Health Insurance could be and should be the most important Insurance cover you should take out to protect you and your family. It is essential to take the right cover out that would be most beneficial to your family’s health requirements. The common perception for the consumer is that all plans cater for the same health care benefits and therefore the cheapest or most affordable option will do for my family! This is sadly not the case, no health care product is the same and all options were designed for specific needs, cheaper is not always better. When selecting an appropriate Health plan there are a few things to consider;
Age, the health plan you take out in your 20s may not be the right plan for you in your 50s. Health care needs change as you get older, in your 20s your health care needs are far less than in your 50s, the main concern for a healthy 20-year-old would be private hospitalisation in the event of an accident with access to emergency services, private hospitalisation and private specialists. Mid-20s to mid-30s a plan with good maternity benefits and a savings facility to address your day-to-day needs such as General practitioners, dentists and optometrists would be suitable. However, in your mid-40s to 50s your plan should have ample prosthesis benefits and oncology benefits.
Children’s age, some medical plans allow child rates up to 27 years old and others only to the age of 21 years. This may affect your budget if your child is still dependant on you, as an adult rate is substantially more than a child rate.
Chronic Conditions and Designated Service Providers(DSP), some health care providers require that you use a DSP of their choosing to access your Chronic medication and Prescribed Minimum Benefits(PMB), not using a DSP may result in co-payments and shortfalls in cover, which will hurt your pocket making you financially worse off.
Price, cheaper is not always better. Low cost healthcare options offer less benefits than a pricier comprehensive option of cover. The best way of looking at an appropriate option that would benefit your health and financially, would be to consider your/family needs and age. Lower cost options will have less prosthesis benefits and oncology benefits, so if you are in your 40s this is not the option for you. Paying the extra premium will benefit you in the long run, prosthesis (used in hip replacements) is very costly and without the right benefit you will be forced to fork out a substantial amount of money.
Top up cover, medical inflation is all ways higher than what medical plans are willing to pay and the GAP is getting wider. Shortfall cover such as your GAP covers are no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a necessity. A hospital visit could ruin you financially, even with a Comprehensive health care plan.
Using an accredited Health care broker to assist you in choosing the appropriate plan for you would be the best way to identify your family’s needs and giving you the most for your hard earn money. Saving money on your current plan may cost you later when the benefits you need are not covered, spend now and save later. Health insurance is the most important cover you could take out and requires careful consideration, right advice and yes it may feel that it is costing you now, however should you or a family member fall ill the right cover will benefit your health and pocket.