Why should I keep private health insurance?
You might be asking yourself, “Do I need health insurance?”
There are a number of different ways you can reduce the cost of your health insurance premium, from reviewing your cover to ensure you’re not paying for things you don’t need to taking advantage of nib’s direct debit discount or choosing a higher excess option in return for lower premiums.
Thanks to the upcoming Government-initiated reforms, the maximum excess limit will be increasing giving you more choice around the cost of your premium. It’s just one of the new reforms being introduced, which we believe represent a significant step toward making health insurance easier to understand and more affordable.
From 1 April 2019, nib members will be given the option to increase their excess limit from $500 to $750 for singles, and $1,000 to $1,500 for couples or families. So, if you’re with nib, you’ll be able to opt for a higher level of excess in return for a lower premium. If you’re with another health fund, this might not apply as it’s an optional part of the upcoming reforms.
To help you navigate all things excess, we’ve outlined some of the most frequently asked questions.
Just like with your car or home insurance, excess (which is sometimes referred to as a front end deductible) is an amount of money you agree to pay for a hospital stay before health insurance benefits are payable. Generally speaking, choosing a higher excess means you’ll pay less for your health cover.
If you select a $750 excess and you make a hospital claim for $2,500, you’ll pay the first $750 and your insurer will pay the remaining $1,750. The excess is paid directly to the hospital and is only payable if you, or someone on your policy, go to hospital – it doesn’t apply to Extras cover.
Your excess limit is selected when you purchase a health insurance policy. If you’re with nib and you’d like to confirm your excess amount, you can do so by logging into Online Services. You can also change your excess by contacting our member service team on 13 16 42.
Please note, you won’t be able to change to the new $750 or $1,500 excess options until 1 April 2019. We’re currently working on building a tool in Online Services so you can login and change it yourself. We’ll let you know when it’s ready.
If you’re on a selected family cover, you won’t need to pay an excess if one of your kids (up to 21 years of age) has to go to hospital. Please contact us to find out whether this applies to your family.
An increased excess limit is one of many changes coming that will make health insurance simpler and create more value for you. To find out about the upcoming Government-initiated private health insurance reforms, visit our dedicated page.
For other helpful tips on reducing the cost of your cover, check out our guide to saving money on your health insurance premium.