The government has given the green light to the next rise in health fund premiums in April.
Many of our patients are in health funds, including my own family. It’s timely that we should be reassessing our available options to ensure we can be confident that our extras insurance policies represent good value for money?
With NIB, Medibank Private and BUPA all reporting record profits over the last few weeks, we really need to assess whether a ‘Mutual Fund’ is better rather than the ‘For Profit’ funds. We also encourage our patients to consider whether to drop their Extras cover completely, as a survey by Choice showed 85% of Australian patients who responded showed 3 years or more in a row where they paid more for extras cover than they received back.
The Medicare surcharge only applies if you do not have hospital cover, so extras cover really is optional for most patients.
We’ve put together some information and independent resources you might find helpful.
Australian Dental Association
• How much of your treatment costs does your fund cover?
• Are you aware that you may be better off with a not-for-profit insurer that can give you higher benefits and lower premiums than for-profit funds?
• Does your fund let you choose your own dentist without any restrictions?
CHOICE – online
has some unbiased resources to help make a decision that makes sense for you and your family in 2017. Read Choice’s article here.
Sometimes patients ask who we’d recommend and it’s hard to recommend any fund that puts the profit it returns to shareholders above what it pays back to members. So, if you feel you need Extras cover, then we’d always recommend one of the smaller mutual funds. It’s also possible to have your Hospital cover with one insurer and your Extras cover with another. We hope this information has helped you make an informed decision as to whether you even need Extras cover.