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What is the best health fund?

We get asked this question all the time. So what is the best health fund out there?

The short answer is there is no best health fund. There is so much competition out there with over 30 health funds available. Finding the best health fund is really a personal choice as there are many factors.

When it comes to being able to claim remedial massage you are really looking at extras cover. When getting health insurance you have the option of Hospital only cover, extras only cover or Hospital and extras. Most people choose hospital and extras as this gives you access to cover if you need a procedure that requires choosing your own surgeon and also the ability to claim a portion back of the cost of extras such as dental, physio, remedial massage and more.

The amount of money you get back when claiming extras depends on how much you spend each month. Basically the more you spend, the more you get back. The health fund will give you back a certain chunk of money per modality and once it is used up you have to wait until the next calendar year for it to reset, so you can claim again. With the exception of AHM, who reset on the financial year. Some health funds will give you a percentage of the total amount whereas others will just give you a fixed amount back.

If you use your health fund regularly then you will use it up reasonably quickly. People are usually surprised as to how quickly it will run out. This can be a false economy as when the extras you use have been exhausted you still have to pay. You can always toss up whether having extras cover is really worth it, or you just have hospital cover and put some money aside each week to spend on the extras you use.

AHM is a unique health fund as they don't give you an amount per modality like most health funds, they give you a total amount to use which you can choose to spend on whatever you like. The only downside is they have been gradually lowering the amount they give back each year. It is now at $700 per year and can increase the longer you stay with them. This can still be a good choice if the only thing you use is remedial massage as you will get $700 to claim back per year. If you use optical, dental etc then you will run it out pretty quickly.

Just remember that health funds are health insurance companies. Insurance companies are a business that needs to make money so they will always come out on top. Unfortunately there is no way to win when it comes to health insurance.

Another thing to think about is your hospital cover. If you require a procedure often your health fund won't cover all that much, so you will have to still pay most of it which can run into thousands. If you need something like pregnancy cover you will also have to plan ahead before increasing your cover as health funds will usually have a 12month waiting list on these expensive items.

The easiest way to find the health fund that works is to use an online health insurance comparison tool such as iselect, where you can put in what you want and it will show you the best options. There are many health funds that you have never heard of outside of BUPA, medibank and HCF so shop around.

If you have any questions then as usual get in touch.

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