FAQs: private health insurance, moneytime and me

health magnified borderIn this section, we aim to answer all the questions you might have about private health insurance and how moneytime can help you find the best health cover for you.

FAQS: private health insurance

Am I eligible for the Federal Government Rebate?

Australians with a green or blue (interim) Medicare card may be eligible for a health insurance rebate based on their income and the age of the oldest person covered under the policy. Check to see if you're eligible for a health insurance rebate.

You can select your level of rebate to be included in the health insurance quotes that you receive on moneytime.

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Do I have to serve a waiting period?

A waiting period is the initial period from the time you take out your health insurance policy to when the benefits for particular features become available to you. For example, the standard waiting period for Pregnancy and Birth Related Services is 12 months, which means you'll need to wait until 12 months after you start your health cover before you are eligible to receive benefits for those services. This is to prevent a 'hit and run' system, which would only increase the health insurance premium for everyone else who stays in it for the long term.

If you're transferring from one private health insurance policy to another and have already served your waiting period, then you won't have to serve it again, as long as the level of cover is comparable. However, if your new health insurance policy has new or higher level benefits, then you may need to serve a new waiting period before you can claim the new or increased benefits. Read more about waiting periods.

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What is a pre-existing condition and how does it affect me?

A pre-existing condition/ailment is any illness or condition that you had signs or symptoms of during the six months before you took out health insurance – this includes conditions that had not yet been diagnosed by yourself or your doctor prior to taking out your health insurance plan. As a general rule, most health funds have a waiting period of 12 months for pre-existing conditions, except for psychiatric care, rehabilitation or palliative care, which each require a two month wait only. Read more about pre-existing conditions.

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What’s the difference between an Excess and a Co-payment?

Both Excess and Co-payment options are designed to lower your health insurance premium. In both cases, you are agreeing to make an out-of-pocket payment for hospital admittance, in exchange for a lower up-front health insurance premium.

An Excess is the amount of money you pay towards hospital treatment, regardless of the number of days you are in hospital. Some health funds charge the Excess for your first admission to hospital while others charge the Excess more than once, so be sure to read the policy details.

A Co-payment is the amount of money you agree to pay for each day that you are in hospital, up to an agreed amount. For example, a Co-payment agreement of $50x4 means that you agree to pay $50 for the first four days or nights you are in hospital - every day or night thereafter is covered completely by the health fund.

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Should I take out a health insurance policy with an Excess or Co-payment?

Whether you should take out health insurance with an Excess or Co-payment depends entirely on your personal circumstances and requirements. If you're fit and healthy and don't think you'll need to go to hospital anytime soon, and are willing to pay an Excess or Co-payment out of pocket in exchange for a lower upfront health insurance premium, then it might be a good idea for you.

It's easy to see the trade-off with moneytime - each time you click on a different Excess or Co-payment option in either the results table or the comparison table, the premium will change instantly to show you the difference.

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How do I know my Lifetime Health Cover age?

If you took out private health insurance before 1 July 2000 or before 1 July following your 31st birthday, and have had continuous hospital cover since then, you will retain a Lifetime Health Cover age of 30 for as long as you continue to be covered. That means you receive the lowest health insurance premium possible and no age loading.

If you joined after 1 July following your 31st birthday, then a 2% loading is added for each year you delayed taking out hospital cover after turning 30. For example, if you take out hospital cover at 35 years of age, you pay a 10% loading on top of the usual premium. The maximum loading is 70%, and special circumstances apply for those who were overseas for part of the time that they were not covered.

10 years of continuous hospital cover under private health insurance is rewarded by the removal of any age loading, so you can start afresh with a Lifetime Health Cover age of 30 - no matter what your actual age. Read more about Lifetime Health Cover.

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FAQs about moneytime and me

Will using your service cost me anything?

moneytime's incredibly-easy-to-use health insurance comparison service won't cost you a thing to use. The health funds that we represent pay a commission for our services, so you can compare health insurance options as frequently as you want - completely free!

We also guarantee that the price you pay for joining a health plan through moneytime is identical to the price you'd receive from the health funds themselves. All our health insurance premiums are direct from the health funds to you.

Which health funds do you represent?

We represent a number of leading Australian health funds, who have chosen to partner with us to present their health insurance policies to you. We provide a quality channel through which different health insurance policies can be compared side by side to help you find the one that suits you best.

moneytime's partner health funds include: GMHBA, HCF and Peoplecare.

We are also working to partner with other major health funds, not yet represented on our site, to further broaden the range of options available to you on moneytime.

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What if I already have health insurance?

