Take it to the (extras) limit!
All extras have a limit on how much you can claim per year (i.e. a certain percentage or dollar amount) for particular treatments.
For example, you can claim a certain amount each year on eye glasses, but eventually you’ll reach a limit on how many pairs you can purchase. This limit will depend which extras policy you took out, and whether you’re on a singles, couples or family policy.
Read your policy brochure to find out what the specific limits are, and make sure you claim as much as you can throughout the year to get the most value from your policy.
Extras waiting periods
You may be wondering what waiting periods you’ll have to sit for your extras. These periods are set by the health fund, unlike hospital benefits which are set by the government.
This may sound like you’re at the mercy of the insurers, but this can actually work in your favour. Health insurers are constantly working to win your business, and have been known to waive general treatment waiting periods at certain times throughout the year. Keep a close eye on the market to catch these deals!
Extras cover no waiting period
As mentioned, health insurers may waive certain waiting periods on extras as an incentive for you to join their fund. Aside from this, waivers usually only occur on hospital and extras combined policies. No waiting periods on extras cover all depends on what medical service or treatment you require. For example, some standard extras cover with no waiting periods may include routine dental, physiotherapy, chiropractic, and natural therapies.
Many private health insurance providers offer extras cover where you can start claiming straight away on selected extras (given the level of extras cover you take out).
Waiting periods differ between private health funds, but can always be found on the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) of your chosen policy.
Standard waiting periods are typically 12 months. Some insurers may hold promotions where extras cover waiting periods on combined hospital policies are waived, however this is uncommon.
What you can claim with top level extras cover
Extras policies that cover a large number of features with high limits will obviously command a higher premium. However, based on the number of claims you make on your policy every year, they can actually be very good value for money.
The great thing about extras cover is, while it won’t exempt you from the Medicare Levy Surcharge, it is eligible for the health insurance rebate. With top level cover, you could get a significant amount of your premiums back through this rebate (up to 40%!), depending on your age and income.
Choosing extras only health insurance
Depending on your health insurance provider, extras only cover is available as a separate policy if you’re only after specific services and treatments. Some popular choices for extras cover include: