There’s been a lot of talk about private health insurance in Australia of late. It’s claimed that roughly a quarter million Australians ditched their health insurance over the last year.
However, there are still a staggering 13.58 million Australians with either hospital cover, extras or both.
Let’s break this down with some health insurance basics.
If you choose to take out health insurance (it’s not compulsory), you can either get hospital cover, extras cover or both.
Hospital cover is like a big safety net – it stops you getting penalised come tax time if you earn over $90,000 and provides peace of mind many look for from private health.
Extras is like having a giant coupon book. With a little proactive life admin, you can generally save a decent chunk of change. It’s also pretty cheap, starting at around $3 per week.
Let me start by saying it's not for everyone. There are definitely times when it’s probably not worth it. If you’re in your early 20s or not earning over $90k, you probably won’t benefit from hospital cover.
But what about extras? Whatever age you are, if you have a combined or extras only cover there are a bunch of ways to get some cash back for everyday health needs.
A national survey of more than 2,000 people showed that a potential $4.5 billion worth of health insurance extras are going unused at an average of about $550 per person. So I decided to see how easy it would be to get more dollars back in my pocket within a month (before my limits reset). Turns out it’s pretty easy, and you can do it too: