Extras only cover

Considering taking out extras cover? Here Savvy takes a look at your extras cover options and explains how to get the best extras cover for you!

Compare extras only cover

Extras cover is an integral part of choosing your health insurance policy. While extras can prove beneficial when chosen correctly, they can also prove costly. Here we explain how to best ensure you get the right extras cover for your health and financial situation.  

What is extras cover?

Extras cover enables you to claim benefits for any outofhospital medical services or treatments that are not covered under Medicare. An extras cover policy can include cover for common treatments or services like dental, physiotherapy, chiropractic and more.   

The primary benefit of extras cover is preventative treatment which can improve your overall health. When properly taken advantage of, extras cover can prove immensely beneficial to your health and finances should you claim back your full benefits.  

The difference between extras and hospital cover is that extras cover is steered towards non-essential services and treatments which help avoid injury or illness. This will help prevent the need for use of your hospital cover towards more serious minor or major medical treatment in hospital or at your GP. If you’re looking for complete comprehensive cover and to be best insured for both essential and non-essential medical treatment, combined cover is often the best option.  

What are the levels of extras cover?

There are three levels to extras cover. These are:  

  • Basic extras – This form of extras cover is best suited to younger and healthier individuals living a leisure lifestyle. A basic extras policy will include benefits to a limited number of essential services. The total annual benefits to basic extras cover is limited in comparison to other options, but the cover’s premium is the most affordable.  
  • Medium extras – Most compatible with middle-aged people or young families, medium extras cover is perfect for getting a balanced level of affordability and cover with your policy.  
  • Comprehensive extras – This policy offers the most complete cover but at an expensive price. If you’re an individual, family, or couple with extensive health care needs or wants, this cover may suit you best. Comprehensive extras cover pays the most benefits and gives cover for a broad range of out-of-hospital treatments. Also, comprehensive extras cover will have the highest annual limits of the three policy options. 

What does extras cover include?

Extras cover can include some of or all of the following:  

  • Optical – If you may require contact lenses or glasses, this inclusion will go a great way to saving you money. Even better, try to choose policy which offers no-gap optical. This way, if you visit an affiliated outlet of the fund, you can get free lenses or frames.  
  • Physiotherapy – Extras cover for physio can be extremely helpful if you play sports, live an active lifestyle or battle certain injuries.  
  • Chiropractic – If you have a back condition or are looking to improve your general back health, this extras cover can go a long way.  
  • General dental – Get covered for general dental and you can make the most of free check-ups and benefits associated with more simple dental procedures. These simple procedures can help prevent the need for major dental work down the track and save you money.  
  • Major dental – This extras feature is typically only an inclusion in high-level extras cover. Major dental includes cover for teeth removal, root canals, endodontics, dentures, and sometimes even cosmetic procedures. The predominant benefit of major dental is for orthodontics, which is especially useful for younger families. 

 

 

  • Non-PBS medications – Should you be in a situation where you regularly require non-PBS medications, you could take full advantage of this extras cover.  
  • Psychology – Can include group therapy, counselling  and other useful services to help keep you mentally healthy.  
  • Certain health aids – Extras cover can help cover the costs of walkers, prosthetics or hearing aids amongst other health aids.  
  • Podiatry – This cover could be essential should you have a foot or lower limb injury impacting your situation.  
  • Dietetics – Includes cover for diet, weight loss and nutrition services. 
  • Gym memberships – Most extras policies will include services to help contribute to a healthy lifestyle like gym memberships, pilates classes and basic health checks.  
  • Travel vaccinations – If you’re planning an overseas holiday and may require a vaccination, your extras cover can help. Your cover could contribute towards the cost of vaccinations for hepatitis A and B, malaria, cholera, yellow fever and rabies amongst other vaccines. 
  • Emergency ambulance transport – If you live outside of Queensland or Tasmania, the cost of an emergency ambulance can be expensive without the appropriate cover. In addition, this cover will be Australia wide. 

How do I compare extras cover?

The priority in determining what extras cover is best for you is to identify which inclusions you need based on your health situation. If you play sports, you may need to prioritise physiotherapy in your extras cover. If you have back issues or are in a line of work which is high intensity and strenuous, chiropractic may be necessary to protect you now and later in life. While many extras options may be appealing, it’s important you don’t go over the top but instead restrict your cover to extras you will utilise.  

In addition, your income should play a role in determining what extras cover you can afford. It can prove costly and if you choose an array of inclusions which are not relevant to you, your money will be going to waste. Comprehensive cover does allow you to claim benefits for an extensive range of treatments and services, but it’s a very expensive premium to be paying if you’re not taking advantage of it.  

Lastly, you must make sure you explore your options broadly. While the first extras cover you see may appeal to you, there are a plethora of other cover options like it. You will also gradually learn the ins and outs of extras cover yourself and develop a knack for knowing what you do and don’t like in policy options. 

How much does extras cover cost?

Taking out extras cover will cost you less than hospital cover. However, this doesn’t negate the need for hospital cover given its many benefits. Both cover options serve a range of purposes which the other can’t offer.  

Ultimately, the cost of your extras cover will come down to the level of policy you opt for and its inclusions. An extras policy with extensive cover towards an array of services is no doubt going to come at a higher cost. These higher-level policies will also have higher annual limits; meaning the extras cover is likely to be taken advantage of more often. In addition, an extras policy is obviously going to cost less for a single than a family.   

