Health insurance myths

Richard Laycock 21 April 2017

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Don't believe the hype! Seven myths to ignore when looking for a new health fund.

Are you in the market for a new health insurance policy? If so, here are seven myths you should ignore when comparing your health insurance options.

Myth 1: You'll have to re-serve the waiting periods

One of the major factors impeding people from switching health funds is the worry that they will have to re-serve the waiting periods for benefits that they are currently covered for.

Almost half of Australians (48%) don’t know that when you switch to a policy of the same or lesser level of cover, you won't have to re-serve any waiting periods. The only waiting periods you will have to serve with your new fund are those for any benefits that were not covered by your previous policy.

Myth 2: Your premiums can't be refunded

If you've prepaid your premiums and you decide to switch your cover, you can still be reimbursed for any of your unused premiums. Roughly 45% of Australians think that these premiums are a sunk cost and don't know you can get a refund.

Myth 3: You won't have any out-of-pocket medical expenses

Think that your health insurance will cover you for all of your medical expenses? You're not alone. Approximately 27% of Australians believe that you won't need to pay any out-of-pocket expenses if you have extras cover. Interestingly, gen Y are most likely to fall into this trap, with 41% believing this myth.

Myth 4: You need a hospital policy and an extras policy from the same fund

Over half of Australians (52%) are unaware that you can take out hospital and extras cover from different funds.

Myth 5: Medicare will cover emergency ambulance costs

Unless you live in Queensland or Tasmania, your state government won't be footing the bill for your ambulance trip, unless you have a concession card or a healthcare card. We found that 24% of New South Wales and Queensland residents thought that they could claim an ambulance trip through Medicare.

Myth 6: You can't claim health insurance on tax

According to the survey data, 26.6% of Australians are unaware that they can claim a rebate on their private health insurance.

Myth 7: You can just take out health insurance later in life whenever you need it

While you can take out health insurance later in life, you may be surprised to find that you'll be paying more for cover. According to the research, 27% of Australian adults were are unaware of the Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading, which is a government initiative that kicks in when you turn 30 and adds 2% to your premiums for every year that you don't have hospital cover.

Ready to start comparing? Use our tool below to compare policies from 35 different Australian health funds.

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