Health funds: Use it or lose it

If you have ‘extras’ health insurance, getting value out of your membership is probably a high priority for you and your family. Many families invest in ‘extras’ cover to protect themselves against the costs of health services that can unexpectedly blow the family budget.

However, it’s important to know that most health insurance funds reset their ‘extras’ benefits on 1 January every year, so any benefits that you don’t use are lost.

Health fund benefits for children

Making the most of your investment

Services like speech therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, dentistry, optometry and physiotherapy are common inclusions for Australian health funds that provide policies for families.

If you or your child wears glasses, it’s worth ensuring that check your prescription is up to date before the end of the year, and of course, if your child hasn’t been to the dentist for a while, October to December is a good time to get that check-up that you’ve been putting off.

Annual limits

Most memberships will provide you with an annual limit – so if you or your child commences a therapy service in the latter part of the year, you may find that much of the cost is covered by your fund.

The benefit of this is that your annual maximum limits are likely to reset on 1 January. A block of treatment started at the end of one year can continue in a cost-effective way into the next year, meaning you get maximum value from your health insurance policy.

While some funds reset at the end of the financial year, and some on the date you joined, there are a few funds, such as Police Health and Emergency Services Health, that will allow you to claim unused benefits for some services during the following year.

31 December is the expiry date for many health fund benefits in Australia

Funds that ‘re-set’ on 1 January every year

If you and your children are members of one of the ‘mainstream’ Australian health funds, it’s probably a good idea to check when your benefits roll over. If you have health insurance with one of the below funds, your ‘extras’ benefits may reset on 1 January and what you haven’t used before 31 December this year will be gone. Health funds that reset their extras benefits on 1 January each year include:

ACA Frank Medibank St Lukes Health
APIA GMHBA Mildura Health Teachers Health
Australian Unity HBF My Own Transport Health
BUPA HCF Nurses & Midwives Health TUH and Union Health
CBHS Corporate HCI Phoenix Health
CBHS Health Partners Qantas Assure
Doctors’ Health LaTrobe RACQ
Health funds offer rebates for allied health services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy and psychology

Use your benefits before the end of the year

Kids First Children’s Services’ Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Psychology services are available for children who are covered by a health fund.

If you have concerns for your child’s:

  • Speech sounds or pronunciation
  • Understanding of language or ability to remember instructions
  • Social skills
  • Pencil grip or handwriting
  • Gross motor skills or balance
  • Emotional regulation
  • Anxiety
  • Friendships

Contact Kids First now on 9938 5419 to arrange an appointment. The cost of this check-in may be fully or partially covered by your health fund, and the peace of mind you will gain could be invaluable.


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