Is it Worth Switching Health Insurance?
Your health insurance should not be a static product in your life, because after all, your life is always changing. You change jobs, you have kids, the kids leave home and we all get older, and as a result, what we need and expect from our health insurance changes too. However, before you consider changing funds make sure the move is worthwhile, and that you know how to avoid a lapse in your coverage.
It may be worth switching health insurance policies if:
• Your needs have changed. If your health needs have changed or you are planning a change such as having children, it is time to reassess your health insurance and consider switching to a more appropriate policy.
• Your health insurance has changed. Insurers change and update their products like any other business, so check how these changes affect your coverage.
• Comparison power. As insurers update their products, another insurance company may now offer a product which suits your needs better, and is more affordable than the one you have.
• You want to upgrade. If you have found you are using features such as dental or physio more often, or you are getting older and want a policy which includes joint replacement, it could be time to switch to a more inclusive policy.
Before you switch health insurance policies, you need to make sure that you won’t have a lapse in coverage between the time you cancel your old policy and take out your new one. You also want to be sure that any waiting periods you have served with your pervious insurer are recognised by your new insurer, and you’re not forced to wait again for your benefits to become active.
Private Health Insurance
Thanks to the portability rules in the Private Health Insurance Act 2007 waiting periods are transferable when you switch health insurance policies, as long as the benefits in the two policies are comparable. However, if you have not completed a waiting period with your old insurance policy before you switch, you will need to serve the remaining waiting period after you move to a new policy. Also, if you are switching to a policy with a higher level of cover then you will have to serve the waiting period for new features in your new policy. For example if you need to go into hospital for a procedure which is covered by your new policy but which wasn’t included in your old policy, you will have to serve the waiting period of your new policy for that benefit.
Health insurance is there to look after your family’s health and wellbeing needs, so if your policy is no longer the best one for the job, it could be worth switching health insurers for a policy which better suits your needs.