Private health insurance customers can make claims on many expenses that they probably didn’t know. Here’s what they are.
Private health insurance customers can make claims on many expenses that they probably didn’t know. Here’s what they are.

Surprise health insurance extra you can claim

Online mental health courses, Chinese medicine and acupuncture are some of the expenses private health insurance customers may be unaware they can claim on their extras cover.

Latest Australian Prudential Regulation Authority statistics found the number of Australians with extras cover climbed by about 142,000 policies to 13.7 million in the September quarter.

This surge was mainly due to singles signing up.

Typically members familiar with making extras claims do so for dental, chiropractic, physiotherapy and optical costs but experts say many customers remain in the dark about what they can and can't claim.

 

CHECK YOUR COVER

Bupa's managing director of health insurance Emily Amos says depending on which fund you have cover with, extras cover may include nicotine replacement products, health appliances such as asthma pumps and home nursing.

She urges all members to read through their coverage to see if there's benefits they could be claiming but are missing out on.

"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,"

Amos says.

Acupuncture is one of the expenses you most health insurance members can claim on their policy.
Acupuncture is one of the expenses you most health insurance members can claim on their policy.

She says policies are constantly changing, "to ensure customers can claim on a wide range of health and wellbeing treatments in a variety of different settings".

"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."

Health comparison website iSelect's spokeswoman Laura Crowden says it's worth checking what kind of "preventive" health benefits are included in your extras policy.

"Some policies offer discounts on things like medically necessary weight loss or stress management courses, swimming lessons, quitting smoking programs, gym memberships and even hats, sunglasses and sunscreen," she says.

 

AMOUNT YOU CAN CLAIM

Crowden also suggests Australians on a joint policy should check how much in extras claims can be made per person.

"If you are a family that likes to hit your extras hard it's important to check that you are on a policy that has separate annual limits for each family member," she says.

Annual health insurance premium price rises kick in on April 1 and the average increase will be 2.74 per cent.

It is the second price hike in six months - the 2020 price hike scheduled for April 1 was delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic

until October 1.

sophie.elsworth@news.com.au

@sophieelsworth

 

POPULAR EXTRAS CLAIMS

■ Dental

■ Major dental

■ Optical

■ Physiotherapy

■ Remedial massage

■ Chiropractic

■ Speech therapy

■ Occupational therapy

■ Eye therapy

■ Hearing aids and appliances

■ Dietary

■ Ambulance cover

* Check your individual policy

Originally published as Surprise health insurance extra you can claim



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