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5 reasons you might want to switch your health insurance in 2024


Thinking about kicking off 2024 with a change in health insurer?

Sponsored by HBF. HBF has been awarded 'Best Health Fund of the Year' two years in a row by the 2024 and 2023 Finder Awards.^ HBF is one of Australia's largest not-for-profit health funds, offering some great value hospital and extras policies.

With the new year in full swing, it's the perfect time to take a closer look at your health insurance and see if it's still meeting your needs.

1. You want better value for money

Given the wider rise in the cost of living across Australia, it's always worth looking for ways you can get better value for money.

When it comes to health funds, you should look at what you're paying, what you're actually using and what sort of services you may need.

👋 Hey there! This article is sponsored by HBF, so we'll be using some of their products as an example throughout. You should always do your own research and choose an insurer that's right for your particular needs.

There are some other key considerations, too.

  • Check what's excluded in your policy, just as much as what's included.
  • Consider waiting periods, which is the time you're required to wait before you can claim.
  • Look closely at what you will get back (your benefits) to make sure the value is serving you and your needs.
  • Check if the benefits you will get back on a service (like physio) are based on a percentage or a set dollar limit. At HBF, if you choose a percentage back extras policy, you could get up to 50%, 60% or 70% back on the cost of your service.
  • Review your extras limits. Do you get a combined limit across a range of services or are there separate limits? For example, with HBF's Flex 50 Extras, you get $800 to use across 12 popular services. You could use all of your annual limit on Physio or choose to split it up across a range of services, like Dental, Chiro or Psychology.
  • When taking out hospital cover, you're generally required to choose an 'excess'. Generally speaking, a higher excess means a lower premium.

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2. You want more tailored coverage for your needs

One of the advantages of modern health insurance is its departure from a one-size-fits-all approach. Typically, you opt for cover that is more specific to your healthcare needs.

HBF, for example, allows members to take a mix-and-match approach to their health insurance.

Take HBF Bronze Hospital Plus as an example. At a minimum, it covers 26 specific treatment categories and provides restricted cover for Hospital Psychiatric services and Rehabilitation. You can then pair this budget-friendly hospital cover with extras cover to suit your everyday healthcare needs.

This approach allows you to choose cover for services that you genuinely need and include those that are relevant for you at this stage of your life.

For more insights, you can also explore some of the ways you can use mix-and-match cover in a previous article.

3. You want to join a fund that has a wide network of preferred providers

Choosing an insurer with an extensive network or partners and providers can be a useful way to get a high standard of care, and potentially make some savings in the process.

To point to one example, HBF Member Plus provides access to a network of providers that give special benefits to HBF members. This can include features like 75% - 100% back on Preventative Dental services.¹

In turn, these benefits can help minimise out-of-pocket costs, too.

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4. You want to prioritise your mental and physical health

Switching health insurers can also be about getting cover that better supports your current needs.

There are numerous expenses that are common to most people – a dental check-up or two each year, a visit to the optometrist, a few physio sessions or a visit with a psychologist.

Picking the right insurance provider can help you better budget for these expenses and reduce your out-of-pocket costs in the process.

Let's look at HBF Basic Extras as an example, where you can minimise the cost for common services like General Dental, Optical, Physio and more.

If you require cover for more than the common services to manage your health, HBF Flex 50 Extras provides cover for services like Remedial Massage, Natural Therapies, Dietetics and Nutrition, and Psychology.

This can also be a great opportunity to consider your future health needs. It may be worth looking at your family's medical history and assessing which conditions you might need cover for, whether for yourself or your kids further down the line.

5. You want to take advantage of support programs

You don't need to make a claim for your health insurance to be beneficial. Some insurers offer resources to help you look after your health as a preventative measure.

For example, if you suffer from osteoarthritis, you would know that everyday tasks are often the most difficult.

If you need help managing knee and hip osteoarthritis symptoms, HBF offers eligible members access to an 18‑week health and wellness program which supports weight loss, increased mobility and better pain management.²

HBF also offer the evidence-based CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Program which is a 12-week weight loss program designed to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

HBF also offers the GLA:D Program; group exercise and education sessions with a trained physio to help reduce your pain, improve your strength and help you to move more confidently.³

All of these evidence-based support programs are fully covered for eligible HBF members on a range of hospital products. ² ³

In addition, HBF member perks give customers access to a range of discounts on health-related memberships and products. So, if you've been contemplating investing in a new set of glasses or considering a gym membership, programs like this can help offset some of the costs.

Learn more about HBF's health insurance today

Sponsored by HBF. HBF has been awarded 'Best Health Fund of the Year' two years in a row by the 2024 and 2023 Finder Awards.^ HBF is one of Australia's largest not-for-profit health funds, offering some great value hospital and extras policies.

Extra info about HBF

^Australia's Best health Fund of the Year 2023 and 2024 Finder Awards. Find the insurance awards methodology here.
¹Depending on the HBF product you hold, HBF covers 75% to 100% of the agreed fee for Preventative treatment at a Member Plus dental service, excluding scale and clean.
²18-week health and wellness program eligible for members on Silver Hospital Plus and Gold Hospital Elevate.
³CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet Program and GLA:D Program eligible for members on Bronze Hospital Plus, Silver Hospital, Silver Hospital Plus, and Gold Hospital Elevate.
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