Managing Your Health Insurance Costs

Once you decide to take out health insurance, you'll need to fit it into your budget like any other necessary expenditure, to help manage your costs.

Here are few things you should consider when selecting your health insurance plan:

Choose your features to keep your costs down

Did you know that you can select the benefits you want to be covered for under your health insurance plan? At Choosi, we'll show you the most affordable health plan that provides cover for the benefits you want. Obviously, the more benefits you choose, the more costly your premium will be.

By choosing a cover that suits your age and lifestyle, you won't have to pay extra for unnecessary cover. For example, if you're young and fit you are unlikely to need cover for hip joint replacements and cataract procedures - you can select a lower level health insurance plan and keep your premium subsequently lower.

Keep waiting periods in mind

In cases where you are eliminating certain features to save money, keep waiting periods in mind for services you may want cover for later on.

For example, you can save money immediately by cutting out pregnancy and birth-related services if you're not looking to start a family now. However, pregnancy and birth-related services have a 12 month waiting period, so you should add that feature to your policy as soon as you start thinking about expanding your family.

Twelve month waiting periods also apply for pre-existing conditions, so do keep them in mind when selecting the health insurance plan that's right for you.

Choose an excess or co-payment

Excesses and co-payments are a great way to keep your health insurance costs low. An excess is a lump sum of money you agree to pay out of pocket if and when you are admitted to hospital, while a co-payment is spread out over a certain number of days.

By selecting a higher excess or co-payment, you can lower the cost of your health insurance premium. You should consider whether it is right for your circumstances, however, because if you expect to be admitted to hospital soon, then it may be cheaper for you to pay a higher premium and choose no excess or co-payment at all.

Keep in mind that to avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge, you should not select an excess or co-payment higher than $500 for singles or $1000 for couples and families.

Choose a health insurance plan that suits your lifestyle and budget

The best way to manage your costs is to make sure that you balance the health insurance cover you want with a premium you can afford. There's no point choosing a comprehensive health plan that blows out your budget, because once you stop paying your premiums, your cover will also cease. Although we all want the best cover for our families, we also need to be wise and aware of what we can afford.

Read the product brochures for the health insurance policies you're interested in, and compare the options to suit your lifestyle and budget, to make sure you're getting what you pay for, and to eliminate any unwelcome surprises later down the track.

These articles are provided as reference material to allow more informed decision making, but are not intended as being a complete source of information on any topic. All readers should make their own independent analysis on the topic to make sure they have considered the aspects that are important to them.