Health Insurance – How Can You Find The Right Policy?

Cover the costs of your medical care and expenses with private health insurance. Keen to know more? Monzi’s here to break down health insurance for you in an easy and accessible manner. We’ll cover everything from your excess to hospital and extras cover. Read to begin? Let’s dive in.

Please note, certain ideas and products presented in this article may not be offered by Monzi nor the lenders we work with. This article presents only general information. Consider seeking professional financial, taxation, legal or other advice to check how the information and ideas presented on this website relate to your unique circumstances.

What is health insurance?

First things first, let’s begin with an explanation. In short, health insurance is a type of insurance that may cover you financially for certain medical care, expenses and surgeries. Moreover, it may enable you to avoid certain waiting lists as well as providing options as to where you may be treated (e.g. public vs private health system).

Beyond this, health insurance can be complicated and there are many factors to consider. Most crucially, you’ll have to decide between hospital and extras cover or whether to combine the two. However, your excess, level of cover, premiums and a host of other considerations will come into play too.

Luckily, Monzi’s here to help you begin. Read on as we dig into health insurance and what you may need to know. From there, you can begin to determine if taking out health insurance is the right decision for you.

How does private health insurance work?

Private health insurance works in the same way as any other insurance product. However, rather than insuring your pet, insuring your life or insuring your car, you’re insuring your health. With this, you must pay a regular premium which then provides you with certain level of coverage.

As with any insurance policy, you will be covered for eligible events and costs. When these occur, you’ll simply need to make a claim. This will then be processed by your insurer and you will be reimbursed for the costs.

Ultimately, private health insurance exists to assist you with costs not covered by Medicare or the public health system. Moreover, if you would like to be treated in the private health system, then having private health care may reduce certain costs, eliminate waiting times and provide you with greater options.

However, private health cover can be complicated. Moreover, with the range of policies on offer, it often pays to read widely. While we’ll do our best to outline what you may need to know, don’t be afraid to consult a variety of sources and even contact a professional for advice that may be tailored to your situation.

Are there different types of health insurance?

In a similar manner to home insurance, private health insurance comes in a few different forms. With this, the option that’s best for you may depend on your current situation. To further explain this, see below for our breakdown of your policy options.

Hospital cover

As you may have expected, hospital cover helps you account for the cost of treatments at the hospital. Moreover, you may be able to be treated at a private hospital. As a guide, your hospital cover policy may allow you to claim for certain elective surgeries, accommodation costs as well as most services listed under the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS).

That said, it’s important to note that not all policies are the same. For instance, some insurers will divide their policies into tiers. As a result, you must be aware of any conditions or limitations associated with your policy.

Extras cover

Commonly referred to as ancillary cover, this type of policy will look after you for medical expenses outside of the hospital that aren’t covered by Medicare. For instance, extras cover may help you account for the costs of dental checkups, visits to the physio or even a new pair of glasses.

When it comes to extras cover, though, you must be aware of what is covered. This not only refers to certain services (e.g. dentistry) but also certain procedures. To make this clearer, a basic extras policy may reimburse you for new glasses or a dental checkup. On the other hand, a more comprehensive policy may include tooth extractions or other procedures which may be more expensive.

Obviously, your insurer will factor this into the price of your premium. So, determine the level of cover that works best for you.

Hospital and extras cover

Just like with home and contents insurance, a combined hospital and extras policy rolls the two options listed above into a single package. While this may be more expensive, you are able to take advantage of the benefits provided by each policy-type. Just ensure you take note of what’s covered and what you can claim before agreeing to any policy. Moreover, note that there’s no need to be covered for things you won’t use (e.g. Chiro).

What’s the logic behind health insurance?

Ultimately, insurance is about risk. That’s the same for building insurance, insurance for your car and a range of other similar products. More specifically, it’s about pooling risk and the resources of many people to ensure that, in the event something goes wrong, you’re covered for the costs.

Given this, it’s important to recognise that insurance is a safeguard. While the cover is there if you need it, there is also the possibility that you won’t ever need to make a claim. Obviously, this would seem to make health insurance redundant and you may opt to cancel your coverage. However, if you are hospitalised or face substantial medical bills, then it’s always a nice thing to have.

How do I compare health insurance?

When you buy new furniture, you compare the range of products on offer. When you take out a loan, you compare the credit products based on the terms and costs. With this, selecting a health insurance policy should be no different. You must compare the range of insurance policies on offer to determine which is best for you.

