A guide to saving money on your health insurance cover
A few small changes can make a big difference
There comes a time in any relationship when you have the big 'commitment' chat and while you might discuss moving-out together, joint bank accounts and adopting a puppy, you probably haven't thought about updating your private health insurance.
If you're loved-up and wondering whether or not to take your relationship to the next healthcare level, it's a good idea to ask yourself these four questions before you do – because mum and dad always warned you to stay protected!
Are you looking for a basic hospital cover or do you want to be covered for more, like heart and back surgery? Do you want Extras cover so you can claim on things like dental, optical and physio? Ask yourself what’s most important to you when you’re thinking of updating your policy.
Next, it's time to sit down with your partner and find out what sort of cover they need. You might find that they have different health priorities to you!
If you or your partner hasn't taken out private hospital insurance by 30 June after you turn 31, the Government will charge you a Lifetime Health Cover loading (LHC) – an additional 2% on top of your premium for every year you don't take out hospital cover. So, if you're 40 when you take out private hospital insurance, you'll be charged an extra 20% more on your premium (2% for every year).
If you and your partner are under 31, or you fall into some limited exceptions to paying LHC, there's good news! You can skip third base and move straight onto question #4.
Before you hit a health insurance home run, you've got to talk 'financials'. Know your annual income and ask your partner what theirs is.
The Government contributes an amount towards the cost of your private hospital health insurance premiums known as the Australian Government Rebate on private health insurance. However, the amount it contributes is dependent on income – if you have a higher income (lucky you!), your rebate may be reduced, or you might not be entitled to receive it at all.
If you don't have private hospital insurance and you earn over a certain amount ($90,000 for singles or $180,000 for couples, families and single parent families), the Government will charge you a Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) at tax-time. Having private hospital insurance can help you and your partner avoid the MLS. For more information on this, visit the ATO website.
Once you've answered these four questions, it's best to talk to an expert when it comes to choosing between a singles or couples policy. Call nib on 13 16 42, or contact us online to get personalised advice.