Mad March is Upon Us!

Mad March is Upon Us!

09 March 2018

You’re rushing off after work to squeeze in one more Adelaide Fringe show while it’s still in town; you stayed out all weekend to catch a glimpse of Robbie Williams at the Adelaide 500; and you’ve been gearing up for a long weekend at WOMADelaide – it’s no wonder you haven’t had time to think about your health insurance!

At St John, we’ve been busy too – you may have spotted us at one or all of these locations, as Mad March sees us attending a huge 139 events! Lucky for you, while you’re out soaking up all that Adelaide has to offer, our friends at Emergency Services Health have you covered – quite literally! Read on to see their easy-to-follow checklist for reviewing your health insurance cover.

Health check for your health insurance

So you’ve just been told you’ll be paying more for your health insurance from 1 April and it’s no April Fool’s joke. What can you do about it? Make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

We know that’s easier said than done. Between exclusions, excesses and co-payments on hospital cover, plus benefit limits and sub-limits when it comes to Extras, there’s a lot of complexity to wade through in order to understand just what you’re paying for. The ‘too-hard basket’ is surely full of people’s intentions to reassess their private health insurance.

But there are some real, tangible advantages to reviewing your cover – both financial and medical – and now’s the best time of the year to do it. So let’s get you started.

1. Look beyond the price (for now), focus on the cover.

We’re conditioned to get ‘quotes’ when researching health insurance, but focusing on price gives us just part (if that) of the picture. The real value comes from reviewing benefits alongside the premium price. Focus your research first on understanding what is and isn’t covered, and to what extent.

2. Do the math

If you’re forking out good money every time you visit your dentist or physio, or buy glasses, perhaps your Extras cover isn’t meeting your needs. The amount a health fund product will pay back on Extras services varies dramatically. Have you considered you may be better off paying for higher quality insurance so you spend less at the provider’s counter and are covered for the unforeseen?

3. Don’t get caught out by T&Cs

Comparing hospital cover isn’t about predicting what health services you may require, but feeling confident you’ll be covered if and when you need it. The most common causes of dissatisfied consumers are exclusions and restrictions. Keep this top of mind when you’re reviewing your cover. Trust us, it’s better to check off on these now than be hit with more bad news when you’re already faced with a trip to hospital.

4. Pay attention to the ‘other stuff’

It may sound silly, but do you trust that your health insurer will look after you when you need them? Ask yourself :

  • Are you happy with their customer service? Can you talk to a real person without waiting on hold forever?
  • Do they have a good reputation? Are current members satisfied or are there a stack of complaints sitting with the ombudsman?
  • Is it easy to make a claim?
  • Are you free to visit the provider of your choice?
  • Are there any benefits that really set them apart? (Do they have a rollover benefit? Is Ambulance cover included?)

5. Take a shortcut

Health insurance staff are poised and ready to provide ‘benefit comparisons’ for you. It’s their job, make use of it. Having a real person help you compare covers has a lot of advantages over using comparison websites that often only sort based on price and basic details. So once you’ve narrowed down a list of potential insurers, ask each to do a benefit comparison with the other insurers on your list. Refer to steps 1-4 when you review the information they give you.

One to add to your shortlist…
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re eligible to join Emergency Services Health. It’s a restricted access private health insurer, but if you’re part of the St John Ambulance network (or another emergency services provider) then you and your family will meet the eligibility criteria needed to join.

Here’s why that’s such good news;

  • BACKED BY POLICE HEALTH, WHO HAVE A 98% MEMBER SATISFACTION RATING#: Ask around or do your own research online. The reviews speak for themselves.
  • VALUE FOR MONEY: When you compare apples with apples, Emergency Services Health’s premiums are usually lower than those of other insurers.%
  • GENEROUS BENEFITS: Emergency Services Health pay 80% of the service fee on most Extras claims.*
  • NO EXCLUSIONS, EXCESS OR CO-PAYMENTS ON HOSPITAL COVER: Emergency Services Health’s cover is simple, so you won’t get caught out.*
  • KEEP UNUSED BENEFITS: The funds that are part of the Police Health Group, including Emergency Services Health, are the only funds in Australia to provide a Rollover Benefit. This means that for many Extras services, any unused Annual Maximum benefit not claimed during one calendar year can be rolled over to the following year.*
  • CHOOSE WHO TREATS YOU AND WHERE: Emergency Services Health gives you the freedom to choose your preferred hospital, doctor and any other service provider.^
  • 100% AMBULANCE COVER INCLUDED AS STANDARD: for emergency transport, clinically required non-emergency transport and treatment not requiring transport.*
  • HASSLE-FREE CLAIMING: Emergency Services Health members can easily make claims using a mobile app, or by swiping their membership card at most providers.
  • NOT-FOR-PROFIT & MEMBERS OWN: Members are the top priority, there’s no shareholders or overseas owners.
For a benefit comparison against your current provider or other insurers you’re considering, give Emergency Services Health a call on 1300 703 703 or email
# hirmaa member satisfaction survey 2017
Contact us and we’ll help you do a benefit comparison.
* Waiting periods and other conditions apply
^ Provided they are recognised by us