Just as your lifestyle is constantly evolving, your health insurance needs also change through the years. Major life changes like getting married, having kids, being diagnosed with an illness and ageing issues will necessitate a change in health insurance, but it's also worthwhile comparing health insurance just to make sure you're still getting the best deal for you and your family. In fact, the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman recommends that you review your health cover every 12 months. The health funds review their health insurance policies every year and make changes, so why shouldn't you?

What many people don't know is that there is no penalty for switching policies or health funds along the way – all waiting periods that you've already served will be credited to your new health insurance policy, and the only additional waiting period will be for extra features or higher benefits. In addition, your Lifetime Health Cover is not affected as long as you maintain continuous hospital cover. Of course, benefits claimed on your old health insurance and lifetime benefit limits will be taken into consideration by your new health fund.

You can start comparing now on moneytime to find a better deal on your health insurance, and you can transfer to the new health cover by joining online with us. Simply provide the details of your current health insurance policy on your application, and the health fund you are applying for cover with will send you a form to finalise the transfer – it's that easy. The only thing you may need to do is contact your financial institution to stop any regular payments you have in place to your old health fund. Read our article on switching health funds.

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What if my current health cover isn't available to compare on moneytime?

If your current health cover isn't available on moneytime, simply go to privatehealth.gov.au and search for your policy. You will be able to find the standard information sheet (SIS) for every available health insurance policy from all registered health funds on this site. Once you've found the right SIS, compare it with the comparison table of policies you are interested in on the moneytime website to see which one is the best health insurance policy for you.

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How do I know your information is accurate?

All our information is sourced from a database that our partner health funds keep up to date for regulatory purposes, ensuring that the information on our site is accurate and current. The product brochures available for download from our website all come directly from the health funds themselves.

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Why should I shop with you rather than buying my insurance plan elsewhere?

There are several reasons why we believe moneytime is the choice for you:

A wide range to choose from: We've got the largest choice of leading health funds where you can compare, buy and save online. Our health insurance comparison engine then sifts through the range for you, making it easy to choose the best health insurance policy to suit your needs and budget.

We make it easy: We've done the homework so all you have to do is find the best health insurance policy for you based on the information that's been provided in easy-to-read tables. You can even join immediately online with us. It couldn't be simpler.

We're completely transparent: We provide enough information on the health insurance covers that suit your requirements so you can make an informed decision. Our system is completely impartial, and we do not try to influence you with recommendations or interfere with your natural process of selection - we simply make it easy for you to find the cover you want by comparing your options all on the one site.

The best health insurance prices: our health insurance rates are direct from the health funds to you, exactly the same as buying from the health funds themselves. We also ensure that you get special deals and discounts from our partner health funds, so you get the best deal possible at all times.

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Why don't you make recommendations or provide a star rating?

Product ratings are only useful if the products are easily measured, eg. a credit card that charges 9% interest is easily rated higher than one that charges 19%. But with health insurance, benefits are only 'better' if they meet your needs personally.

Instead, we allow you to choose the features that are important to you, then we show you all the policies that meet your needs. You can then compare them side by side, on our 'Compare' page, to see which gives you most for your money.

And only you can know, which benefits are most important to you and your family.

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Will my health insurance premium ever be higher than the cost indicated by moneytime?

The health insurance quote we provide on our website – as with most health funds and other industry sites – is the monthly health insurance premium you can expect to pay, including the Federal Government Rebate level you select and no Lifetime Health Cover loading.

Your actual health insurance premium may be higher if you choose to claim your rebate a different way or if you have a Lifetime Health Cover loading. Your health insurance premium may also be lower if you are aged over 65, as you will be eligible for a higher level Federal Government rebate.

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Do I have to provide my private information?

You can browse around our site and compare different health insurance policy options without disclosing any of your personal details. The only time you'll need to provide any information is when you want to apply for a health insurance policy or register for mymoneytime.

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How do you protect my private information?

At moneytime, we take security seriously. We use industry standard sockets layer (SSL) to protect all your personal and transactional information by ensuring it is encrypted before transmission. All data is processed on a secure server designed to safeguard your privacy. For extra peace of mind, the security of our website has been certified by web security experts, Thawte. See our Privacy Policy for more information.

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Who do I contact if I haven't heard from the health fund I've joined?

Immediately after you have submitted your application for health insurance, we provide you with the details of what happens next, on a page that includes a moneytime reference number. If you are concerned that your new health fund has not responded in the time that is indicated on this page (usually ten working days), please call moneytime on 1300 88 26 36 or email us at help@moneytime.com.au

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