As a guide, key aspects to compare include:

  • Which type of cover: are you looking for hospital or extras cover? Would you like to combine the two?
  • Who will be covered by the policy: are you single, part of a couple or looking to cover the whole family?
  • What level of cover do you need?
  • How long will it be before you can make a claim?
  • What are the premiums? Can you select a higher excess to reduce your costs?

For further details, read Moneysmart’s guide to health insurance now. Moreover, keep in mind that you should review your policy regularly to ensure it’s suitable for your needs.

What is the best health fund in Australia?

In Australia, there are plenty of insurers for you to choose from. As a result, it’s almost impossible for Monzi to say with certainty which one may be the best. After all, the answer is often subjective. In other words, the best health fund for you, may not be the best fund for another person.

Given this, it’s up to you to decide what you value. For instance, if you want certain extras covered, then you’ll need to look at what each fund offers. On the other hand, if hospital cover is more important to you, then you may focus your energy on finding the best hospital policy possible. Finally, if you have a pre-existing condition, then you may need to compare insurers to determine how that may impact your policy and coverage.

At the end of the day, it’s difficult to say which is the best health fund without a clear understanding of your unique financial and medical situation. As a result, you’ll have to do your research. Alternatively, reach out to a qualified advisor who may provide tailored advice for you.

How much does health insurance cost per month?

Unfortunately, we cannot provide an exact price. After all, your insurer will determine your price based on your type of cover, level of cover, age, excess and a host of other factors.

In any case, as a guide, the average basic hospital cover will set you back approximately $100 per month as single. In addition to this, the average extras only cover will fall somewhere around the $20 to $30 mark.

That said, keep in mind that this is a vague estimate to give you an idea. Obviously, a comprehensive policy will come with premiums which are far more significant than a basic level of cover. As a result, it’s up to you to determine what works for your budget.

For further details and clarity as well as an estimate of what your prices may be, you can contact various insurers to request a quote. Alternatively, seek out a health insurance calculator, which may be similar to a personal loan calculator. That way, you’ll have a fairly good idea of what your costs may be.

What is the cheapest health insurance Australia?

At Monzi, we cannot provide specific information regarding premiums or what you may need to pay. That said, it’s important to note that while cheap premiums may be attractive, generally, the price will be correlated to your level of cover.

In other words, a cheap health insurance policy may not provide adequate coverage for the things you need. As a result, taking out health insurance may not be worth it at all if you’re simply looking for the lowest price. Instead, paying your costs out-of-pocket may be a better option in some cases.

Again, though, Monzi cannot say with certainty if this will always be true. Ultimately, you must find the right balance between the cost of your premiums and your level of cover. While a basic level of cover may be cheap, it may also be inadequate. Similarly, comprehensive cover may be attractive and yet, at the same time, excessive and unaffordable.

So, consider your circumstances to determine what an appropriate policy may be.

Which is the best health insurance policy?

Unfortunately, as with the best insurer, Monzi cannot say what the best health insurance policy will be. To determine this, you must consider the information we’ve outlined and how that relates to your financial situation. From there, you may investigate a range of insurance products to determine which may be best for you.

With this, consider what you value. If you would like to be covered for dental, physio and chiro, then you may be looking for a policy with great extras. On the other hand, if you’re looking to cover the bare minimum, then a low-cost hospital policy may be more suitable.

Ultimately, it’s up to you. Remember the best policy for you, may not be the best policy for another individual.

Where can I get a health insurance quote?

All insurance policies come with a premium. In most cases, it’s a weekly, monthly or annual payment that you must make to access the benefits provided by your policy. However, premiums vary based on your level of cover and your excess. As a result, it’s important to get a quote.

In short, a quote is an estimate of your costs. You may access this via the website of many insurers. With this, in a similar way to a loan calculator, you’ll need to enter a few key details (e.g. relationship status, age, location, income, level of cover, etc.), which the insurer will then use to determine what your costs may be.

When comparing your options, quotes are invaluable. So, don’t be afraid to shop around and request multiple quotes. If you can save on your premiums while still accessing the same level of cover, then that’s likely to be a savvy financial move. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to find the best deal.

Extras cover: what’s included?

Unfortunately, Monzi cannot say for sure. That’s because all policies are different. While some will only provide basic cover, others will be more comprehensive. What’s right for you may depend on the state of your health and as well as the amount you can afford to pay as a premium.

