What you didn’t know you could claim on
With many customers choosing policies based on important hospital cover levels and benefits for popular Extras like optical, physiotherapy and psychology; customers can also support their health and wellbeing through a broader range of health and wellbeing services.
By Emily Amos, Bupa’s Managing Director of Health Insurance
Understanding exactly what you are eligible to claim on can help minimise out of pocket costs and enhance your ability to access healthcare and be at your best. Some treatments, products and services which may be covered in your Extras include:
- Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine & Myotherapy
- Health appliances (like asthma pumps and TENS machines for clinically diagnosed conditions)
- Nicotine replacement products
- Home nursing
- Online mental health courses
At Bupa, we work hard to make health insurance a more personalised, simple and relevant experience for our customers. This means evolving our policies to ensure customers can claim on a wide range of health and wellbeing treatments in a variety of different settings.
A recent example of this was our decision in early 2020 to enable customers to claim on popular Extras services delivered via telephone or videoconferencing for the first time. This was a new offering that automatically bolted on to customers’ existing Extras products.
Keeping up to date with your product is vital for ensuring you can look after your health while minimising the impact to your hip pocket.
How to understand what you are covered for
Before you visit a health professional or purchase a health appliance, it’s a good idea to check your health insurance product details to see if it’s included in your Extras. Another option is to speak directly with your health insurer. If a service isn’t covered under your existing Extras, they can advise if another product would include it and what waiting periods (if any) may apply.
For Bupa customers who have the MyBupa app, they can view their product inclusions and usage in real-time. This is a great tool for understanding what you are using, what you might be eligible to claim on in the future and minimising surprises by letting you know exactly what benefits remain on each Extras category.
This form of digital self-service also provides greater financial certainly for claims that are not able to be processed immediately in a clinic through HICAPS. Customers using the MyBupa app will usually find out straight away if their claim has been paid and how much they can expect to receive.
How to have conversations with providers about health insurance
It always pays to ask your health provider upfront whether their service is eligible for health insurance rebates. One simple question before your first visit could save you over the years.
How to make the best use of your cover to and minimise out of pocket costs
Because your health needs change over different life stages, people should make sure their health insurance cover also changes over time to match their health needs. It also pays to read all correspondence from your health insurer so you can stay well-informed.
The importance of looking after your broader health and minimising out-of-pocket costs during COVID-19
With COVID-19 taking up so much of people’s headspace during 2020, many people may have been delayed in being able to access ancillary providers such as physiotherapists, psychologists or osteopaths.
Despite the various interruptions caused by COVID-19, essential hospital and allied health care has always and will always be available for those in need. Don’t wait until the pandemic is over to look after your health needs.
While what you pay for your health insurance is the easiest thing to compare, people should also take the time to compare coverage, limits and network coverage (such as Bupa’s Member’s First Extras Network) which can offer them gap-free or known-gap treatments.
Do your research and take the time to speak with your health insurer to find out exactly what your entitlements are. You can’t put a price on your health.