As summer disappears in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to make sure that your household budget is as healthy as can be. March is a good time to review your expenses, because on 1 April private health insurance premiums are set to increase by an average of 4.84%.
Remember, 4.84% is an average only and some policies are set to increase by a lot more than 5%.
So in other words, it’s likely you and your family are going to be paying more for the same cover you’re getting now. It’s easy to set and forget this kind of thing, but if you do, you can easily be denting your household budget, and you might also not be covered for everything you need.
Here are some top tips on how to save money on your private health insurance:
- Make sure your policy suits your life stage and medical needs, especially if they are regularly changing. With kids growing up comes a range of unexpected medical expenses like dentist visits, braces, glasses, orthotics or even an after-hours doctor’s visit for some stiches after a poorly executed dismount from the top-bunk. Unfortunately, when it comes to having kids, accidents and trips to the doctor are never far away, so make sure your policy covers you for all of life’s little medical surprises.
- Make sure everyone is on the policy. A family policy typically costs the same regardless of how many kids are on it. Having said that, in the hustle and bustle of home life and getting a new child settled in, many families forget to add a new child to their policy and thus leave them uncovered for any medical treatments they might need after birth.
- Done with kids? If you’ve decided you have enough kids, removing pregnancy from your policy could save you hundreds of dollars a year. After all, why pay for it if you are not planning to use it?
- Look for freebies. Some funds offer free dental check-ups while others waive excesses for kids going into hospital. And check out what kind of ‘preventative’ health benefits your fund offers – some offer discounts on things like swimming lessons, hats and even sunscreen!
- Pay up front if you can. Paying your annual premium upfront now will lock in this year’s prices for another 12 months, meaning that you avoid the rate rise for another year. You’ll take a short-term hit to your bank account, but you’ll save money in the long run.
None of us wants to spend time dealing with our health insurance - we just want it to be there when we need, at a price we can afford. So by spending a bit of time sorting it now, you can get yourself peace of mind and possibly even some more cash in the bank. Just remember that April is around the corner!
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