Navigating insurance

CHOOSING health insurance is no mean feat. While many people hopped under the proverbial umbrella earlier in the year to take advantage of the Lifetime Health Cover, not all had the time to choose a policy which represented the best value for them.

Most health insurance companies will let customers modify their existing policies to more suitable packages.

To make this complicated matter a little simpler we’ve looked at three levels of cover from three different insurers ranging from basic cover to top table.

Basic Cover

Healthy Plus from Medibank Private will cover you for private hospital accommodation all year round and give your a private room where available and offers theatre fees without the need for an additional hospital package.

It covers you for $500 per year of general dental, $200 for optical, $300 for physiotherapy, $300 worth of non-PBS pharmaceutical prescriptions and ambulance transport.

It’s worth noting that all three Medibank Private packages discussed here come with a package bonus which gives you $100 per year (one year of membership onward) or $200 per year (two years onwards) to spend on health or sporting club memberships, member related expenses, sports apparel/equipment and other health related services.

Essential Saver from HBF does not offer hospital cover, but taking out a Healthy Saver policy on top is probably a close equivalent. This policy covers all theatre costs and allows you to share a room in a private hospital.

HBF offers members special advantages such as discounts on travel insurance and sunscreen.

HIF’s Special Options package does not include hospital coverage, so we’ve added their Gold Hospital policy. Gold Hospital covers you for the cost of a shared room in a private hospital and 100 per cent of theatre charges. It cover you for an overall limit of $500 for dental, one pair of spectacles or contact lenses a year, $400 in total for chiropractic physiotherapy and osteopathic, $200 in pharmacy, $252 in dietetic and free ambulance cover.

Medium Cover

Medibank Privates medium level cover Smart plus offers the same advantages as Healthy Plus, but also covers you for $300 worth of Flexi-funds. Options in the Flexi-fund include clinical psychology, health appliances, alternative/other therapies and major dental.

HBF Essential Standard gets you everything on the Essential Saver list and much more.

HIF Super Options will get you all the Special Options goodies plus many more.

Top Cover

With Medibank Private’s Advantages Plus you get the whole kit and caboodle including $800 worth of school accident cover, $1000 worth of health appliances, $1300 worth of major dental (plus $600 in general dental), $700 worth of physiotherapy and lots more.

Like wise HBF’s Premium Essentials policy is a veritable show-bag full of medical toys which basically offers you a higher degree of coverage on the same goods and services as their Essentials policy. For example extra cash goes towards psychology, general, major and complex dental and they’ll even throw in $50 per year for sporting equipment.

HIF’s top table Special Options policy is no less thorough. This policy ups the anti on many Super Options monetary benefits and also covers you for ‘complementary therapies’ like Chinese Medicine, Naturopathy and Homoeopathy, as well as $70 towards a first aid course.

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