Best health insurance deals - four things you should know

When looking at the best health insurance deals for you or your family it is important to do careful research to select the cover that is most appropriate for your needs.

1. There are different private health insurance cover

The best health insurance deals offer a broad range of different policies and cover to Australian residents and their families. The range is designed to ensure that there is a cover option that suits not only your individual needs and budget, but also the changing priorities you may have at different stages in your life.

Most private health insurance funds products are split into two basic types – Hospital cover and Extras cover. Hospital cover provides benefits for a range of services received when you are admitted to hospital. Extras cover provides benefits for a range of services that Medicare generally doesn’t pay for, including optical, dental, chiropractic services and physiotherapy. Hospital and Extras cover can be taken individually, or combined to provide you with greater cover that suits your needs.

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

Join GMHBA on Combined cover for your chance to be at the 2017 Toyota AFL Grand Final*

* For new health insurance members on direct debit. Must pay first month to be eligible. Prize does not include flights or transfers. Promotional period 4 August 2017 - 24 September 2017. Valued at $1000. View Full Terms and Conditions

NSW Permit No. LTPS/17/16360

AFL Authorised GF Promotion: GFAFL 17/94

2. You may qualify for government rebates on your premiums and out-of-pocket expenses

The Australian Government Rebate on private health insurance is an initiative whereby the Government may contribute to a percentage of the cost of a member’s private health insurance. If you’re an Australian resident who qualifies for Medicare and holds private health insurance, you may be entitled to receive the rebate depending on your income. The level of rebate you’re entitled to is based on the age of the oldest person covered by the policy and by annual earnings.

The rebate is applied to the full cost of the policy, excluding any Lifetime Health Cover loading. This is because since 1 July 2013, the Federal Government no longer pays any rebate towards Lifetime Health Cover loading. For more information on changes to the rebate and your tax statement, please contact the ATO.

3. If you can afford it, you will need at least minimum coverage

The Medicare Levy is paid by most Australian taxpayers to fund Medicare. It's calculated at 1.5% of your taxable income but this rate may vary depending on your circumstance. For tax purposes, people who are not Australian residents generally do not pay the Medicare Levy as they are not entitled to Medicare benefits. For more information on how the Medicare Levy works and how it may impact you, visit ato.gov.au or speak to your tax adviser.

The Medicare Levy Surcharge is an additional levy on top of the Medicare Levy that is payable by Australian taxpayers who do not have an appropriate level of private patient hospital cover and earn above an income threshold. The MLS ranges from 1.0% to 1.5%, depending on a person’s income.

For the 2014/2015 financial year income thresholds start at $90,000 for singles and $180,000 for couples and families. Single parents and de facto couples are subject to family income thresholds. For families with children, the thresholds increase by $1,500 for each child after the first.

You can avoid being hit with the Medicare Levy Surcharge by taking out a hospital cover (extras only cover is not enough) policy with an excess no greater than $500 per annum.

4. Important Dates To Know

If you don’t purchase hospital cover by 1 July in the year following your 31st birthday, it is likely that will pay an additional charge known as the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading on any future policy you take out. LHC can add up with your health insurance premium increasing 2% for each year you are over 30.

For example, if you took out a $1500 policy when you are 45 and apply the loading it would end up costing $500 more per year than if you had held private health insurance since you were 31 years old.

There are a number of exceptions

  • If you were born on or before 1 July 1934, you are exempt from the Lifetime Health Cover loading.
  • Once you have paid a Lifetime Health Cover loading for ten continuous years, the loading is removed as long as you retain your hospital cover.
  • A gap of 12 months in coverage is permitted, provided you resume your cover, without affecting your Lifetime Health Cover status.

At GMHBA we offer the best health insurance deals to suit your needs and can advise you if you require any further details on the information provided above. Our Customer Service team are able to answer all your questions either online, over the phone or at one of our local branches. At GMHBA we are working hard to make your heath cover simple to understand and as useful as possible while still offering the best private health insurance deals.