What to look for when finding the best extras cover?

Finding the best extras plan for you

The benefits of hospital cover are well known:- private waiting lists instead of public ones, the doctor and hospital of your choice and maybe even a single room. However, the benefits of having the best extras plan can sometimes be a little less obvious. Whether you are single, planning for a family, playing injury-prone sports or leading a hectic life that calls for alternative therapies, the best extras plan for you can be designed to provide benefits to suit your changing needs.

You might already have private health insurance and not be sure if extras cover is included in your policy, or be wondering what exactly extras cover is. Either way, it can be important to understand a few simple things about the best extras plan options. In Australia, there are two types of private health insurance cover available – hospital cover and extras. Hospital policies can cover you for when you are admitted, either for accidents or injuries, or for elective treatments.

The best extras plan can provide benefits for the health treatments outside of hospital, such as dental, optical, physiotherapy and even ambulance cover. Extras cover is sometimes referred to as ancillary cover and can provide benefits for treatments usually not covered by Medicare. At GMHBA we offer a range of different levels of extras cover – Bronze, Silver and Gold – which can cater for most budgets. Health funds can also offer combined policies, which makes great sense for most people. However, depending on your needs you can choose to take out hospital and extras cover separately.

Bronze Hospital & Bronze Extras Set Benefits

Entry level hospital cover. Includes preventative dental and optical.
$ 20.35
per week
Select

Bronze Hospital & Silver Extras Set Benefits

Entry level cover. Cover for a range of popular services that suit your lifestyle.
$ 24.35
per week
Select

Silver Hospital Plus & Bronze Extras Set Benefits

Moderate cover. Includes private hospital with some exclusions. Includes cover for preventative dental.
$ 29.90
per week
Select

Bronze Hospital & Bronze Extras Set Benefits

Entry level hospital cover. Includes preventative dental and optical.
$ 20.35
per week
Select

Bronze Hospital & Silver Extras Set Benefits

Entry level cover. Cover for a range of popular services that suit your lifestyle.
$ 24.35
per week
Select

Silver Hospital Plus & Bronze Extras Set Benefits

Moderate cover. Includes private hospital with some exclusions. Includes cover for preventative dental.
$ 29.90
per week
Select

* The price shown is per week and applies to a Single living in VIC with a $500 excess. It excludes LHC loading and includes a Base Tier Government Rebate

One month free on any cover*

*Offer ends 30 June. For new members on direct debit. Must pay first month to receive second month free.

How does extras cover work?

At GMHBA, once you have decided on the best extras plan for you we can provide you with a list of providers for the different extra services available in your policy; this can include dentists, optometrists and chiropractors. Importantly, you are able to choose your own provider. Some other health funds only work with certain dentists, for example, but at GMHBA we value choice and want you to choose the best practitioner for you. Keep in mind that the amount of the extras benefit you receive will depend on the type of cover you have taken out.

As a general rule, the higher your level of cover, the more extras you’ll be covered for, and the more you can get back when you claim. If you think you or your family will have a greater need for one type of extras, such as dental, then make sure that you choose a policy that gives you maximum dental extras benefits. If you're purchasing cover for the first time or increasing your level of cover, you’ll probably need to serve a waiting period before you can claim your benefits. During this waiting period you won’t receive any benefits for certain treatments or (if you’ve increased your cover) you won’t receive the higher benefits for a specified period. Make sure you read the details of your policy to ensure you’re fully aware of exactly what you can claim and when you can start to make claims. Waiting periods generally vary between 2 and 12 months. It is also important to know how to claim. Claiming for extras has never been easier at GMHBA.

There are a number of different ways to claim. You choose the one that suits you best. Most providers of extras services have a HICAPS or IBA terminal (these look like EFTPOS machines) that allow you to swipe your private health insurance membership card at the time of service. This allows you to claim on the spot and you just have to pay any difference between the cost of the service and what your insurer pays. It’s immediate and easy. Alternatively you can pop into the retail or service arm of your health insurer and make a claim in person. You just need to have your member details and extras provider receipts with you. There is also the option to claim online, and you can even claim on your smartphone.

How do I know what is the best extras plan for me?

The best extras plan for you starts with selecting the right mix of treatments. For example, dental benefits can be a great way to offset the costs of your policy. To look after your teeth, and make the most of your dental extras, you should consider having a preventative check-up every 6 months. This can reduce the prospect of more expensive treatments in the future as problems can be identified and treated early. It’s not just dental cover that can help create the best extras plan for you.

There are other extras that you can claim now, even if you’re feeling well, like optical, remedial massage or acupuncture. Of course, this will depend on your health fund and your level of cover, so always check before you undergo any new treatment. If you’re in any doubt about whether your current policy is meeting your needs the simplest thing to do is to speak with your private health insurer. They’ll talk with you about your lifestyle and health requirements and help you to get the right level of both hospital and extras cover. And reviewing your policy every few years is a great idea to make sure it’s meeting the changing needs of you and your family, as well as providing value. Remember, you can’t put a price on your health or that of your family. At GMHBA we offer the best health insurance policies to give you great peace of mind.