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Why individuals need to seek professional advice about private health insurance

29 November 2016 - 8:15am

Have you ever tried to compare all of the possible private health insurance plans on the market? It's virtually impossible. Even if you do find a plan that you think could work for you, you're never sure that it's the absolute best one out there.

That's why you need professional advice from HICA. Comparing the hundreds and hundreds of health insurance plans can take hours of your valuable time. If you talk to the expert team at HICA, however, you'll only need to tell the representative what you need from your private or corporate health insurance, and a list of options will be presented to you.

What could happen if you don't have the right cover?

According to an article in The Guardian Australia from November 17, having the wrong kind of private health cover might leave you totally unprotected when you really need it.

"I feel like we've been paying for private health insurance for so long now that we should have at least been covered for something."

A young couple had been paying $100 each per month in premiums for years. Jason Rolfe then found out that he had a deviated septum, and could only get 10 per cent air flow through one of his nostrils. As a music teacher and trumpet player, this was a problem. Mr Rolfe went to a specialist for a consultation, and found out that he would not be covered at all by his private health insurance. The total cost of the necessary surgery was to be around $9,000 - something the young couple could not afford.

"I feel like we've been paying for private health insurance for so long now that we should have at least been covered for something," said Laura Rolfe.

"This process made me realise just how uninformed I was about what was covered and what was not, but also how hard it is to decide what kind of insurance to get."

Your family might currently be covered, and you've been paying for private health insurance for years. As soon as something comes up that urgently needs to be dealt with, you could be heaped with a large bill, simply because you didn't have the right cover. This is an easily avoidable problem, but unfortunately, many Australians fall into the same trap.


Trying to compare all of the possible private health insurance plans can lead you into a trap.Trying to compare all of the possible private health insurance plans can lead you into a trap.

The Rolfe family is not alone with their private health cover gripe

According to the Commonwealth Ombudsman in Australia, 37,753 complaints were lodged in the 2015-16 financial year. That's a whopping 34 per cent more than the previous 12 months. Even before that, in the 2014-15 financial year, the Private Health Ombudsman received 4,265 complaints - an increase of 24 per cent over the previous year.

The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman's annual report for 2014-15 states "there are no easy answers about how to address the rise in complaints about health insurance, as many are related to decisions made by health insurers in attempting to keep health insurance premiums lower by making changes to health insurance policies; and by consumers choosing health insurance policies with restrictions and exclusions, in return for paying a lower premium".

People are settling for a plan that doesn't cover them entirely, to save money in premium payments.

Essentially, people are settling for a plan that doesn't cover them entirely, to save money in premium payments. In the short term, this could be a financially sound move. As soon as something happens that requires health cover, though, and it turns out to be an exclusion in your policy, you'll potentially lose all that money you've saved plus more.

An extension of finding the most suitable plans for your needs is finding appropriate products at competitive prices. Here at HICA, we have access to a wide range of products that don't engage in the 'race to the bottom' for price and coverage, purely to stay competitive. The products we can access have wide coverage, so individuals and corporates can be confident they're getting what they need for a competitive price.

For more information about why you should take advantage of HICA's free consultation and advice, get in touch today on 1300 44 22 01.