A private health insurance policy is designed to provide advanced access to care and treatment options that public health care may not. While standard HBF private health extras cover can be fairly comprehensive, giving policyholders options about provider choice as well as allowing them to be treated as a public or private patient in virtually any hospital, they don’t quite cover everything.

Exclusions

Some services are excluded entirely from many basic private healthcare plans, as they are not considered necessary treatment by insurance providers. These typically include dental treatment, chiropractic visits, and podiatry. Other commonly excluded services are those involving aids and prostheses, such as eyeglasses, hearing aids and artificial limbs.

Home nursing is also not included in many standard policies, and those who require consistent in-home care must purchase upgraded coverage or pay the costs out of pocket. Ambulance services are another aspect of medical treatment not covered by standard insurance, and an unexpected ride without adequate coverage could end up costing a policyholder thousands.

Restrictions

Another way standard private health insurance policies are limited is in the restrictions usually placed on the coverage. These policies usually contain coverage caps for many services, leaving individuals to settle the remaining costs or purchase an additional policy feature known as gap cover, which provides for any outstanding costs left by the policy and public health insurance.

Benefit limitation periods effectively represent another gap in standard coverage. The majority of insurers will institute a waiting period of up to two months for any applicant, and can impose a longer period under certain circumstances. During this period the policyholder will not be provided full coverage, potentially exposing them to any medical misfortune that may befall them in the meantime.

Ancillary Cover

Those who require or desire a higher level of protection from their policy can add an option known as ancillary cover or general treatment cover, and these are designed to provide insurance against some or all of the costs of treatment by providers not traditionally covered under standard policies. The additional options an ancillary cover plan offers varies from provider to provider and policy to policy, but the general purpose of general treatment cover is to fill any likely gaps in an individual’s healthcare left by a basic policy.

A private insurance policy is a wise investment, but it’s not always a perfect solution. Although they deliver a range of valuable benefits to most policyholders, individuals with a heightened sense of practicality or health concerns that require the expertise of a specialist would be well-served to consider additional coverage.

 

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