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10 Tips on Health Insurance

There’s no denying that buying health insurance can be daunting. It’s hard to know what type of insurance suits you best, what amount of cover you should get, and what’s just a big waste of money. So here are 10 things to consider when thinking about purchasing health insurance.

  1. Tell the truth: Your insurer can cancel your policies and decline your claims if they discover you’ve lied in your application. So if you’re a smoker, don’t pretend you’re not!
  1. Consider the big picture: While policies with limited cover are generally cheaper, and thus more attractive, think about what you’d do if you had to front up with $10,000 for knee surgery. Remember, insurance is there to cover the things you can’t.
  1. Disclose everything: When applying for health insurance, tell them everything… whether it’s a symptom, treatment, or medical condition you already have. Otherwise be prepared to fight for your claim.
  1. Type of insurer: There are two types of health insurers in New Zealand – those owned by shareholders and those owned by members. Shareholder-owned insurers have to return profits to their shareholders, so either have to be more efficient or pay out lower claims.
  1. Understand what’s covered: There are some things that won’t be covered under your policy. Make yourself familiar with these.
  1. Keep an emergency stash: Even if you’re insured, you’ll still need some emergency cash with most policies, as you can be up for 20-40 percent of the cost.
  1. Avoid blanket exclusions: Some insurers will try to pressure you to accept blanket exclusions from your policy. For example, if you have a cough while making your application, you might be encouraged to exclude any claims in the near future related to your chest. Don’t!
  1. Switch for lower premiums: Some people constantly switch between insurers in search of the cheapest deals. It may save you money, but if you have an existing condition that you weren’t aware of, you could lose your cover.
  1. Constantly review: As you age, your needs change. Buying an ultra-cheap basic policy might not be too much of a risk when you’re 25. But when you’re 50, the risk rises dramatically. It’s highly recommended that you review your health insurance policies at least once every year.
  1. Don’t wait: As you procrastinate, the chances of you developing pre-existing conditions increases. And then it could be too late!

Find out more about our Insurance services here.

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