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Avoid pitfalls when choosing private health insurance

7 September 2011 - 6:03pm

Private polices can offer additional peace of mind - particularly with an aging population - but many people are concerned about whether or not the cost of health insurance is justified.

Speaking on Channel 7's Sunrise, CHOICE spokeswoman Ingrid Just asserted that there are a number of benefits to having private cover - and for single earners making more than $80,000 annually or families with a combined income of $160,000, it may be possible to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

But she pointed out that the key is choosing the right policy - and to be aware of a number of common pitfalls people can experience when buying health cover.

Things you will want to double-check include whether or not your provider has an agreement with your hospital of choice, as well as the type of extras that are included with specific policies. Often, you can save money by selecting only the extras you plan to use.

It is also important to recognise that all insurance comparison services may not be impartial - some may have relationships with specific policy providers.

To ensure you get the policy that best suits your needs, you should instead consult with an independent adviser, who can help match you with the appropriate cover.

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