A couple met with me for a ‘meet and greet’ appointment. They were very excited. She was pregnant for the first time and they were looking forward to starting a family.
At the end of the appointment I asked: “Do you have any further questions?” He nervously told me that his wife had given him the responsibility to join a health fund for them with consideration of their planning a pregnancy. He said he was speaking with the health fund employee over the phone about joining and he had thought he made it clear they were planning to start a family. After she was pregnant and they realised that while he had joined for cover as a couple the level of membership he had taken out did not include pregnancy cover. So they now find themselves in the very upsetting situation where if they go private for pregnancy care they will have to fund it themselves as there is no health fund cover. A very costly mistake.
If you are soon to join a heath fund or are already in fund and you are planning a pregnancy and you want to be managed as a private patient in private hospital then please make sure you have the appropriate level of cover at least 12 months before you conceive.
There are many misleading health fund ads on the TV which give the impression you can get the ‘all bells and whistles’ policy for a small amount of money through the health fund promoted in the ad. If you check the cover that health fund is offering for that fee it is almost worthless and certainly won’t include pregnancy cover. So don’t be fooled.
There are also ads by insurance ‘middle men’ companies that say they want to help you get the right policy for you. You can get very little information independently online form this website and soon you realise they want you to submit your phone number so their staff can call you. Their staff are trained to do the ‘hard sell’ if you do this, so be very wary. Their employees are well trained to talk you into making a commitment through them which may be more in their financial interests than in your interests. I suggest you do your own comparing the market and that independently you select. If you do select a fund through one of these ‘middle men’ companies then make sure you contact the fund chosen directly and compare before committing.
Recently I booked hotel for my wife and I to stay at when we have a brief holiday. I worked out which hotel we wanted online. I checked out the room options online. I then phoned the hotel to discuss my choice and make sure it was what we wanted. I then completed the booking online at the hotel’s website as the rate online was cheaper than the over the phone room rate. A few days later I saw one of those hotel compare best rates ads on the TV and so I decided I would check if it would have been cheaper if I had booked this hotel through them rather than directly. It wasn’t cheaper. I would have paid significantly more if I had believed the ad and booked through that site and not made my own direct booking.
I suggest you decide exactly what health fund cover you want and do your own homework. It is not hard to do with the internet. You will find similar levels of cover vary considerably in cost between the funds. So don’t be fooled into paying more than you need to get the cover you want. I suggest before making the final decision you phone the fund to double check you have exact the cover you want.
A list of health funds is available at the Australian Government Private Health website titled a list of health funds
Also on the Australian Government Private Health website is a section where you can compare health funds titled Compare health insurance policies