Use your extras benefits before January 2019

Richard Laycock 1 December 2018 NEWS

a dentist treating patients

Extras benefits reset at the end of December, so it's time to use them or lose them.

It's officially December and you know what that means; not only is the silly season upon us but you only have 31 days to use your extras health insurance benefits before limits reset on 1 January 2019.

If you weren't already aware, the limits for your extras benefits such as dental, optical and physio reset every year. This generally happens on 1 January, with the exception of maybe a couple of health funds including ahm, which reset at the end of the financial year. So, if you haven't claimed on your extras policy this year you might want to do so sooner rather than later or you risk throwing money down the drain.

One quick way you can get something for all that money you've spent on premiums over the last year is by finding your closest dentist that offers no gaps treatment. What this means is that in most cases, the dental practice will accept whatever your dental benefit limit is as full payment for the treatment, which means you won't be out-of-pocket.

If your teeth are all good, how's your eyesight? Why not head over to the local optometrist and get a new pair of prescription glasses? And with summer here, you might even want to opt for a pair of prescription sunglasses. You could even do both and get one pair now, wait for your benefits to reset and get the second pair in January 2019.

Whatever you do, make sure you're getting the most out of your policy and if you're not sure how much you've got left to spend, get out your policy document or contact your health fund to find out.

When do your benefits reset?

Fund When extras reset Find out more about fund
ACA 1 January More info
ahm health insurance 1 July More info
APIA 1 January More info
Australian Unity 1 January More info
Bupa 1 January More info
CBHS Corporate 1 January
CBHS Health Fund 1 January More info
CDH Benefits Fund Not stated More info
CUA Health 1 January More info
Defence Health 1 July More info
Doctors' Health Fund 1 January More info
Emergency Services Health 1 January More info
Frank 1 January More info
GMHBA 1 January More info
Grand United Corporate Health 1 January More info
HBF 1 January More info
HCF 1 January More info
Health Care Insurance 1 January More info
HIF 1 January More info
Health Partners 1 January More info 1 January More info
Latrobe Health Services 1 January More info
Medibank Private 1 January More info
Mildura Health Fund 1 January More info
MyOwn Health 1 January More info
onemedifund 1 July More info
Navy Health 1 July More info
NIB 1 January More info
Nurses & Midwives Health 1 January More info
Peoplecare Health Insurance 1 July More info
Phoenix Health Fund 1 January More info
Police Health 1 January More info
Qantas Insurance 1 January More info
Queensland Country Health Fund Membership year based on when you joined More info
RACQ 1 January
RT Health Fund 1 January More info
RBHS 1 January More info
St.Lukes Health 1 January More info
Teachers Health 1 January More info
Transport Health 1 January More info
TUH 1 January More info
UniHealth 1 January More info
Westfund 1 January More info

A slight decline in utilisation of extras

According to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) in the September 2018 quarter, Australians claimed over $1.2 billion for general treatment benefits including $665 million for dental, $188 million on optical, $107 million on physiotherapy and $73 million on chiro.

For the year to September 2018, the spend on extras benefits came to $422 per person. Dental had the most benefits paid at $222.63, followed by optical ($72.77), physio ($34.95) and chiro ($23.94). However, during the September 2018 quarter, the benefits paid by private health insurers for ancillary treatments dropped by 4.6% across the board compared to the June 2018 quarter.

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