Over the last couple of months, my husband and I have been deciding whether or not we want any more children. This was an important decision to make as it had ramifications on our health insurance choices. If you’ve been following my blog you would know that due to our son’s health issues, we’ve seen our fair share of hospitals. But now all that has settled down, we re-evaluated what level of health coverage we needed. So when Health Insurance Comparison approached me about doing a blog post, I knew exactly what I wanted them to answer! I wanted to know exactly what I should be looking for in my health insurance at the different stages in my life. Consequently, last week my husband and I changed our health insurance provider and our level of coverage. It was nice to receive confirmation about what we should be looking for in our health insurance for this stage in our life.
Health Insurance at Various Life Stages
As you get older, your health insurance needs will change too. Things that were crucial at a previous life stage are likely to become less important or completely redundant as you move into a different phase of your life. Here, we look at some of the key life stages that may affect women, the type of cover that is beneficial at these times and what to think about as you enter a new stage of your life.
If you are fit and healthy, you can often get away with having relatively basic cover for both Hospital and Extras, especially if you are not planning to become pregnant in the near future.
Basic Hospital policies won’t include pregnancy/birth services (for the most part) or age-related services such as joint replacements and cataract surgery to keep the costs down. Basic Extras policies are likely to include general dental and optical services and may also cover physio and chiro. Bear in mind that basic Extras policies will generally have low annual limits attached to them, which may be problematic even for singles if you expect to get good use out of popular Extras services.
Married Without Children
As a couple, you can choose to buy a Couples policy to cover both of you but there is also the option to have two Singles policies. A lot will depend on whether you are planning to have children any time soon as there is a 12 month waiting period for pregnancy/birth services and most Singles policies do not include this. You’ll therefore need to think about being on a policy with obstetrics cover before you get pregnant.
If you choose to have a Couples policy, you’ll need to think about how your premiums could be affected by Lifetime Health Cover. If either or both of you are aged over 30 when you buy Hospital cover, you’ll be subject to an additional 2 per cent loading on top of your premiums for every year that you delayed. The age load is the average loading between the two of you. Loading is dropped after 10 years of continuous cover.
Trying to Conceive or Pregnant
Waiting periods are crucial here as obstetrics cover has a 12 month waiting period. If you are trying to get pregnant, you’ll need to arrange obstetrics cover before you conceive to be guaranteed of being covered. If you wait until you’re already pregnant, you won’t have chance to serve the waiting period and therefore won’t be covered.
As far as the tax situation is concerned, single parent households are classed as a family but many health funds will offer policies that are specifically aimed at single parents and these can be much more cost effective than a family policy.
Once you start a family, you’ll need to switch to a Family policy so that your new child can be covered by health insurance. It’s advisable to do this before the birth.
As your family gets older, you’ll need to think carefully about the type of services that are likely to become important. Waiting periods mean that you’ll usually need to be one step ahead of actually needing the cover so that you’re not caught out.
With Teenage/Almost Teenage Children
Orthodontics cover may become important as your child nears their teens. General Dentaldoes not cover this so if you only have this, you’ll need to look at upgrading your Extras cover to include orthodontics treatment. There is a 12 month waiting period so it is something that you’ll need to think about before treatment starts.
Children can stay on a Family policy until they are 24, provided that they are in full-time education until this point. After the age of 24 or when they leave full-time education, they can’t remain on a Family policy and must buy their own cover instead.
Feel like you’re at a stage in your life where you need to look at (re)evaluating your health insurance needs? Check out www.healthinsurancecomparison.com.au and find the right policy at the right price!
You guessed it, it’s a Tuesday post so better head over the Jess to see what other bloggers have published today. Always guaranteed to find an interesting read.