Use your extras benefits before January 2019

Posted: 1 December 2018 9:15 am
News
Dentist treating patient showiong x-ray shutterstock_450

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?

FundWhen extras resetFind out more about fund
ACA1 JanuaryMore info
ahm health insurance1 JulyMore info
APIA1 JanuaryMore info
Australian Unity1 JanuaryMore info
Bupa1 JanuaryMore info
CBHS Corporate1 January
CBHS Health Fund1 JanuaryMore info
CDH Benefits FundNot statedMore info
CUA Health1 JanuaryMore info
Defence Health1 JulyMore info
Doctors' Health Fund1 JanuaryMore info
Emergency Services Health1 JanuaryMore info
Frank1 JanuaryMore info
GMHBA1 JanuaryMore info
Grand United Corporate Health1 JanuaryMore info
HBF1 JanuaryMore info
HCF1 JanuaryMore info
Health Care Insurance1 JanuaryMore info
HIF1 JanuaryMore info
Health Partners1 JanuaryMore info
health.com.au1 JanuaryMore info
Latrobe Health Services1 JanuaryMore info
Medibank Private1 JanuaryMore info
Mildura Health Fund1 JanuaryMore info
MyOwn Health1 JanuaryMore info
onemedifund1 JulyMore info
Navy Health1 JulyMore info
NIB1 JanuaryMore info
Nurses & Midwives Health1 JanuaryMore info
Peoplecare Health Insurance1 JulyMore info
Phoenix Health Fund1 JanuaryMore info
Police Health1 JanuaryMore info
Qantas Insurance1 JanuaryMore info
Queensland Country Health FundMembership year based on when you joinedMore info
RACQ1 January
RT Health Fund1 JanuaryMore info
RBHS1 JanuaryMore info
St.Lukes Health1 JanuaryMore info
Teachers Health1 JanuaryMore info
Transport Health1 JanuaryMore info
TUH1 JanuaryMore info
UniHealth1 JanuaryMore info
Westfund1 JanuaryMore 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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