What are the best health insurance plans?

The array of health insurance options is broader than it’s ever been before and that can be both encouraging and a bit intimidating at the same time. Australians can choose to sign up for a policy directly through a carrier or through an online site. That can mean there are a lot of health insurance plans to sift through, some of which look very similar to one another.

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.

Choose your own extras provider.*

*With GMHBA, you have the choice to use any extras provider with professional qualifications recognised by GMHBA.

To ensure you make the best choice, be sure to prioritise your needs ahead of time and determine how each plan compares. Here are some steps to follow to help you navigate the buying process and find the best health insurance plan for you.

1) Determine your insurance needs

Some consumers start looking for plans with a single thought in their mind: finding the lowest premium. But keep in mind that with insurance, like anything, you get what you pay for. A cut-rate plan might look appealing at first glance, but becomes pricey when it doesn’t cover a particular hospital or extra you may need.

Before you start your search, write down a few of the things you value most. Maybe it’s the ability to keep the physio or dentist that you really like. Perhaps there’s an elective procedure you’re considering that only some plans pay for. Or it could be particular extra such as optical you need included. This will make sure the best health insurance plans for you cover all your needs.

2) Know your options

Today, consumers who are looking for the best health insurance plan have various different options. They can either buy a policy which just covers hospital visits and procedures, one which covers extras or a policy which covers both. You can refer to the following page which details this further https://www.gmhba.com.au/product-compare.

Hospital cover will cover you towards some or all of the costs of treatment received in private and public hospital. Hospital costs span over a range of services including doctors’ charges, hospital accommodation, operating fees, operating theatre fees and intensive care.

Extras cover often called ancillary cover or general treatment will insure you against some of the costs of health and medical services that help you lead a healthier lifestyle. When you take out extras cover you will receive benefits towards services not covered by Medicare such as physio, optical and dental.

Combined cover is a package offered which covers both hospital and extras cover.

3) Find out what’s covered

Unfortunately, finding the best health insurance plans isn’t like buying a TV, where you select and model and simply compare prices at different retailers. Plans can vary tremendously in terms of what services they cover.

Insurance products also differ in terms of which doctors and hospitals are included in their network. While some policies allow you to choose virtually any medical practitioner others are more restrictive. If there’s a certain primary care doctor or specialist you’d like to use, it pays to do your research ahead of time and see whether they’re fully covered. Please refer to the following link for more details regarding health insurance coverage; http://www.privatehealth.gov.au/healthinsurance/whatiscovered/privatehealth.htm

4) Look at the complete cost

When evaluating different insurance options, it’s easy to be dragged in by the plan with the lowest monthly premium. But chances are, you won’t be getting as much help from the insurance company if something unexpected happens. If you’re young and healthy, that might be a risk you’re willing to take. However, some consumers sleep easier knowing they’re covered if they need to stay in the hospital overnight or have surgery.

Below are a few basic features to keep in mind when considering insurance prices:

  • Premium: The fixed amount you pay every month to keep the policy in effect.
  • Co-payments: The amount you have to pay out-of-pocket right when you receive a service.
  • Excess: The amount you elect to pay towards your hospital admission before your health insurance company pays a benefit.

To get the best deal, you really need to take all these factors into account. Depending on what level of coverage you’re comfortable getting, look for a plan that’s likely to offer the lowest overall cost.

The Bottom Line

In most cases, it’s worthwhile comparing plans in order to find the best health insurance plans for you. Make sure you understand what the policy offers and covers and understand all of the out-of-pocket expenses included.