds with members across the country. AHM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Medibank Private. The Medibank Board are in charge of overseeing AHM and its corporate governance.
AHM’s mission is based on member care and ongoing wellness. To this end, they also offer health management programs. This includes coaching to achieve health goals, pregnancy and parenting support, and support for chronic and complex health conditions.
AHM was voted Best Health Insurer in 2011. This was in the Australian Financial Review’s Smart Investor SMILES Survey 2011/12.
Types of cover
Like most health funds, AHM offers hospital cover, extras cover and a combination of both.
All AHM Hospital packages include the standard benefits of having hospital cover. Want to be covered for things like psychiatric, rehab, obstetrics, cardiac surgery and joint replacement? Then you will need to go beyond Basic Hospital cover and look at their broader Hospital packages.
AHM’s Basic Extras cover includes routine dental, optical, pharmacy, physio, chiropractic, osteopathy and alternative therapies.
If you want to be covered for more than this, their Lifestyle Extras policy also covers refractive sight correcting laser eye surgery (after a 3 month wait), psychology and hypnotherapy. Do you have kids? Family Extras also covers speech therapy, podiatry, occupational therapy and eye therapy. There are none of the usual waits for many popular extras. AHM has waived two and six month waits on extras.
Hospital and extras cover
Want to combine hospital and extras cover? AHM has packages designed to suit different life stages. This can help you to find cover that is appropriate for you. For example, a couple who are not planning to have children may not have the same needs as a family. There are packages to suit families, younger singles and couples, and older singles and couples.
This is included in AHM hospital cover for policyholders who live in NT, SA, VIC or WA. If, however, you live in NSW or ACT then you may want to think about getting ambulance cover as it is not included in those states. Bear in mind that you have state-provided cover if you live in QLD or TAS.
There are several ways that members can make claims. For extras, you can claim online. There is also the option to print off a claim form and return it to AHM (by free post) or to claim by phone.
AHM also offers HICAPS for members. Not familiar with this? It stands for Health Industry Claims and Payments Service. It is electronic and works in real time. Claims are processed there and then at your health care provider, so it is a quick and easy way to claim.
Assuming that you have an eligible policy, AHM members can take advantage of AHM Dental and Eyecare Practices. Benefits include regular check-ups and cleaning, and discounts on dental and eyecare products.
Members can also access rewards from AHM’s partners. These rewards may vary, but they usually relate to health, fitness and lifestyle.
AHM is based in Wollongong in NSW. Their Dental and Eyecare Practices are also located in NSW. They have two Dental and Eyecare Practices in Haymarket and Parramatta. There is also a Dental Practice in Wagga Wagga.
Next time you are doing a health insurance comparison, don’t forget to compare health funds. It is vital to be thorough when you compare health insurance, and looking at health funds in detail can be a key part of this.
This article is opinion only and should not be taken as financial advice.
Filed Under: Private Health Funds