Just like pet insurance, I often wonder if private health insurance (PHI) is really worth it. We have an excellent public health system in Australia, but PHI is something most people have, there are tax advantages in having it and with a young family and a husband with Type 1 diabetes I keep coming back to the idea that we are better off with PHI.
Of course, I always do whatever I can to reduce our expenses. So, if PHI is right for you and your family, try these tips to save money:
- Decide what you do and don’t need covered. Policies can vary wildly in how they are set up and what they cover – some offer packages, while others allow you to ‘build your own’. Know what you need and that will help you to…
- Shop around. Always. This will enable you to find the best policy at the best price. Each insurer will have its own website that allows you to obtain a quote, and several specialised price comparison websites can be found through a simple Google search.
- Speak to others. While they might not be able to help on the finance side or advise you on what you need, they will be able to offer information and recommendations on the different insurer’s customer service and willingness to cover claims.
- Reduce your excess. Do this only if you have the money to cover the excess payment and don’t mind paying it if the need arises. Our excess is set at $500 as this reduces our premiums compared with a $250 excess. I don’t mind paying $500, but I would not want to pay anymore than that, should I need to.
- Reassess your needs annually. We recently changed our policy from ‘growing families’ to ‘settled families’ as our family is complete. This reduced our premiums by almost $25 a fortnight.
- Check for any discounts. Mr FFs employers offer a discount with our private health insurer and this has reduced our premiums by a further $7 a fortnight.
All up I’ll save us over $800 this year following the above.
At around $2000 a year PHI is still a significant cost for us, but it has covered or partially covered the costs of physiotherapy when a back injury left me unable to walk, specialist treatments, a private maternity hospital and an insulin pump for Mr FF. For me, for now, PHI is money well spent.