How I make the most of my health insurance
When you have private health insurance, there are some obvious benefits – like protection from big ambulance bills to accessing private hospitals so you can skip public hospital waiting lists – but there are some other perks that come along with the territory, depending on your level of cover.
From physio visits to teeth-cleaning, 30-year-old TARYN STENVEI shares the unexpected ways that her health insurance has come in handy.
I never thought about health insurance growing up. I was a healthy kid and teenager, and my parents just sorted out all of my visits to the doctor for me. It was only when I became independent in my late teens that I started to think about my future and realised how important my health was.
When I was 25, I experienced a pretty serious health issue. While I was happy with my level of care in the public system, I had no choice when it came to things like my preferred doctor, the day and time of my surgery, or the option of a private recovery room. That was the first time I started to think about getting insurance.
The final motivation for getting health insurance came through the care of my sight. Once, for fun, I tried on my housemate’s glasses to see how they looked on my face. To my surprise, the world through her specs became much crisper and better defined. Although my parents didn’t need glasses until later in life, my office job that required me to stare at screens all day had started to deteriorate my eyesight.
When I did my research, I realised health insurance was the smartest choice. Seeing as my specs would be a new daily fixture on my face, it was important for me to get frames I loved, so I went for cover with optical cover that let me claim on my first pair of glasses. I hadn’t had my eye health checked for years, so it felt great to get on top of that, and when I realised how blurry things in the distance had been before, I was astonished by the clarity of the world through my new frames.
The health insurance benefits didn’t stop there. When I explored my cover, I realised that I could be claiming for so many things I already did – and things I wanted to do.
I started seeing my physio regularly. Years of working at a desk had left my shoulders and back in a bit of a state. Now, thanks to my Extras cover, I am able to claim benefits for my physio visits up to my annual limit. Nothing feels as good as walking out of the physio office after a session, and their advice has helped me improve my posture for the long term, as well.
I now go to the dentist twice a year. I used to avoid visiting the dentist because of the sting to my wallet, but now, thanks to private health insurance, I know my dental health is being taken care of. I have my teeth professionally cleaned twice a year, which helps to put off preventable damage to my teeth.
Having health insurance has made me more health-conscious. I now stay on top of health issues that I used to ignore, and I feel as though I have more control over my overall wellbeing. It gives me peace of mind to know that I am better covered if I ever need an emergency procedure, and that I can get money back on extras. At the end of the day, for me, it’s all about choice and making sure that I remain healthy in the future.
There are plenty of benefits to signing up for myOwn Health Insurance: you can claim from 50% to 70% back on extras from recognised providers up to your annual limits, and you get access to the AIA Vitality program, which rewards you for taking steps to improve your health.