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All covered

During our initial months in Australia, Mum felt an overwhelming pressure to get private health insurance. As this isn’t an insurance we needed when living in the UK, the task of getting the right insurance for the family was daunting and, at the time, this was just one of many tasks and new services we needed to subscribe to. We’re sure any family moving abroad will relate to this.

The reason private health insurance is important in Australia is that not all services are fully covered by Medicare (the Australian government’s healthcare system). One of the key services of Australian private health insurance is Ambulance travel – we were told by innumerable people when we first arrived down under that we had better get Ambulance cover immediately, because the cost of one trip to hospital could be thousands of dollars.

Having embarked on our research, in order to get the basics like Ambulance and dental cover sorted, Mum was then overwhelmed by extras and options regarding hospital cover and other services and therapies.

In the end, the decision for Mum was all too much, and as Mr Mum’s gone 2 Aus obtained a discount from a specific provider linked to his work, we took the easy (lazy) way out. For the past four years Family Mum’s gone 2 Aus have been paying for full, comprehensive health insurance, with dental and all the extras they can throw in, for the entire family.

At the time, it felt good to tick another task off our lists, and over the past four years we have used our health insurance for dental, chiropractic services and the like. Thankfully we haven’t needed any hospital or ambulance services. We have been happy with our health insurance, and felt comfort in having our healthcare needs looked after should the worst happen.

However, a few months ago, Mr Mum’s gone 2 Aus, prompted by a discussion with the friendly staff at Bupa, suggested we review our healthcare arrangements. Having paid little interest in the decision making four years ago, he now wanted to understand all our arrangements , fine print and all (does this scenario sound familiar?).

Upon examination, it seems our young family has been paying some unnecessary fees and insuring some redundant procedures. For starters, we were paying a premium for being expats not covered by Medicare. This, we learnt, was set-up when we applied for healthcare and before we had our Medicare numbers. We should have updated our healthcare provider once we had our Medicare details, but had not. This resulted in a nice rebate for four years’ worth of paying an unnecessary premium.

In addition to the refund for the added premium, Bupa suggested we review the items and extras we were insuring. For example, if we’ve decided our family is big enough already, we should cancel maternity cover and unless we’re anticipating at our age to need a knee or hip replacement, perhaps we should remove this cover from our insurance for a few years. The happy outcome of this review is that we reduced our health insurance premium by $100 per month.

The lesson learned during this exercise for Mum is firstly; if you’ve just arrived in Australia, analyse all the options and take advice from a provider like Bupa before finalising your cover. Secondly, once you have established your insurance, ensure you review the arrangement at regular intervals. Mum recommends a review every two years.

Thank you Bupa, for prompting Family Mum’s gone 2 Aus to review our arrangements.

This is a sponsored post brought to you by Nuffnang – of course, all the events, facts and figures are true.

Whether you have recently moved to Aus, or are now and an old timer like Mum, we’d love to hear your health insurance tips and experiences. Please leave a comment below. Thank you. 

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