Ancillary or extras insurance is offered by health funds to cover health services such as optical, dental and chiropractic care, on top of your hospital insurance. It is not compulsory to have ancillary cover. The decision to have ancillary cover may depend on your expected needs—will you use these services enough to warrant paying for the cover?
Someone who works in an office and spends hours sitting at a desk may suffer from musculoskeletal pain and might need regular or occasional chiropractic or physiotherapy treatment to relieve their discomfort. For those who have only an annual dental check-up, do not wear spectacles and who rarely have physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment, it may be a better option to pay for these services when they are needed, rather than paying extras premiums.
If optical extras are important to you and you are selecting a health fund, it is worth finding the answers to a few questions. Will the optical rebates you receive match the additional annual premium you pay? Can you claim optical benefits more than once a year or carry unused rebates into the next year? Does your fund allow you to choose your own optometrist? Does the fund make clear the optical benefits for which you are covered? Will these benefits be adequate for you? Answering ‘no’ to any of these questions may indicate that a particular health fund might not suit your needs. With a variety of health factors to consider and several health funds offering different options and benefits, trying to figure out the level of insurance that suits your needs can be confusing.
Health Insurance Consultants Australia (HICA) can provide you with a free no-obligation health insurance assessment. After you complete a form outlining your details and the level of importance you place on various services that come under ancillary cover, HICA can find for you the most appropriate and affordable cover, with freedom of choice.