If you are an overseas visitor, worker or an international student, you must have seen one of the conditions on your visa which ask you to maintain your health insurance. Many of you must be unsure about what does a waiting period mean and why is it necessary to serve it before claiming for some specific services. In this blog, we will discuss about what are waiting periods, when they are applicable and why they exist.
FAQs: Waiting Period Conditions in Overseas Health Cover
What is a Waiting Period?
A waiting period is a total period an insured must wait before they can start to claim on health insurance plan! It applies to both public and private hospital and extra cover. One may not claim for the services received during the waiting periods. There could be possibilities where people who have recently purchased health insurance policy may not be able to claim straight away. So, you need to check with your insurance provider about the waiting periods to avoid any kind of surprises.
When does a Waiting Period apply?
It applies in two cases.
- If you start a new private insurance policy;
- If already covered and you wish to upgrade your policy to higher level cover.
When it is not applicable?
When you choose to change your policy provider to an equal or to a lower level of cover, you would not have to re-serve the waiting period that you have already completed.
Why do you need to serve a Waiting Period?
The reason why waiting periods exists is to protect other health insurance policy members from paying higher premiums. Without waiting periods, people would only upgrade or buy comprehensive insurance plan only when they need or suspect to have a medical treatment. They would make large claims and then cancel or downgrade their policy. This could lead to higher premium for everyone else. To avoid such situations and to keep premium affordable for all, a waiting period must be served.
Types of Waiting Period?
There are two types of waiting period:
- Hospital waiting periods
- Extra cover waiting period
What is Hospital Waiting Periods?
The majority of overseas health insurance providers either have the same or similar waiting periods as the Australian government has already set the maximum waiting period rule for hospital coverage!
Waiting period differs depending on the policy and health insurer. Generally, 12 months of waiting period applies in case of pregnancy care or if a person needs a hospital facility for some pre-existing conditions! Just check the specific policy for details of the waiting period with GetMyPolicy.online.
What is the Extra Cover Waiting Period?
Same for the extra cover waiting period as well! It differs with service providers! Although there are usually 6 months of waiting time for contact lenses, there will be at least 12 months of waiting time for hearing aids! For any psychiatric problem, some providers have 2 months of waiting period while some have none! You must log in to GetMyPolicy.online to compare between the best plans before buying!
What is a Pre-Existing Condition?
Pre-existing condition is basically an illness or condition that you have had in the last 6 months before joining your current health insurance policy or before upgrading it.
For example: Sam had a back pain for which he was referred to a neurosurgeon by a GP. After getting the treatment done, Sam claimed against the hospital bills!
Since, the back pain existed 3 months before joining the current policy, Sam couldn’t claim for the hospital charges as it falls under Pre-existing condition.
What is Pre-Existing Condition's Waiting Period?
You or your doctor might not be aware of the condition, but it can be still considered as pre-existing! The reason because you hadn't visited your doctor before joining the hospital policy or upgrading to higher hospital policy.
Generally, Risk factors are not included as a pre-existing condition. For the new hospital policy holders, there will be no benefit for 12 months! In case, if you already have a hospital policy and then transferred to a higher level of cover, one may only receive the lower benefits of his/her previous cover for a pre-existing condition in the first 12 months on your new policy.
In case you have to admit in a hospital during the waiting period, then you should contact the insurer to check whether it falls under the benefit!
How to avoid a Waiting Period?
For Pregnancy benefits, you must buy a new policy or upgrade your current policy prior to 12 months to avoid huge hospital costs! Some service providers also give child care benefits! For that, you need to check with the particular service provider!
Sometimes insurers run some offer and waive the waiting period to attract more customers! You can check those offer by logging in GetMyPolicy.online! Although it is merely impossible for the service providers to waive the whole 12 months waiting period, you still can hope to get the best possible deal!
It is always best to plan rather than spend! Isn't it?
For any policy related queries, get in touch in getmypolicy.online. you can call us on +61390130880 (Australia) & +917966826667 (India) or Mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org.