The unpredictable environmental condition that we currently live in has,for many years, dictated the health status of many people on the planet. You may have been eating the right foods, leading an active lifestyle, or doing everything to stay healthy and fit, but you can never be too sure. Even here in Australia where many cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, and Brisbane) have placed in the top 50 World’s Most Liveable Cities in 2016 by the Mercer Quality of Living Survey, quality health is still not assured. This is the reason why you need to seek the services of an effective health care insurance provider.
You may have insurance plan from the company you are working for right now, but with it the credit goes to the company’s group health insurance policy and not to you. You can have more benefits if you get your own private insurance plan. There are many companies in Australia offering health insurance benefits,so how do you single out the perfect one?
Tips on Finding the Right Health Care Insurance Provider
Like choosing the best medical professional to go to in times of illness, choosing the right health care insurance provider for Asians like you must be done with caution. Once you partner with one, you must take into consideration the costs in time and money that will be spent. So, consider the following matters before agreeing to sign a contract with any insurance company.
- Take some time to research on the available insurance providers, and do it now.
Stop procrastinating, and do what you must do today. Learn about the many types of insurance providers available in Australia. Spend some of your time gathering pertinent information about them. Contact them, and ask them about their services and coverage.
Set a time limit when you must finally agree to a specific insurance provider.Else, time will come when you may be inflicted with an unexpected illness, and because you never considered taking an insurance policy,you may be left scrambling to your feet trying all means to avoid the staggering cost of hospital bills and medical expenses that you will incur.
- Choose an insurance provider that offers more control of your treatment.
An insurance provider that allows you to choose which medical professional to treat you, in what hospital, and with a wide insurance coverage should be a good insurance provider.A healthy dose of your picky-practical Asian sense would serve you well in ensuring you select the insurance provider offering benefits that best suit you.
If the insurance provider has many limitations, then that should send up a red flag. This does not mean, however, that it should be avoided outright. Ask further questions about the conditions of the limitations. If the response is acceptable and you are still left with a wide range of options, then this specific insurance provider should be a sound one.
- Study the maximum premium budget of the insurance provider.
Determine the maximum premium budget that the insurance provider offers, and compare it with the benefits. You must consider the monthly rate that you will be spending versus the benefits that you can receive. A good Asian healthcare provider has to be worth the money you will be spending.
Try to estimate the health care expenses that you spent during the previous year, including premiums, hospitalisations, and out-of-pocket financial expenses (especially if you normally require frequent health care requirements and other health services). Then consult with the insurance provider if they can offer an insurance plan that coincides with this expense, so that you will not be forced to pay more than you normally do on health care services annually. However, you must add 10 % to your current health care plan compared with the previous year.
If, however, it is not possible for you to go for a high premium, consider asking the insurance provider if they also offer a Health Savings Account (HSA). HSAs are a great way for you to earn money which you can use later onto pay for health expenses or medical bills, untaxed. One condition to become eligible for this is to have a high-deductible plan. The good thing is that these types of plans usually require low monthly costs. If this is a good option, then a good insurance service provider should help you execute it according to your financial capacity.
- Choose an insurance provider that is affiliated with the best medical professionals.
If you know of an excellent Asian medical professional, chances are he or she is only affiliated with only the best health care insurance companies in Australia. It usually follows that these competent medical professionals never settle for something inferior. You can ask your favourite doctors which insurance providers they are affiliated with and then carry on from there. Contact these providers, and enquire on their specific coverage and plans.
- A good insurance provider partners with the best medical credentialing companies too.
Medical credentialing has become valuable nowadays, especially to health care insurance providers. This is the process of confirming the qualifications and legitimacy of the health care insurance provider and medical professionals. In other words, medical credentialing companies like Addval Inc. provide a stamp of authenticity that will help determine the competency of medical professionals and health insurance providers to potential clients and patients.
After Narrowing Down Possible Health Care Insurance Companies
Now that you have shortlisted possible Asian health care insurance companies, it is time to look into their specific offerings, policies, and guidelines.
