MIND THE WAIT
You will have to serve a waiting period when you start a new policy (or increase your level of cover).
The maximum waiting periods that funds can impose for hospital treatment are: 12 months for pre-existing conditions and obstetrics (pregnancy), two months for psychiatric care, rehabilitation or palliative care (even for pre-existing conditions), and two months in all other circumstances. Waiting periods for general treatment (ancillary or extras) cover are set by individual health funds.
This is an update of an article we published last year about reducing health fund premiums.
WHAT DO WE ACTUALLY USE IT FOR?
In the year ending March 2015, private health insurance funds paid over $17.6 billion for treatments including;
$13 billion of hospital treatments ($8 billion in private hospitals)
$4.5 billion of ‘extras’ health services including; $2.3b for dental, $778m for optical, $377m for physiotherapy, $287m for chiropractic, and $174 million for natural therapies.
MORE AND MORE OF US ARE GOING PRIVATE
Back in 1999, about a third of Australians had private health insurance, but the numbers have steadily increased since then.
Now, just under half of us have private hospital cover (47.3% according to the latest figures*) and just over half have private extras, or ‘ancillary’ cover (55.6%).
* As of March 2015 according to the Private Health Insurance Administration Council.