As a guide, the following price range applies to a single’s extras cover policy and a family’s extras cover policy:   

Type of cover  

Cost per month  

Single’s extras cover policy  

$13-$45  

Family’s extras cover policy (Two adults and three dependent children)  

$33-$93 

How do I apply for the best extras cover?

Need help choosing the best extras cover for you? Follow these steps to help you apply for the right cover!

What cover do I want?

Firstly, you will need to determine what level of extras cover policy you want. If you’re looking for extras cover but are on a budget, basic extras cover policy may be the best fit for you. If you’re looking for a mid-level of extras cover with a balance of affordability and extras coverage, a medium extras policy could suit your situation. A top-level of cover will suit those who need a greater array of extras services and treatments. If your income or financial situation allows it, a top-level extras cover will be most beneficial to your health, should you take full advantage of it.  

What provider options do I have?

Compare your options with Savvy. With our comprehensive comparison tools, you can contrast the best offers on the market in the areas that matter most to you. You’ll be able to find an extras insurance policy which best fits you and your needs with Savvy.  

Am I eligible?

Apply in store or online with your chosen registered health insurer. Unlike home or car insurance, private health insurance is community rated so eligibility isn’t an issue. You will be able to apply for whatever type of extras cover you want and pay the same price as everyone else for the same policy.  

Which documents will I need?

When applying you will need to complete some basic application forms filling out relevant information about yourself and prove who you are with identity documentation such as your driver’s licence. If you’re changing from another insurer, you will be required to complete a clearance certificate form to have the change formally approved.  

Pros and cons of extras cover

Need help deciding on your extras cover? Here we go over the pros and cons.

PROS

Improve your health and wellbeing 

By making the most of your extras cover, you will be actively benefiting your health and preventing illness or injury.  

Preventative dental benefits  

Can often get 1-2 dental check-ups per year which will help prevent the need for major dental work in the near or later future.  

Beneficial for pregnancy  

Depending on your insurer, there are a range of services and courses to help mums-to-be and mums post birth.  

Heart health checks 

Later in life, heart health will be more important than ever. Extras cover can provide free heart health checks so you can get on top of any issues before they happen.  

CONS

Can be expensive and underutilised 

Many customers won’t take full advantage of the extras available in their policy. As such, extras cover can sometimes be valuable money wasted.  

Complex product  

Like all health insurance policies, extras cover can prove complicated. You may find that you’re not covered for a preventative medical treatment or service you originally thought you were. 

Can still incur out-of-pocket costs  

You may be charged further costs in addition to your monthly premium.   

Top tips for getting the best extras cover

Follow Savvy’s top tips to ensure you get the best extras cover.

Only choose necessary extras

When choosing your extras cover, ensure you opt for extras you will truly take advantage of. Extras cover doesn’t come cheapand money spent on services or treatments you won’t use, will hinder your finances in the long run.  

Take full advantage of your extras cover

Once you have chosen and taken out your extras cover, you must make the most of it! If you make the most of your extras benefits, you will be bettering your health and wellbeing, while making back the cost of the premium on the benefits you claim.  

Keep an eye on your limits

It’s important you know what your extras cover’s annual limits are. This way you can ensure you don’t go over your annual limit and end up having to pay more than you bargained for. Also, if you check your PDS or cover summary for the annual limits, you might find you haven’t been taking full advantage of your cover’s benefits like you had thought.  

Frequently asked questions about extras cover

Need answers to any remaining questions regarding extras cover? Here Savvy goes over the most common ones.

Should I get extras cover, hospital cover or a combined cover?

Each form of cover has its individual benefits which the other can’t offer.  

If you’re concerned about requiring in-hospital treatments such as surgery in the future, hospital cover will be necessary. In addition, having that cover will offer a great deal of peace of mind should you require treatment in a medical emergency.  

Extras cover provides extensive benefits which can help prevent further injuries and ensure you are fit and healthy.  

If it’s in your budget, the best option might be combined cover in certain circumstances. While it’s more expensive, it will be the best option for your health and wellbeing, and ensure you have peace of mind by prioritising the protection of your health and finances.  

What are the waiting periods for extras claims?

The waiting periods for extras claims differ between insurers but is mostly as follows: 

  • Two months for physiotherapy, general dental and the majority of extras services.  
  • Six months for optical. This includes optical benefits such as glasses and contact lenses.  
  • 12 months for psychological consults, major dental work, or orthotics 
  • 12, 24 or 36 months for hearing aids and orthodontics.  
How long do I have to make a claim on my extras cover?

In most instances, insurance providers will give you some leeway while you make a claim if you had cover at the time of the service or treatment. It may vary from fund to fund, but you will likely have up to 2 years from the date of treatment or service to submit a claim.  

What’s an annual limit?

An annual limit is a cap which is placed on the amount you can claim annually on your policy. Instead of annual limits, certain extras inclusions, like orthodontics, may have a lifetime limit. Read your cover’s summary or product disclosure statement (PDS) for more detail information.  

When will my extras cover’s annual limits restart?

This will vary between health funds, but your annual limits will restart at the end of each financial or calendar year. Make sure to read your policy’s PDS for more detailed information.  

I have a pre-existing condition, am I still eligible for extras cover?

Yes! Despite having a pre-existing condition, you will still be eligible for both hospital and extras cover. Longer waiting periods may sometimes apply to pre-existing conditions with hospital cover, however, this is not applicable to extras cover. Instead, you will be faced with the same waiting periods as other patients despite your pre-existing condition.