In any case, extras cover may help you account for the costs of the following:

  • Dental work: both general or major work depending on your level of cover.
  • Optical
  • Physiotherapy
  • Chiropractic
  • Podiatry or foot treatments
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy

Check your PDS or contact your provider to determine what is covered by your policy. The list above is intended to provide a guide to help you form a more complete understanding of extras cover.

Waiting periods explained

When you sign up for health insurance, you may run into the concept of a waiting period. In short, this is the period of time in which you are unable to make a new claim on your policy. For instance, there may be a 12 month waiting period on dental. This means that you cannot make a claim until 12 months after you take out your policy.

That said, when it comes to waiting periods, it’s important to note that they may not apply if you are switching policies with the same provider. Similarly, some insurers may waive certain waiting periods as an incentive to entice you to switch to their company. However, do your research to determine the waiting times that may apply to you.

What is the excess on my private health cover?

If you’ve ever taken out a home insurance or car insurance policy, then it’s highly likely that you’re aware of the concept of an insurance excess. However, if you’re not, then Monzi’s here to explain it for you.

In short, the excess on your hospital cover is the amount that you must pay out of pocket when you make a claim on your insurance policy. Generally speaking, it’s a way for you to reduce your premiums. Moreover, you may have the choice to select an excess that works for you.

As a guide, the higher your excess, the lower your premiums will be. This is because your insurer will pay out less if you make a claim. However, the flipside of this is that you must pay more out of pocket. Similarly, the reverse will be true if you select a lower excess.

Given this, it’s up to you to find a suitable balance. A high excess may seem attractive, given that it will lower your costs today. However, if something goes wrong, you’ll need to pay more. As a result, you must decide what’s right for you.

Doctors check up covered by health insurance

Is it worth getting private health insurance?

In short, it’s up to you. However, it’s worth noting that the Australian Government has provided a number of incentives designed to encourage Australians to sign-up to private health insurance. The idea behind this is to ease the burden on the Medicare system.

Two key incentives are the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) and the Private Health Insurance Rebate. See below for more information.

Medicare Levy Surcharge

All Australians must pay the Medicare Levy. In short, it’s generally 2% of your taxable income and is used to help fund the public health system. However, if you earn more than $90,000 as a single or $180,000 as a couple and do not have private health insurance, then you must pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge too.

In short, the MLS is charged as a percentage of your taxable income ranging from an additional 1-1.5%, depending on how much you earn as well as a number of other considerations. With this, it’s designed to be an incentive for high-income earners to sign up to private health care and avoid relying on Medicare.

If you fall in this bracket and want to avoid paying the MLS, then you may need to find an appropriate level of private health cover. However, keep in mind that while you will avoid the MLS, you must pay insurance premiums. As a result, there will be costs involved, no matter which decision you make.

Finally, for further details, the Australian Taxation Office may provide further insights.

Private Health Insurance Rebate

The other incentive offered by the government is the Private Health Insurance Rebate. With this, the Australian government will pay for a portion of your private health insurance premiums.

However, it’s important to note that the rebate is income-tested. In other words, the amount the government will cover is directly related to how much you earn. As your income increases, you may be entitled to a lower rebate, meaning you’ll have to pay more.

You may claim this rebate via your annual income tax return or by selecting lower premiums. Consult with your insurer to determine what your options may be. They should be able to provide a more comprehensive explanation.

What level of cover do I need to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge?

If you’re looking for health insurance to avoid the MLS, then you may be wondering what qualifies as an appropriate level of cover. Luckily, it’s fairly straightforward. To avoid the MLS, the minimum requirements are:

  • Private hospital cover.
  • An excess of less than $750 for single or $1,500 for couples.
  • Offered by a registered insurer.

If your policy checks these boxes, then you may avoid the MLS. With this, it’s important to note that extras cover is not required. That said, it’s always an option for you to consider. While a minimum level of cover may be cost-effective, consider what’s best for your situation and what you may use.

Private health insurance vs the Medicare Levy Surcharge: which is better?

Ultimately, it’s up to you. If you earn over $90,000 as a single or $180,000 and do not have private health insurance, then you must pay the MLS. With this, the amount you pay will calculate as a percentage of your total income. Depending on how much you earn, this may range from 1-1.5%.

On the other hand, if you do have private health cover, then you must pay an annual premium. With this, costs can range from a few hundred dollars to the thousands.

Given this, either way, you will incur costs. As a result, it’s up to you to assess your financial situation to determine which may be more cost-effective. That said, keep in mind that private health care may provide additional benefits that you may not have access to simply by relying on Medicare.

