Learn the ins and out of health insurance cover for blood pressure monitors.
Private health insurance can cover a range of important health aids and appliances, including blood pressure monitors.
If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure and require a blood pressure monitor, keep reading to find out all you need to know about the costs covered by your private health insurance.
How are blood pressure monitors actually covered?
Yes! If you need to regularly monitor your blood pressure at home, blood pressure monitors can be covered by your private health insurance.
To have cover for blood pressure monitors, you will generally need to have a comprehensive extras policy. If you’re not sure if you’re covered, check your policy to see if you’re covered for “health appliances”.
Whether or not you have cover will depend on your level of policy. To find out what costs you’re covered for be sure to review:
- Sub-limits. A sub-limit is the maximum benefit payable in a 12-month period.
- Device limits. Appliances are often subject to additional limitations which are either a maximum claim over a period of years or a lifetime limit.
- Hire and repair cover. Some policies cover the cost of temporarily hiring a blood pressure monitor or paying for device repairs if your current device is damaged.
- Reimbursement amount. This is how much you can claim on the cost of a blood pressure monitor.
- Waiting periods. The waiting period is the amount of time you will have to hold your policy before you’re able to make a claim, typically 12 months.
Although blood pressure monitors are typically covered only by comprehensive extras plans, there are some more affordable policies available that will also include cover.
How to claim blood pressure monitors
The typical requirements for extras policies will also apply when claiming blood pressure monitors. These generally include:
- The devices must be purchased in Australia.
- Items can only be purchased from an approved and recognised provider.
- You can only claim for these items where the cost is not claimable from another source.
The procedures for claiming health appliances in particular can be a bit different to claiming for normal extras. Some of the additional conditions may include:
- You might need to obtain a doctor’s referral or recommendation before you can claim health appliances under your policy.
- You may need to send in a claims form instead of being able to swipe your health extras membership card.
- Sometimes benefits will only be payable for certain makes and models of health appliance.
How do blood pressure monitors help you manage your health?
Blood pressure is an important indicator of one’s health, so blood pressure monitors are potentially very important. Too-low blood pressure (hypotension) is typically not dangerous by itself but can cause problems such as dizziness or fainting upon standing up suddenly.
High blood pressure (hypertension) is generally more of a risk and is where blood pressure monitors are more commonly used.
Blood pressure monitors can be used to measure blood pressure in order to help work out the risk levels in the absence of other signs or symptoms.
How to read a blood pressure monitor
When you use a blood pressure monitor it will give you two numbers: the systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Systolic blood pressure is the pressure when your heart beats. Diastolic is the pressure between heartbeats. As such, systolic naturally tends to be higher.
|Below 120||Below 80||Normal blood pressure|
|Between 120–139||Between 80–89||Prehypertension|
|Between 140–159||Between 90–99||Stage 1 hypertension|
|160 or higher||100 or higher||Stage 2 hypertension|
Source: Mayo Clinic