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5 health insurance questions that could save you money

Get the best value from your cover with our five questions

Two young women laugh as they look at a tablet screen
Two young women laugh as they look at a tablet screen

If you want to make sure you're getting the best bang for your buck when it comes to private health insurance, it's important to review your policy regularly.

Believe it or not, your health is your most valuable asset, and having private health insurance means you'll have financial support when it comes to unexpected illness or accidents.

A private health insurance policy could also save you from having to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS), an Australian Government initiative that is an additional amount of tax applied to singles earning over $93,000 or couples earning over $186,000 who don't have an appropriate level of private hospital cover.

And you're never too young to consider private health insurance. Under the government's Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) initiative, a loading is applied to private hospital cover premiums from 1 July following your 31st birthday if you don't have hospital cover. That means the older you are when you take out your first health insurance policy, the more you're likely to pay for your health cover.

At nib, we believe health cover should be simple, smart and value for money; so, we’ve put together five quick questions that could save you hundreds!

Believe it or not, your health is your most valuable asset.

Is your current health cover still relevant?

Our health needs change as we get older, so save yourself some cash and make sure you're not paying for cover you don't need. For example, if you've hung up your footy boots for good, perhaps you don't need a high level of physio cover. Or if you've had your babies and your family is complete, maybe it's time to remove pregnancy cover from your policy?

When comparing health insurance plans, it’s not always about price. Review the policy waiting periods, excess and annual limits.

Not sure what you need? No worries. Our friendly team is available to speak with you to ensure you're getting health cover that suits your needs and the best value for your money.

Is your health cover tailored to your needs?

At nib, we've created Extras covers based on services you are most likely to use. For example if wellbeing is important to you, you can chose cover which includes natural therapies like remedial massage - and if your needs change, it's easy to select an Extras policy to suit you!

We also understand that extras aren't for everyone, so you have the option to choose hospital-only cover if you're after peace of mind or want to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

Are you taking advantage of benefits and rewards?

When it comes to health insurance, it's not just about the coverage and cost. Look a little closer and you'll find there are often additional member benefits and rewards that can add significant value to your health cover and save you money.

Are there health and wellbeing programs or tools you could be accessing for free? Or could you be saving money on your premium by setting up a direct debit? By asking these questions, you can ensure you're getting the most bang for your buck with your health insurance plan.

What is your excess?

When looking at your private health insurance policy, it's vital to check what level of excess you've got. For example, if you want to save money on your monthly premium, consider choosing a higher excess option. Australian residents can select an excess of up to $750 for singles and $1,500 for couples and families. To find out more about your excess options, head your member account.

What is the percentage you can claim back on your health cover?

Some health funds offer different percentages you can claim back across their extras products, while some offer set benefits. At nib, we've kept it simple with our latest range; depending on your cover you can claim from 50% to 75% of the cost up to the annual limit. You can also choose the nib-recognised provider you want to visit and expect the same benefits.

It's important to think about this when you’re considering value for money – a cheap premium with a low claim back percentage may not be ideal.

Health insurance shouldn't be set and forget. If you want value for money – and the right cover when you need it – review your policy regularly to ensure you're getting the best deal.

At nib, we encourage members to talk to one of our expert staff about developing a policy that best suits your needs and budget. If you're not sure your current cover meets your needs, but don't know where to start contact us, we're here to help.

* The surcharge is payable for every day you don't have hospital cover within the financial year. The ATO uses a special definition of income (called income for MLS purposes) to determine whether you are liable to pay the MLS, and the rate of MLS you will have to pay. This income is different to your taxable income.

The information shared in this article is general and not meant to guide specific financial choices. Always consult with a professional who understands your personal situation before making any financial decisions.