Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Save money on private health insurance with these easy steps



If you want to save money on private health insurance, there are some really easy ways to do it. From choosing the right level of cover, to choosing the right insurer, to choosing the right level of excess – there is a lot you can do to make sure you get value for money on your private health insurance policy.

Choose the right level of cover

Making sure you have the correct level of cover is one of the easiest ways to ensure you don’t pay more than you have to for health insurance. Most insurers will offer varying levels of cover, with the more basic options generally being cheaper. You can also choose which services you want cover for, allowing you to only pay for the services you are likely to use.

Choose the right insurer

Different health insurance providers offer different types of policies, and charge different prices for their services. If you want to save money on health insurance, be sure to compare private health insurance companies and find the best option for you – at the right price. Bear in mind that the cheapest option will not always offer the best cover – make sure the policy you choose offers you the cover you need, or you may find yourself out of pocket when you need to make a claim.

Choose the right excess

Another easy way to save money on health insurance is to choose the right level of excess on your policy. When you make a claim, you may need to pay a certain amount in excess. By increasing the amount you pay in excess, you may be able to reduce the amount you pay in premiums. If you choose a lower excess, you may pay more in premiums. Think about the likelihood of having to make a claim, and how much you can afford to pay in excess when you claim.

Choose the right extras

Health insurance can be divided into two main sections – hospital cover and extras cover. You can choose to get hospital cover or extras cover or both. If you choose to get both types of cover, you can get them both from the same provider, or you can get hospital cover from one provider and extras cover from another provider. When it comes to choosing extras, be sure to choose a policy that only covers the extras you need – or you may end up paying for services you don’t use.

Review your cover

As your life changes, your cover requirements will change as well. Review your policy regularly to make sure it gives you all the cover you need, and get rid of cover you don’t need. There’s no point paying for cover that you don’t use.

The Private Health Insurance Rebate and Medicare Levy Surcharge

If you purchase private health insurance, you may be eligible for a rebate from the government on the cost of your premiums. This rebate is income tested, and applies to hospital, general treatment and ambulance policies. The rebate levels for 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014 are:

Singles
Families
≤$88,000
≤$176,000
$88,001-102,000
$176,001-204,000
$102,001-136,000
$204,001-272,000
≥$136,001
≥$272,001
Rebate
< age 65
30%
20%
10%
0%
Age 65-69
35%
25%
15%
0%
Age 70+
40%
30%
20%
0%
Medicare Levy Surcharge
All ages
0.0%
1.0%
1.25%
1.5%


The table also includes information on the amount you will pay on the Medicare Levy Surcharge according to your income.



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