Most health funds in Australia have a waiting period for certain treatments and services. This is usually between two and twelve months but can sometimes be longer.The purpose of the waiting period is to ensure that people don’t make claims for treatment they received before they joined the health fund.

This would be unfair to other members who would have to pay higher premiums to cover the cost.There are some circumstances where a health fund may waive the waiting period. This is usually at the discretion of the fund and is only done in exceptional circumstances.

Some of the reasons a health fund may waive the waiting period include:- If you are moving from another health fund and have served a waiting period with them- If you are upgrading your cover- If you are switching from a policy that didn’t cover certain treatments to one that does- If you are starting a new job and your employer offers health insurance as a benefitIf you think you may be eligible for a waiver of your health fund’s waiting period contact them directly to discuss your situation.

What are health funds?

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Health funds are organizations that provide health insurance.

What is a waiting period?

A waiting period is the length of time that an individual must wait before they are eligible to receive coverage from a health insurance plan.

Can health funds waive waiting periods?

In some cases health funds may be able to waive waiting periods.

However this may not be possible for all plans or all individuals.

Why do waiting periods exist?

Waiting periods exist in order to ensure that individuals are able to receive the coverage they need.

By requiring individuals to wait a certain amount of time before being eligible for coverage health insurance providers can ensure that those who need coverage the most are able to receive it.

How long are waiting periods?

Waiting periods can vary in length depending on the health insurance plan.

Some plans may have waiting periods of just a few days while others may have waiting periods that last for several months.

What happens if I need coverage before my waiting period is up?

If you need coverage before your waiting period is up you may be able to purchase a short-term health insurance plan.

These plans can provide coverage for a set period of time which can be helpful if you know you will need coverage for a specific event such as a surgery or the birth of a child.

I’ve had a health insurance plan for a few years.

Do I still need to wait a waiting period if I switch to a new plan?

In most cases you will still need to wait a waiting period even if you have had a health insurance plan in the past.

This is because waiting periods exist in order to protect those who are most in need of coverage.

I’m thinking about switching health insurance plans.

Is there a way to find out if the new plan has a waiting period?

Yes.

When you are considering a new health insurance plan you can always ask the provider about waiting periods.

They will be able to tell you if there is a waiting period for the specific plan you are interested in.

I’ve been on my health insurance plan for a few months but I still haven’t met my deductible.

Does this mean I won’t be able to get coverage for anything until I meet my deductible?

No.

Even if you have not yet met your deductible you may still be able to get coverage for some services.

In most cases health insurance plans will provide coverage for preventive care such as well-woman exams and immunizations without requiring you to meet your deductible first.

I’ve had some health problems recently and I’m worried that my health insurance plan won’t cover me.

Is there a way to find out if my plan will cover my specific condition?

Yes.

You can always contact your health insurance provider to find out if your plan will cover a specific condition.

In some cases you may be able to get coverage for a condition even if it is not specifically listed as being covered by your plan.

I’ve heard that some health insurance plans have lifetime limits.

What does this mean?

Lifetime limits refer to the maximum amount of money that a health insurance plan will pay out over the course of an individual’s lifetime.

Once an individual reaches their lifetime limit their health insurance plan will no longer cover them.

Do all health insurance plans have lifetime limits?

No.

Lifetime limits are not required by law and as such not all health insurance plans have them.

However some insurance providers may choose to include lifetime limits in their plans.

I’ve been thinking about getting health insurance but I’m not sure if I can afford it.

Are there any programs that can help me pay for health insurance?

Yes.

There are a number of programs that can help you pay for health insurance such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

You may also be eligible for subsidies if you purchase a health insurance plan through the marketplace.

I’m still not sure if I can afford health insurance.

Are there any other options?

Yes.

If you are unable to afford health insurance you may be eligible for a hardship exemption.

This exemption allows you to avoid the penalty for not having health insurance.

I’m healthy and I don’t think I need health insurance.

Do I still have to get it?

Yes.

Everyone is required to have health insurance.

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