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Travelling Outside Your Private Health Insurance Network?

Diana Bui December 7th, 2011 0 comments
Networks

Sometimes your health insurance policy may not cover all visits to health care providers, if they are not a participant in your health fund’s coverage network.  Depending on the nature of the visit, this may mean anything from a small fee to a big cost for your budget.  Read on to learn how to deal with, and prepare for, these situations.

Image by F Delventhal

Your Health Insurance Network

Many private health insurance networks.  If you compare health insurance premiums with little regard to networks, you may miss out on a policy whose network might have suited you better.

If you need health care that is not covered by your fund’s network, out of pocket costs are likely to occur.

While we all hope that it will never happen, you or someone around you may need immediate health care for an unexpected injury or illness .  If you aren’t able to reach an in-network treatment provider, then what happens?

Out-of-Network: What Will You Pay?

Going outside your health insurer’s network for health care means that you may only be covered for a smaller amount than you normally would within the network or you may find that some treatments are not covered by your policy at all. Read your policy carefully to make yourself aware of your health insurance network and what your costs would be if you visited a provider who isn’t part of the network. Look at the terms and conditions, and any coverage exclusions, on out-of-network health treatments and consultations.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact your insurer to clarify your policy and cover.  Make sure you know where to get in-network treatment, or what the penalty would be if you went outside your network.

Understand Your Network: Be Prepared

Hopefully, you won’t ever need treatment outside of your usual health insurance network.  Yet circumstances may sometimes be out of your control. Prepare yourself as much as possible; in particular, if you’re travelling and you’re aware that medical attention might be necessary (for someone with a known health problem, or someone who is pregnant, etc.) then it’s sensible to check your coverage before you go.

If you regularly visit a certain location outside your network, you might want to see if it would be worth switching. You may also want to compare travel insurance with an eye for the health coverage, as this may provide health cover while travelling within Australia as well as overseas.

Disclaimer: The above information is correct and current at the time of publication.

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