Science / Health

How to Switch Health Funds

Health insurance premiums go up every year, and it’s recommended to check in every few years to make sure your health insurance policy still reflects your health care needs. Benefits typically roll over at the end of the calendar (or financial) year, making it an excellent time to evaluate what you’ve used (and haven’t used) and review your options for the upcoming year.

Switching health funds can help policyholders save on premiums, enjoy a wider range of benefits, and take advantage of loyalty bonuses. Although comparing health insurance policies can seem daunting, it’s a relatively simple process. Here’s everything you need to know before making the switch.

Get a detailed quote.

Whether you’re interested in lower premiums or extra services like dental treatment, comparing plans with iSelect can help you find cheap health insurance from some of Australia’s biggest health providers. With iSelect, you’ll be able to compare multiple policy choices from the same providers, as well as compare prices and benefits side by side to find the best health insurance plan for your budget.

Determine whether switching health funds is worth it.

To determine whether switching health funds will be worth it for your budget, start by reviewing your current benefits. Whether you’re interested in starting a family or looking for better health coverage, comparing quotes and shopping around can help you make an informed decision.

With so many health insurance policies available, it’s important to take your time to compare health insurance quotes and review benefits from different policies. Before making your final decision, make sure to consider waiting periods, extras, discounts, benefit limits, and lifetime limits.

Notify the new fund to start covering you.

After applying for coverage with the new insurance company, ensure that the premium payments from your old policy are paid and ask your new insurer to start covering you on the day after your old policy ends.

If you’re switching from your general treatment policy to another insurer, ask your insurer to confirm—in writing or on a recorded phone call—which waiting periods apply to you. In most cases, insurance companies do not require policyholders to serve waiting periods for benefits on the previous policy. However, if you’re switching to a fund that offers new or higher benefits than your current policy, you may have to serve new hospital waiting periods for new benefits.

Request a transfer certificate.

Under the Private Health Insurance Act, individuals looking to switch health funds must send a clearance or transfer certificate to their new insurance company within 14 days. The transfer certificate includes details of your previous cover, the type of cover you had, your claims history, and any waiting periods you served. After your new insurance company receives the transfer certificate, you can start claiming on services that you’re eligible for.

Check your bank statement.

If you’ve authorized your new insurance company to deduct premiums from your bank account, make sure to check your account statements to ensure deductions have started and that the correct amount was deducted.

In addition, review the paperwork from the new insurance company within 30 days of starting your new policy. If you were sold an insurance policy over the phone or in person, be sure to review the paperwork to ensure the policy you purchased matches what you expected. If you notice any discrepancies, contact the insurance company within the 30-day cooling-off period.

Switching health insurance funds shouldn’t be stressful or confusing. If you’re considering switching health funds, compare health insurance providers with iSelect to determine if another provider offers a better plan and compare options to see if you qualify for a better deal on your existing benefits.

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