In most walks of life, when you pay for something, it’s yours almost instantly. From quick-start phone contracts to next-day delivery for online shopping, speed is almost always a priority for most services. Yet when it comes to private health insurance, there is often another story. Once you purchase a new health plan from an insurance company, you can often be subject to a waiting period.
Before you feel too overwhelmed, there’s no need to worry; there are plenty of tools, like iSelect, and resources like this one to help you know where you stand with insurance companies. Let’s look at what waiting periods are and what it could mean for you and your health insurance.
What exactly are waiting periods?
Private health insurance is taken out by both Australian residents and citizens and those visiting Australia, such as travelers or students from the United States. Waiting periods are set up to protect other healthcare fund members, as they stop people from taking out health coverage knowing they have an existing condition.
That means that the waiting period sees the person through the first few weeks or months without full coverage, so insurance companies aren’t unfairly footing the bill for existing conditions. Waiting periods can, therefore, vary according to the individual’s personal circumstances and health care provider. For example, waiting periods of longer than 12 months often apply for pregnancy care or intense hospital treatments.
What does it mean for you?
If you have a pre-existing condition or a special enrollment period as part of your health insurance policy, it may leave you having to foot the bill for medical care that would ordinarily be covered by your insurance policy. That’s why you need to be as prepared as possible and do your research before committing to an insurance company. Work out what your premiums will be and if there are any deductibles that may affect how well you are covered. Waiting periods don’t just apply when you are buying private health insurance for the first time, but also if you are switching from another provider, rejoining after a break from health insurance, or reducing your excess.
At any point of renegotiating the terms of your plan with your insurance company, keep an eye out for how this can affect you in the near future and when your protection will kick in. This is especially important if you are in an at-risk group, such as being over 65, or if you have an ongoing health condition for which you might need expensive health care for fast. For example, if you have an upcoming procedure that might mean you need recovery home care, it’s important to know whether this will be covered by your medical care insurance. Take extra precautions at times like these; you don’t want to be dealing with added stress while needing medical attention.
Get the Most from Your Private Health Insurance
To make sure that you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to health insurance, you can compare health insurance with Select. Now that you have all the information on health insurance plans and how waiting periods can affect your health insurance coverage, you know what to look for to find a plan that suits you and won’t leave you without the aid you need. You can filter and compare individual health insurance plans according to deductibles, premiums, exclusions, and more to make sure that any pre-existing health conditions you may have or any particular requirements you may need are fulfilled.
Next year, make sure that you have the right private medical insurance deal that you need. Particularly for those with dependents or senior citizens who might have especially high medical costs, you don’t want to be left with a large pocket cost that you need to take care of yourself. Let iSelect help you find the right plan for your health care needs.