Health insurance hacks

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Thirteen tips for cutting down your health insurance costs.

With health insurance premiums constantly rising, trying to save on cover any way you can should be your goal.

Here are 13 hacks to help you save on your health insurance.

1: Can you pay your premiums upfront before 1 April?

Each year on 1 April, health funds raise their premiums. However, if you pay your premiums upfront prior to this date, you can benefit from rate protection. This means your premiums will be unaffected by the rise for the next 12 months. While paying a full 12 months’ worth of premiums in one go is a big hit, it can save you a decent amount of money each year … especially if you’re switching to a fund that offers an annual payment discount.

2: Can you get a discount for paying your premiums annually?

One of the simplest ways to save yourself a chunk of change on your health insurance is to pay your premiums annually. Not only can you time this so that you’re taking advantage of the aforementioned rate protection, many funds offer their members discounts of up to 4% for paying their premiums upfront.

3: Does your fund offer direct debit discounts?

Similarly to the annual payment discount, some funds offer their members discount premiums if they set up a direct debit. These discounts can be up to 4% of your annual premium.

4: Will your fund waive waiting periods?

One of the most common sign-up bonuses is the waiving of the waiting period. Generally, a fund will offer to waive all two- and six-month waiting periods for new members, meaning you can start claiming right away.

5: Can you get a gift card as a sign-up bonus?

Another common sign-up bonus is a gift card. When you’re looking for a new health fund, a good way to separate two similar policy options is to look at which one is offering a better deal and an EFTPOS gift card with a couple of hundred dollars is a pretty good deal.

6: Is the fund offering a premium waiver?

While not as common as waiting period waivers, you might be able to find a fund offering new members between four and six weeks’ worth of cover free. These offers are generally for new members taking out a hospital and extras policy.

7: Are there any gadgets on offer?

Occasionally, health funds will offer new members access to various tech or gadgets such as Fitbits as a sign-up incentive. So keep your eyes open.

8: Can you pay your premiums with a credit card?

If you’re a points hoarder, then this health insurance hack might be up your alley. If you choose to pay your health insurance premiums with your credit card, you might be able to rack up some easy miles. Whether you can earn points for paying your premiums will depend on the issuer of your card as some providers view premium payments as cash advances and not purchases. So be careful when using this hack and be sure to check with your banking institution.

9: Are there any frequent flyer points offers available?

While on the topic of frequent flyer points, some funds offer points as a sign-up bonus for new members. You can earn up to 100,000 points just for taking out health insurance.

10: Does your fund offer referral bonuses?

If you’re happy with your fund but still want to get a little something out of them, why not see if they offer a referral bonus. Some funds offer gift cards of between $50 and $100 per referral.

11: Does your fund offer loyalty programs?

Health funds in Australia offer various types of loyalty programs that reward members who keep their policies for an extended period of time. The most common loyalty bonus is an increased claims bonus. This means the longer you’ve been with a fund, the higher your individual claims limits will be on various services and benefits.

12: Are you eligible for a multi-policy discount?

Another common benefit offered by most health funds is a multi-policy discount. This type of benefit gives fund members discounts on other types of insurance, most commonly travel insurance. These discounts can be up to 30% off your premiums, so it’s worth checking to see if your fund offers these benefits the next time you are planning your holiday.

13: Can you get a corporate discount?

Before you start looking for health insurance, see if your company offers corporate health insurance. It never hurts to ask.

Bonus tip

Does your health fund offer subsidised gym memberships?

If you have extras cover, check to see if your fund covers the costs associated with gym memberships. Depending on your fund, you may be able to get a discount through an agreement between your fund and a gym or claim for part of your premiums as part of a wellness benefit.

Compare you health cover options online today

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Richard Laycock

Richard is the insurance editor at finder.com.au. He is on a mission to make insurance easier to understand.

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