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Insider Tips for Finding Affordable Health Insurance

When was the last time you reviewed your health insurance cover? It’s a good idea to check your cover from time to time to make sure you are carrying enough coverage to meet your healthcare needs. If your finances have changed and you are beginning to worry about the cost of your insurance, there are several things you can do to better manage your policy and lower your premiums dramatically. In other words, as you can find out from insurance comparison services there are health funds that fit all types of situations. For instance, there are plans that offer rate protection if you pay in advance and others who allow you to suspend your membership for a limited amount of time. This way you can avoid falling behind in payments if times are tough.

There are a number of health insurance policies that offer full cover at the same price of hospital accommodation and in-hospital medical charges.  Furthermore, some policies will offer you a lower premium in exchange for meeting some of the costs. You can choose to entirely forgo coverage for specific services or only received limited benefits for certain services. Paying excess or a co-payment can also help you save money on your policy.

Take a look at any exclusion noted on your policy. In essence, if your policy has exclusions for a certain condition, you will not be covered for that treatment or remedy as a private patient in a private or public facility. If you need treatment for a service that has been excluded from your policy, you have two options. The first is to seek treatment as a public patient or to cover the full cost of the treatment on your own.

Be mindful of any restricted benefits on your policy. You will only be covered for treatment to a certain extent. If you need treatment, you will face out-of-pocket costs when you are treated as a private patient. You could seek treatment as a public patient or go to a public hospital as a private patient. Additionally, you can cover the majority of the cost of the treatment yourself.

See if your policy has a stipulation for excess. Excess is an agreed upon amount of money you will pay for staying at a hospital before any of your health insurance benefits kick in. Often this is called a front-end deductible. An excess can be a one-time fee or payable every time you go to the hospital. There may also be a cap on the amount of excess you have to pay in one calendar year.

With all this in mind, it’s best to find out what types of discounts you and your family may qualify for. Many health funds offer special discounts on premiums for people who meet certain conditions. Some health funds offer discounts to people who opt to pay their premiums at least three months in advance.  

There are insurance providers who give big discounts to those who pay their premiums through a payroll deduction or pre-arranged automatic transfer from an account. You can also get a discount on your premium if you choose to go paperless and receive communications from the health insurer electronically. 

Some funds give discounts to contribution groups like health insurance that has been set up through an employer or organization. If the insurer is not required to pay a state or territory levy, then premiums can also be reduced. Another clever way to keep health insurance costs down is to receive rate protection. If you are able to pay your premiums at least a year in advance, you will not be subject to paying a rate increased during that period. You would not have to pay the rate increase until your 12-month cover is over.

Get the facts and go over your current policy. See where you may qualify for discounts and be mindful of any excess, restrictions, and exclusions on your policy. Knowing the details of your policy is the best way to ensure you have enough coverage at a price you can afford.

Peter Christopher

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