Shopping for Health Funds?


My joyous experience shopping around for a new Health Fund

So I finally took the plunge and went through the pain of comparing my health fund policy with others, and here is how it went for me …

My process

I ruled out health funds that:

  • run for profit to shareholders not members as my experience has been that they provide lower benefits – ie pay out less
  • don’t allow you to choose your own hospital if you need an operation

I ruled in health funds that :

  • are run for benefit of members ie non profit
  • allow known gap – where the doctor can charge a limited extra amount and I can still use my insurance
  • passed my rule of thumb test in paying out what I considered well in comparison to the others I looked at for the few items I selected

What info did I have ready when I contacted the fund?

  • I had the product name of my current health fund policy ( for me it was HCF hospital advanced savings + multicover extras. I also need to tell them my hospital excess which was $450) so they could suggest their product with similar benefits
  • You need to be able to tell them what you pay and know your government rebate so they can quote for the same ( for me it was $413 before the rebate so I actually pay less then that as my rebate is given each month )

And so which funds did I like?

  • Here are some of my favourite funds after speaking to them……


Watch out for loyalty programmes

Ok so I was all ready and about to change health fund to CUA but then I found out about the “loyalty programme” for orthodontics. So you get a certain amount of benefits for certain things allowed per year for every year you are a member up to a lifetime limit per person.

The downside is that this type of loyalty programme does not go with you to the new fund aagghhh. My son is about to have braces, so I would have missed out on about $1800 of benefits if I moved funds now.

Once I decided to change funds, was it a big hassle to change over ?
Well I didn’t change funds after all but I understand that if you do then the good news is that the new fund does all the work – ie they contact the old fund and get the policy transferred over.

Also, it doesent matter if you have paid in advance for your old health fund – you will receive a refund for any premiums paid in advance

Do you ever have to resit waiting periods?

Health funds legally have to offer continuity of cover – so if you have cover with one fund and transfer to the same level of cover with another fund you do not have to complete a new waiting period. One fund tried to offer this to me as a year end special – cheeky.

But again, beware that if your fund has loyalty programme – look into what it means for you before you consider changing.

Randwick Plastic Surgery Team