Great question! And, like so many of the best, it’s one that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no.
That’s not an attempt to dodge the question, politician-style – it’s just the honest truth, because there really is no one-size-fits-all answer.
What’s right for you may well be entirely different to what’s right for your sister, neighbour or hairdresser.
First up, it’s worth a quick reminder that private health insurance is made up of two components.
On one side, there’s hospital cover, which is designed to help pay hospital medical bills, giving you the ability to choose your hospital and doctor, avoiding public hospital waiting times and if you earn a dollar over $90,000 and hold an appropriate level of hospital cover – avoiding the government surcharge (Medicare levy surcharge).
Over on the other side is extras cover.
This is the part that helps pay for non-hospital treatments like dental, optical and physio, reducing out-of-pocket expenses for everyday services that Medicare generally doesn’t cover.
Deciding what cover you need is a very individual thing but, according to HBF – the second largest not-for-profit health insurer in Australia – a good place to start is by thinking back over your health-related outgoings from the past year.
Perhaps you’ve had a dental check-up and a filling, bought a new pair of glasses or had a few sessions with an osteopath after working from home in a non-ergonomic chair.
Keep in mind that our health needs and priorities can change over time, so it’s also worth considering what you’re likely to need in the future.
Write them all down, then head to the HBF website to compare its extras cover options.
Scroll down to the plan that ticks the elements most important to you and leave out those that don’t apply.
In just a few clicks you’ll get an estimated price for the policy, and what sort of benefits you’d receive.
Alternatively, a member of the HBF team can help you find an HBF cover that best suits your needs.
It’s your choice how much cover suits your situation, ranging from basic options to more comprehensive options that provide cover for a wide range of services.
Whatever you select, as a not-for-profit organisation without shareholders expecting financial returns, HBF provides an affordable option for your private health insurance.
After all, HBF had a premium increase of less than 2 per cent in 2019 and is the only major health fund to have cancelled the 2020 premium increase for all its members.
So, is extras cover worth it? Clearly, only you can answer that – but HBF is happy to assist in your decision.