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.
Extras cover enables you to claim benefits for any out–of–hospital 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.
There are three levels to extras cover. These are:
Extras cover can include some of or all of the following:
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.
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
Family’s extras cover policy (Two adults and three dependent children)
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, a 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.
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.
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.
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.
By making the most of your extras cover, you will be actively benefiting your health and preventing illness or injury.
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.
Depending on your insurer, there are a range of services and courses to help mums-to-be and mums post birth.
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.
Many customers won’t take full advantage of the extras available in their policy. As such, extras cover can sometimes be valuable money wasted.
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.
You may be charged further costs in addition to your monthly premium.
When choosing your extras cover, ensure you opt for extras you will truly take advantage of. Extras cover doesn’t come cheap, and money spent on services or treatments you won’t use, will hinder your finances in the long run.
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.
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.