Health cover… not the most interesting of topics.

Health insurance is a real dent in the monthly household budget and many of us that have it keep it in the magical “out of sight, out of mind” world of automatic direct debit. By being curious about your private health cover you could be saving money and getting the best arrangement to suit you and your family’s needs. It’s easy to use a free online comparison service like Choosewell to see if you’ve got the best deal.

First, take a second to ask yourself these simple questions:

Have I turned 31 years old since 1 July last year?

If you have turned 31 years old since 1 July 2015 and you don’t have private Hospital cover but decide to get it later, it will be 2% more expensive for every year you didn’t have it. At age 41, you will be paying an extra 20% in private health cover premiums. It’s capped at 70% and the increased premium is required to be paid for 10 years (OUCH!). Do the math: every year, another 2% for 10 years.

Do I earn over $90,000 a year (or combined $180,000 with my spouse)?

If you’re a higher income earner and don’t have private health insurance, there is an additional Medicare Levy Surcharge of 1 to 1.5% on top of the obligatory 2% surcharge that all taxpayers pay. The additional cost doesn’t get you anything extra.

Am I on the same fund as your parents but now have my own family?

You should definitely look for a better deal as there’s no such thing as brand loyalty in the health cover industry. When your parents signed up for their fund it was probably ideal for their needs, and it might’ve continued to provide for them throughout their lives, but now they’re older and the rest of the fund’s membership is probably aging too. That’s bad for younger members as funds with aging memberships have higher costs. The older we are, the more we all need help with our health. It just won’t hurt to look online and compare your current health fund with other options.

Am I horrified of the cost of private health insurance?

If you are horrified by the cost of private health cover, don’t worry, everybody is! The good news is that if you earn less than $140,000 per year ($280,000 combined with your spouse) then the government will rebate you a percentage of your payments come tax time. I know it doesn’t sound great, but with rebates of up to 36% it can really make a big difference.

Have I completely shut-out my monthly health insurance payments?

If you have completely resigned to apathy then it doesn’t matter whether you have cover or not, you’re not in an ideal scenario. Either your fund has increased its premiums during the annual April Rate Rise and you can feel the sting, or you don’t have cover and don’t care. By using a free online comparison tool like Choosewell – and having a chat with their consultants over the phone – you could have peace of mind that you’re in the best place possible and paying the best rate. It’s free, it’s easy, it’s quick and IT COULD SAVE YOU MONEY.

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these then your health cover arrangement could be serving you a lot better and costing you a lot less. This is a lot to take in but the remedy is very easy. Get online, be curious and compare your health insurance now at