Are you getting the most out of your extras?

Richard Laycock 12 April 2017

Portrait of tired young woman with laptop computer

1 in 7 Aussies haven't claimed extras in the last 12 months.

Australians are throwing money down the drain, with one in seven not utilising their extras policies.

A recent survey found 15% of Australians that pay for extras cover haven’t claimed any in the last year.

APRA's Private Health Insurance Quarterly Statistics December 2016, shows 13.4 million Australians are covered for general treatment (extras) across 6.5 million policies.

When you consider the average single extras policy costs roughly $1,251 per year, not only is someone not taking advantage of their cover, they're flushing more than $1,000 away annually.

The survey found general dental was the most used extra, with 62% of those holding extras cover having claimed for this in the last 12 months, while 48% claimed optical treatment over the same period.

Conversely, speech therapy, naturopathy and lifestyle products (such as gym membership discounts) were all the least used extras, with just 2% of people claiming in the last 12 months.

Have you claimed any of the following in the past twelve months?

CategoryProportion of people who claim
General dental62%
Eye care48%
Physiotherapy22%
Chiropractic15%
Major dental13%
Remedial massage12%
Ambulance5%
Acupuncture4%
Psychology4%
Exercise physiology3%
Lifestyle products (diet, weight loss, gym memberships, quit smoking packages)2%
Naturopathy2%
Speech Therapy2%
Occupational Therapy2%
Hearing Aids2%
Glucose Aids1%

There has been a growing discontentment with private health insurers in recent years, which has seen a spike in complaints lodged with the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO).

This growing dissatisfaction has industry bodies, such as the Australian Medical Association (AMA), urging Aussie consumers to do their homework before taking out a policy that doesn't suit their needs.

Comparing health insurance options? Review the best deals on offer for new members joining in April.

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