Health insurance: deals and discounts

In any market, competition is great for consumers. As providers battle for business, consumers are often able to take advantage of a range of deals and incentives offered to try and win your business (e.g. you may find a deal on the best credit card). With this, the health insurance market is no different. So, if you’re looking to sign up or switch your policy, there’s never been a better time than now.

On the one hand, you may be able to access deals that significantly increase the allure of certain policies. For instance, some insurers may offer discounts on your premiums if you are a new customer or under a certain age, while others may waive certain waiting periods if you sign up.

On the other hand, funds may also offer deals and discounts unrelated to the products they offer. Examples of this may include rewards points, discounted movie tickets or experiences and other product deals that you can take advantage of.

Given this, if you’re looking for basic cover with a bit of a sweetener, don’t be afraid to shop around. You may be able to eliminate certain waiting periods or access cheap tickets for your next cinema experience.

How do I make a claim?

As with all insurance, you aren’t automatically reimbursed. Instead, you must make a claim. Luckily, in today’s day and age, it couldn’t be simpler. In fact, there are a few ways that you can do it.

Firstly, many medical centres will have the facilities available for you to make a claim right away. As a result, there are no hoops for you to jump through. You may be reimbursed on the day. All you need to do is remember to bring your membership card to the appointment.

If that’s not an option, then you could always submit a claim after the fact in person, on your insurer’s app or online. Just follow the instructions provided by your insurer outlining how you may do this and what’s required.

Finally, if you’ve exhausted all over avenues, then there is potentially still the option to make a claim via mail. With this, you’ll need to include the receipt within your letter. From there, your insurer will process the claim and organise to pay you what you’re owed.

Should I ever change providers?

Yes.

Just because you currently have a policy with one insurer doesn’t mean that you are locked in for life. If your coverage is due to run out and you’re unhappy with your current health insurance policy, shop around. Insurers in Australia are dime-a-dozen and many of them will offer a host of incentives for you to make the switch (e.g. waive waiting periods). As a result, there may be a better deal out there waiting for you.

In addition to this, some insurers may offer discounts for you to bundle multiple policies. For instance, you may be able to take out business insurance, car insurance and health insurance with the same provider and receive lower premiums as a reward.

However, before making the switch, keep in mind that some insurers may offer certain loyalty benefits if you stay with them over time (e.g. increased cover). With this, ensure you weigh up the costs and benefits associated with switching your cover. If you do find a better deal, though, don’t hesitate to take advantage of it.

Does Monzi offer private health insurance?

No.

At Monzi, we’re not insurers. Moreover, we are unable to connect you with insurers who may offer the cover you need. Instead, we’ve simply tried to break down private health cover to give you an idea of what to look for and what you may need to consider.

That said, what we can help with is online personal loans. In short, if you find yourself down on cash with expenses to pay, you can apply with us. Through our lender-finder service, we may be able to match you with lenders offering quick loans from $300 to $10,000. In other words, we may act as the bridge to cut out the stress and hassle associated with finding credit providers online.

Keen to know more? Read on as Monzi addresses a few key questions.

Personal loans: what are they used for?

Given that we’ve introduced the concept of personal loans, it’s worth explaining some of the basics. That way, you are able to understand exactly what Monzi may be able to do for you.

So, first things first, in this context, personal loans refer to standard principal and interest loans from $300 to $10,000. In other words, you borrow money today and then you repay it via a series of even repayments over a fixed period. With this, lenders will apply interest and fees, meaning you will repay more than you borrow.

At Monzi, we work with lenders offering repayment terms ranging from 12 to 24 months, depending on the amount you borrow. As a result, there may be a manageable option for you, if you’ve got a bill to pay today.

In addition to this, some of the most common uses for fast personal loans include:

  • Car repairs
  • Debt consolidation
  • Renovation costs
  • Emergency expenses (e.g. plumbing costs)
  • Travel and accommodation costs

Note that there may be other valid reasons for applying for a personal loan that are not listed above. Realistically, the list of potential reasons is almost endless.

Can I use a loan for my private health insurance excess?

Yes, you may.

If you’ve suffered the misfortune of needing to attend the hospital and are now required to pay the excess on your insurance policy, one way to do this could be to apply for an instant cash loan online with Monzi. With this, if your application is approved, then you may have the cash in your pocket today to cover your medical expenses.

