Date posted: 02/04/2024 5 min read

Are you getting the best value from your private health insurance?

With the cost of living rising, chances are you can get better value from your private health insurance – here’s how. Brought to you by HCF.

Since the pandemic, Australians have continued to sign up in record numbers to private health insurance. According to Private Healthcare Australia, 14.42 million Australians have private health cover – or 55% of the population.

In February 2024, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced that living costs for employee households had risen by 6.9% in the year to December 2023, outstripping the consumer price index (CPI) at 4.1%. It’s no surprise, then, that many Australians are looking for ways to get more value from the services they already have.

Here are some ways to get more from your private health insurance.

1. Check your cover

Do you have the right cover for your life stage and current family needs? If you haven’t reviewed your policy in the last year or two, take a quick read through and see what’s no longer relevant. If your family is complete, check whether you’re still paying for pregnancy cover, for example.

We recommend cover for dental care, and consider if you’re covered for other common procedures, such as joint surgery and heart conditions.

A 15-minute policy review can help ensure you don’t pay for cover you won’t use, and make sure you’reprotected for the costly issues most likely to arise.

2. Use a no-gap or known-gap provider

Medical professionals need to let you know the financial implications of a treatment, in order for you to make an informed decision about your treatment choices. If your GP refers you you to a specialist, find out how much they charge and don’t be afraid to shop around to keep out-of-pocket costs down.

Health funds have a list of providers and specialists they have negotiated pricing with on behalf of members, for hospital treatment. You can access a list of these no-gap and known-gap providers to compare their fees and find out if there’s a gap payment you’ll need to make if you use them.

For example, HCF’s online find a provider tool enables members to find a specialist more likely to charge no-gap or a known-gap (capped at A$500 per specialist) fee for hospital treatment, saving you time and money.

3. Maximise your extras cover

If you have extras cover in addition to hospital cover, most options include free or subsidised essentials, such as a free annual dental check-up and no-gap prescription glasses. Make sure you’re using these benefits every year, since looking after the health basics can prevent more serious issues down the track.

4. Check out rewards programs

If your health insurer has a loyalty program, you may be entitled to discounts that save you money on items and services you may already use.

A great example is HCF’s Thank You rewards program, which offers different rewards based on how long someone has been a member. You can access benefits and offers, including discounts on e gift cards to spend on groceries, fuel and movies.1 Plus, there are discounts on HCF life, pet and travel insurance, and selected pharmacy items.

Is it time you joined HCF?

As Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund, HCF puts its money where its members are, providing better services and affordable health care. HCF is also a CA ANZ Member Benefits Partner, offering chartered accountants exclusive benefits. To find out more, visit:

1 Excludes Ambulance Only and Overseas Visitors Health Cover.