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    Family Life

    Time for a health cleanse


    Unfortunately for you, this does not mean skipping out to grab a $15 blueberry chia spinach quinoa ginger smoothie with activated almonds sprinkled on top.

    Last week, the Federal Government announced that private health insurance premiums would rise by an average of 4.84% on April 1, so a cleanse and review of your health insurance plan is a worthwhile task.

    Now I’m guessing that any current thoughts surrounding private health insurance cause you to switch off your laptop in haste and make that dreaded visit to the gym, or perhaps even start some early meal prep for the kids’ lunchboxes.

    Luckily, iSelect spokesperson Laura Crowden has simplified into four steps what you need to consider when it comes to reviewing your health insurance policy and ensure you’re on the right plan.

    So resist the urge to go and cut the kids’ crusts off their sandwiches, and read on for life admin how to when it comes to a cleanse of your health insurance policy.

     “Wait, but why?”

    If you are confident your current policy still works for you, then you can tick it off your to-do list. But remember, even if you are happy to stay put, paying a year’s premium upfront before April 1 will lock in your current rate and avoid the premium rise for another year.

    If you aren’t sure whether or not you are still getting value for money, then it’s definitely time to review, particularly if your circumstances have changed.  Switching to a different provider or policy might not just get you a more individually tailored policy but also save you money.  Here’s what you need to consider to build the best value policy for yourself and your family:

    Tip #1 – Life’s about the journey…to the hospital

    Hospital cover is usually one of the top reasons for taking out private health insurance, and whilst this does create peace of mind, you might want to go a step further and think about how you’ll get to the nearest hospital if the time comes. Not all private health insurance policies include ambulance cover, and it can also vary by state. Make sure your policy includes ambulance cover or you could be left significantly out-of-pocket in the unfortunate case that you or your family requires an emergency ambulance ride.

    Tip #2 – Plan ahead if you’re cooking a bun in the oven

    In order to assess the suitability of your health plan you need to take stock of both current and future on-the-horizon situations. Do you have kids? What stage are they at? Are you planning on having more kids perhaps? Remember, you need to have pregnancy cover for 12 months before you can claim on it, meaning you need to take it out or upgrade well before you even get pregnant.  If your plans do include a newborn, check when you need to add them to your policy to ensure they are covered, as this varies by fund and policy.  Some require you to add your baby up to 12 months prior before to the birth, whilst others allow you to include your child a few months before they are born.

    Tip #3 – More isn’t always better

    Adding as many extras as possible in an excited frenzy might be fun, but it’ll cost you. Think about when you are realistically likely to use the expensive options, like orthodontics.  Orthodontics generally only have a 12 month wait so if you think your kids might need braces, don’t pay for orthodontics from when they are little.  Instead, upgrade your policy a year or two out from when they are likely to need them.

    If you aren’t sure which extras to prioritise its worth considering a flexible extras product that combines your separate extras limits into a single annual limit for you to use across different services.

    If you need some more guidance on how to start the review process and discover what options are out there, speak to someone from iSelect who can complete the life admin behind the scenes and provide you with the best possible plan for you and your family’s needs. And remember – the sooner you get it done the better, so you don’t get stung by the price rise on 1 April.

    And there you go – your cleanse is complete!

    This article was written and sponsored by iselect.

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