That said, keep in mind that there are costs associated with borrowing money. Interest rates and fees mean that loans to cover your excess on your health insurance, car insurance or home insurance can be expensive. As a result, consider your options (e.g. using your savings) before applying.

How do I apply for fast cash with Monzi?

We’re glad to hear that you’re ready to apply. However, before you launch into applying, first make sure you meet our eligibility criteria:

  • At least 18 years old.
  • Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  • Can provide a current email address and mobile phone number.
  • Have an online bank account with at least three months of statements.

Satisfied that you check these boxes? Great! To apply, just follow these easy steps:

  1. Hit ‘Apply Now’, then use Monzi’s loan slider to select your loan amount and repayment term.
  2. Complete Monzi’s online application by following the easy instructions. Keep in mind that you will need to provide a handful of personal and financial details.
  3. Put your feet up and allow Monzi to take over. Once we receive your application, our automated system will attempt to match you with an available lender from our extensive network.
  4. We’ll provide you with an outcome via text or email. If your application is successful, then your lender will contact you to begin the next stage of the process.

Remember that approval is not guaranteed. While we’ll always do our best to find a lender for you, your outcome will depend on the results of your lender’s loan assessment.

Any questions? We’re here to help

If our lender-finder service is something you’d like to take advantage of but you have questions that need answers, don’t hesitate to reach out. Send us an email over at hello@monzi.com.au and we’ll do our best to address any questions regarding our organisation or service.

With this, keep in mind that we may be unable to answer any questions regarding private health insurance or the options available to you. Instead, you may need to contact an insurer directly or reach out to a professional who may provide advice tailored to your current situation.

Private health insurance and Monzi

While we may not be able to help you find a suitable private health insurance policy, we’ve done our best to provide you with the information you need to begin. Beyond this, if you find yourself in need of a personal loan, then we may be able to help.

Apply fast from $300 to $10,000 now. We may match you with a lender in just 60 minutes. Borrow the money you need now to cover that expense that just can’t wait. From there, you can divide the costs evenly over terms ranging from 12 to 24 months.

Not ready to apply yet? No worries. Stay in touch by following Monzi on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for all our latest updates. We’ll see you there.

Finally, if you’d like to learn more with Monzi today, check out our guides to income protection insurance, debt consolidation or a child care subsidy calculator, now. Alternatively, if you’re looking to protect your health with a mask, read more about face masks Australia or reusable face masks now.

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You won't use a penny to apply for our lender-finding service, but here's some costs you could expect from a lender

Loan amount

$300 - $2,000

Terms

12 months (minimum)

12 months (maximum)

Costs

20% upfront establishment fee

+ 4% monthly fee

Example

Loan Amount of $1,000 over 6 months repayable weekly (25 weekly repayments). $1,000 (Principal Amount) + $200 (20% Establishment Fee) + $240 (fees based on 4% per month over 25 weeks) = $1,440 total repayable in 25 weekly installments of $57.60.

Under the current legislation, most small personal loan providers don’t charge an annual interest rate (you’ll know this as an APR) %. The maximum you will be charged is a flat 20% Establishment Fee and a flat 4% Monthly Fee. The maximum comparison rate on loans between $300 and $2000 is 199.43%. The minimum and maximum loan term is 12 months. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.

Loan amount

$2,001 - $4,600

Terms

13 months (minimum)

24 months (maximum)

Costs

48% Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

67.41% Comparison Rate p.a.

Example

Loan Amount of $3,000 over 18 months repayable weekly (78 weekly repayments). $3,000 (Principal Amount) + $400 (Establishment Fee) + $1,379.06 (reducing interest) = $4,779.06 total repayable over 18 months with weekly installments of $61.27.

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Secured Medium Loans is 48%. The Typical Comparison Rate is 67.41% p.a. The minimum loan term is 13 months and the maximum loan term is 24 months. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate with the lender that finances your loan. Click here to see a worked example.

Loan amount

$5,000 - $10,000

Terms

13 months (minimum)

24 months (maximum)

Costs

21.24% Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

48% Comparison Rate p.a.

Example

Loan Amount of $10,000 over 24 months repayable weekly (104 weekly repayments). $10,000 (Principal Amount) + $5,577.12 (Interest) = $15,577.12 total repayable over 24 months with weekly installments of $149.78.

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Secured Large Amount Loans is 48%. Maximum Comparison Rate is 48% p.a. The minimum loan term is 13 months and the maximum loan term is 24 months. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate with the lender that finances your loan. Click here to see a worked example.