Life Insurance vs. General Insurance
Usually, health care insurance companies offer either life insurance or general insurance. Most experts would say that it is preferable to choose a company that offers general insurance because companies offering life insurance are more focused on policies that will reimburse the remaining family members of the deceased and not on providing actual health insurance. Further, these types of policies are generally more expensive if taken from a life insurance company.
Learn About the Specific Details of the Health Insurance Plan
Ask questions that will answer the specific details of the insurance plan and policy, such as the following:
- Does the health insurance cover expenses related to
(c) ambulatory expenses?
(d) outpatient treatment expenses?
(e) maternity care?
- What does the health insurance NOT cover?
- Does the insurance plan offer other benefits? If so, what are these policy benefits?
- Health care insurance companies definitely need documents for filing claims. What are these documents?
- If the health insurance plan requires medical tests, what are these specific tests?
- How is the premium of the health insurance plan determined?
- Does the health care insurance company offer cashless facility?
- What schemes are available by the health insurance company?
- What is the maximum number of claims that they are allowing within a year?
- Are they setting a grace period in the event that you miss a premium or you don’t renew the policy on time? What is the length of the grace period?
Get a List of Hospitals Affiliated with the Insurance Company
Like how they are tied up with a specific medical professional, each health care insurance company can also provide a list of hospitals they are affiliated with. These hospitals know the process of settling claims from a patient who is covered by the health insurance company. Check for each of these hospital’s reputation, competency, specialty, and distance from your residence. This is important because, during an emergency, you will most likely head to a hospital nearest to your home. Having prior knowledge of the specialisation that is available in a specific hospital that is affiliated with your insurance company will save you from a lot of unnecessary burden.
How Is the Premium Cost Calculated?
The premium is the amount that you will be paying when you buy an insurance policy from an insurance company. There is a general formula in calculating the premium, but there are other factors that may be added on top of the premium charge. Discuss in detail with the insurance agent on how this is calculated,so you will learn how much you are supposed to pay per year and how the insurance company may charge you for specific services.
Choosing “Sum Assured”
“Sum assured” is the maximum amount that can be reimbursed by the insurance company to the insured for a particular policy, for a given year. When choosing the “sum assured,” take into consideration the rising cost of medical expenses. The amount of the “sum assured” should not also be too high that you might have difficulty paying for the premium.
Learn About the Insurance Policy’s “Fine Print”
Every health insurance policy contains clauses or what can be referred to as the “fine print.” You have to learn about them thoroughly. If there are points that you do not understand very well, ask your insurance agent about them. There may be clauses about the insurance policy’s renewability.
For example, on the policy’s renewability, there may be clauses that impose applicability of the plan only up to a particular age limit. There are insurance policies that become void when you reach at least 70 years old, the time you do need it the most. Choose an insurance policy that will not expire, but one that will cover you for life.
Check the Flexibility of the Insurance Policy
Ask about the insurance plan’s payment system. In times of sickness, the insurance company should give flexibility to the insured person in paying for the amount used in the premium. The premium is usually calculated again after a policy year and is usually increased based on the amount of the policy that has been used.
Thus, it is advisable that you choose a policy that will allow you to pay for the amount of the older premium for a particular time until when you can pay the increased premium, and without interest levied on the actual premium fee.
Ask if the Insurance Company Offers a No-Claim Bonus
You should also ask the insurance company if they offer a bonus amount as a discount after you have not claimed insurance in one policy year, this is also called a “no-claim” bonus. This is an excellent feature that will also help determine the insurance company’s solid financial foundation and can also motivate you to keep a healthy lifestyle.
Read Reviews on the Health Care Insurance Companies
You should also read what other people are saying about the company. You can ask your friends or other family members on some feedback about their current insurance provider, or ask for their suggestions. If you can find an insurance company that can take good care of your finances while you stay in the hospital, then that promotes stress-free recovery and should mean that it is a good health care insurance company.