4 signs you should update your health cover

By Dan Hatch

6 minutes

14 February 2020

Parents measuring height of child against door frame 

Is it time to update your health cover? Here are 4 signs that mean you probably should.

Our lives are constantly changing and it's all too easy to let your health insurance fall out of step with your needs.

That's especially the case when it comes to common claims like seeing the dentist, getting glasses or contacts, or booking a physio after tweaking your back, for example. 

So, should you be updating your health cover? If any of these situations describes you, then the answer is probably 'yes'!

 


Update your health cover if you've hit the limits of your current plan

Maxed out your dental? Hit the cap on visits to the psychologist? This is a sign that you might want to upgrade. Increasing your coverage could give you more back when you claim, or offer a higher annual limit so you can get covered for more check-ups and appointments.


Update your health cover if you've started a family

Life gets hectic when you throw a few kids into the mix. Think about what's coming up for you and whether you're covered.

For example:

  1. Extra care before and after pregnancy. The body changes a lot during pregnancy. Being well covered can help you adjust and give you peace of mind through this time of change. Things like physiotherapy, health checks and natural therapies may be more useful to you now than they were before.

  2. Kid's teeth (and braces). As they get older, kids need dental check-ups, x-rays, fillings and sometimes braces. Get covered for these ahead of time as Major Dental and Orthodontic services have 12-month waiting periods. Also consider reading more about getting braces.

  3. Helping kids grow up strong. If you've got kids in school, think about sports injuries and physio treatment for growing pains. Also, it's not uncommon for speech therapy to be recommended by schoolteachers.

  4. Parents need cover, too. Anyone who's hefted a struggling child over their shoulder – every day, for several years – has dreamed of remedial massage. And when lifting kids becomes chasing kids, even supermum and superdad need to watch out for injury and keep it at bay if they can. This is where physio, chiro and osteopathy can become important.

Don't just think about your needs in the near future. Ask yourself what coverage your family might need in two or three years' time and add it to your health insurance now. (You might be very glad you did.)


Update your health cover if you've started at the gym or play a sport

If you've become more (or less) active, you might find yourself booking different doctor's appointments. It could be time to update your health cover.

  1. Have you started going to the gym or exercising? Well done! Make sure you can keep up the good work by getting covered for the treatment you might need for gym injuries and recovery.
  2. Have you started playing a sport? Have fun! But take care of yourself - sports increase your risk of injury. In fact, Australia leads the world in preventable sports injuries like ACL tears.
  3. Have you recently changed jobs? Jobs like construction, farming and anything that involves physical activity carry a higher risk of injury. And if you've moved from an active job to a desk job, you can develop back, neck or wrist problems that it pays to have cover for.

Update your health cover if it's been a while

It's also a good idea to at least check over your health cover if it has been a while since you took it out or last updated it. Here are some things to consider:

  1. How long ago did you take it out? If it's been a while, you're pretty likely to need different cover for some of the reasons we've just looked at.
  2. Did you go too cheap? Too expensive? Did you go for the cheapest option available and can you now afford a higher level of coverage that might give you more peace of mind?

    Did you opt for a high level of coverage and, actually, there's a lot you're paying for that you think you'll never use or don't need anymore?

  3. How old are you now? As we get older our health needs change. That's especially the case after the age of 46. (Sorry, it's just a fact! You're more likely to need podiatry, a prosthesis or a hearing aid, for example, after the age of 46.)

OK, so how do I update my health cover?

You can adjust your cover online, over the phone or in a branch.

If you're doing it online, read up on your current cover and compare your options. You'll be making the decision off your own bat, so look carefully at not just the price, but the level of cover you'll get – and the fine print too.

If you're changing your cover over the phone or in a branch, you can bring your thoughts or notes with you and talk through the best new level of cover for you.


 
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