You pay all that money every month, so make the most of it…
If you have private health insurance extras cover, it’s worth taking a closer look to maximise your benefits, plan ahead – and know a few tricks. These days, health insurance funds favour preventative treatments as they are less expensive than curing nasty (expensive) health problems. So making the most of your cover might also end up being your healthiest year ever – and the biggest money saver.
1. Find out the reset date
A lot of health insurance funds reset at the end of the calendar year, but it’s worth checking with your provider to be sure, as dates may vary. Next, go through the list of extra services allocated to you and make sure you’re allowing time to use these benefits. Check your allowances and try to get maximum use out of as many as possible.
Most people use up their physio or optical, but you can also claim osteopathy – and podiatry. If massage or bodywork is your thing, you can get rebates at certain massage therapy clinics, and certain occupational therapists offer musculoskeletal therapies. Finally, check your pharmaceutical scripts, and look into the ‘healthy living’ programs, as you could get rebates for flu vaccinations, ‘quit smoking’ programs and even approved weight loss programs.
But let’s talk about dental…
2. Use your freebies
Most health insurance funds will give you one exam, scale and clean per year, and this is a value of around $300, so book that appointment ASAP! Not only will you be saving money but it’s essential for to help maintain your dental and physical health.
3. Save on substantial dental work
If you know you need some dental work, plan ahead. Visit your dentist and get an itemised quote. Then, we can run your card through our HICAPS machine on the spot and find out exactly how much will be covered by your insurance fund.
Now here’s the best bit. All dental work has an annual cap on the redeemable amount. So, let’s assume your insurance benefits reset on January 1st every year. If you need two dental crowns, you might want to have one crown completed in December, claiming the maximum rebate, then the other crown placed in January, claiming the following year’s rebate. This can apply for other procedures or prosthetics, too, such as dental implants, porcelain veneers and dentures .
4. Assess your level of health insurance cover
It pays to take time out every year to assess your health insurance plan. What worked for years ago may not be appropriate now, and you may be overspending on your level of cover. So try to put some time aside, ring up your health fund and go through the options with them.
Alternatively, contact a health insurance broker and get them to help you through the process. It could end up saving you hundreds every year.
5. Look for Members’ or Participating Provider programmes
Look for a dentist that is a health insurance fund ‘member plus’ or ‘participating provider’.
These providers have chosen to enter an agreement with a health fund which helps minimise your out-of-pocket expenses associated with the treatment.
At Oxford Street Dental, we’re an HCF ‘More for Teeth’ provider, and a Westfund preferred provider which ensures you fixed rates and more money back!