Looking after your health and hip-pocket in the lead up to April 1
Australians are being encouraged to review their health insurance premium letters and ensure their cover matches their budget and life-stage before April 1.
This comes as Bupa announced it would continue to provide financial hardship support to customers impacted from COVID-19 while delivering a lower average premium adjustment than last year.
Along with their premium increase rate, customers should pay attention to any policy changes or new benefits outlined in their letter. For example. Bupa customers will receive a $200 increase to their mental health Extras limits to help them through the stresses and uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year 54 per cent of mental health claims paid by Bupa were made by customers using those services for the first time.
Emily Amos, Managing Director of Bupa Health Insurance, says customers who think they may struggle to afford their new premiums as a result of the impacts of COVID-19 should contact their provider to see how they can be supported.
“Bupa is continuing to support customers experiencing financial hardship in 2021, with customers saving more than $184 million in 2020 alone. Around 50,000 Bupa customers did not pay any increases in 2020 as we worked hard to keep as many people insured as possible.
“With elective surgery waiting lists expanding across Australia and health becoming a major public focus during COVID-19, the value of health insurance has never been higher. This is why we continue to work hard to keep as many people insured as possible while also offering simple, personalised and relevant products that offer substantial benefits and lower out of pocket costs,” said Emily.
Tips for saving on your policy in the lead up to April 1
- Talk directly to your insurer: Talk to your health insurer directly who will give you access to the most accurate and up to date information on product benefits, waiting periods and out-of-pocket costs and special discounts. If you are concerned about affordability, they will be best placed to discuss any hardship options that might be available.
- Don’t just focus on cost: While price is the obvious and easiest thing to compare, people should take the time to see what they are covered for, what their limits are and ask their insurer about any preferred provider networks like the Bupa Member’s First Network which can give customers between 60 – 100% back on most services such as physio, dental, chiro and podiatry.
- Match your policy to your life stage: Taking the time to do a cover review can uncover some significant savings. An important part of this process is making sure your health insurance cover matches your individual health needs. For example, if you aren’t planning on having any more kids it might be worth moving to a health insurance policy that doesn’t include Pregnancy and Childbirth or making sure you are included for services like physio or chiro on your Extras cover, which will help you save on out of pocket costs if your back has been playing up.
- Avoid snap decisions: If you're concerned about affordability, don’t automatically cancel your cover or downgrade to a cheaper policy which could leave you significantly out-of-pocket for essential medical expenses. Also, any waiting periods on benefits you have previously dropped will need to be re-served if and when you take up a policy again.
- Track your usage over the coming year: It’s important to monitor your usage to see what you are using most and least, this will help you make coverage decisions down the track. Bupa’s health insurance customers can use the myBupa app to check their usage and remaining limits on their Extras services in real-time.
Media reference number: 20/119