Private Health Funds: NIB
Next time you compare health insurance, don’t forget to go beyond the policy options and examine the health funds themselves, too. This may sound like a big hassle, but it can help to ensure that you make an informed decision. You will want to choose health insurance suited to your needs, and health fund information is a part of this. Here, we look at NIB health insurance.
Basic health fund information
NIB was set up in 1952 as Newcastle Industrial Benefits Hospital Fund. Since then, it has been steadily growing its customer base.
Want to choose your provider? NIB gives you the freedom to decide who treats you for extras.
If you change your mind about your policy, NIB has a 30 day money back guarantee. Cancel within this time frame and NIB will refund your premium as long as you have not made a claim in this period. Changed your cover level but want to go back to your previous cover? No problem. The guarantee means that you can be switched back as long as you have not made a claim.
Types of cover
NIB offers a range of hospital and extras packages. Hospital and extras cover can also be purchased separately.
Just Hospital cover includes a range of private hospital services. Antenatal services are excluded. Don’t already have private health insurance? Some services are subject to benefit limitations for the first 24 months.
Premium Extras cover includes many popular extras. As an added bonus, it also gives 65% back on extras fees.
Hospital and extras cover
Choose from basic, mid-range and top level packages to suit different needs. There are packages aimed at singles, couples, families and single parent families, among others.
The more basic options are restrictive for hospital cover but offer at least 50% back on some popular extras. Broader packages offer up to 75% back on extras. Pregnancy, birth and IVF services require Hospital Plus or Top Cover packages. The Young at Heart packages are aimed at over 55s and focus on services that are most relevant for this age group.
For hospital bills, the hospital will usually bill NIB directly. Sometimes, the bill will be sent to you instead. Doctors and specialists will deliver their bill to you. Claim from Medicare if appropriate, and then claim from NIB by mail or at an NIB Retail Centre.
Members can claim online for some extras. Receipts can be scanned or faxed for quicker processing. Got a smartphone? Members can download a mobile app to make their claims on the go.
Nib have Dental and Eyecare centres, where members with extras cover can get no gap dental services and 20% optical discounts. Members can also get up to 100% off at Pacific Smiles and DB Dental centres.
Need glasses? Nib Eye Care offers a range of single vision prescription glasses to suit the whole family. Members can claim 100% back on these. The broader your cover, the more eyewear options you will have to choose from.
There are several NIB Dental centres in Australia. These are mostly in NSW in Glendale, Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle and Parramatta. There is also NIB Dental in Melbourne. Not in either of these areas? NIB have arrangements with Pacific Smiles and DB Dental. Pacific Smiles are located in ACT, VIC, QLD and NSW, while DB Dental have centres in Perth.
NIB Eye Care centres are located in NSW in Sydney, Rutherford, Newcastle and Charlestown.
Nib Retail Centres can be found in ACT, NSW, QLD, VIC and WA.
When you come to choose your private health insurance, don’t forget to compare health funds as well as policies to build up a more detailed picture of what is on offer.
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