Use your extras benefits before January 2019
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?
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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