Updated: Feb 22
I’ve always had health insurance in Australia, but what I haven’t done until this pandemic was to actually look closer at it and actually used the extras.
As I prepared myself going into my next round of IVF, I decided to take a closer look at my health fund, I’m with BUPA, I’ve been with them for a long time, only because it’s a brand I used while I was back home in London. I’m on the highest hospital cover because I was covered during my first round of IVF in 2017. But what was I really covered for? I never really looked into the other extras, I only really used my health fund for optical and dental cover. Between the pandemic and preparing for IVF I really wanted some self-love and to optimise my health.
I thought I’d give you a snapshot of the benefits on having health fund if you’re planning to conceive or if you’re going down the IVF route. For this blog, I want to concentrate IVF, because it’s what I’ve recently experienced, without my health fund I could be out of pocket a lot more.
I’m on Hospital Gold with Corporate 80 Extras, this means I’m 80% covered when I use my extras. I have an access charge of $250 when I go into hospital. Which means my egg collection hospital charge and embryo transfer day hospital charge of $2475 is covered.
I’ve had acupuncture, years ago, for total wellbeing however if you went to All About Fertility Expo last year you would have heard Dr Kirk Wilson from Fertility & IVF Acupuncture based in Sydney CBD, discuss the effects of acupuncture and fertility.
My health fund covers acupuncture, my usage for selected therapies is $750 per annum however of that I can only use $400 per annum for acupuncture. Sounds great!
I booked myself in to see a friend, Eli Huang from the Acupuncture and Beauty Centre based in Sydney CBD and Fairfield. I started seeing Eli in June and we’re working together on optimising my health, the flow of my energy, boosting my egg quantity and improving my egg quality for 90 days.
It means at the end of a session my out of pocket expense was $19. Chinese herbs and other vitamins are not covered, which will be an out of pocket expense but once a week over the next three months I don’t have to think about paying the full price per session.
So, I look further into my extras. I look into dietary, $400 usage – Let’s lock it in! I have a Zoom meeting with The Dietologist, Stefanie Valakas, where we talk for 90 minutes about my eating habits, vitamin supplements and how to boost my egg quality. We have a great session. My out of pocket expense $70…thank you very much BUPA. I’m addicted! What else can I use my fund for? Unfortunately, the following is not covered: Alexander technique, Aromatherapy, Bowen therapy, Feldenkrais, Western Herbalism, Homeopathy, Iridology, Kinesiology, Naturopathy, Reflexology and Shiatsu. Ummm eye therapy’s still on the list…let’s give my eyes a workout.
Before you good people think this is a paid advert, it’s not but I do think I’ve got a pretty good health fund. However, it got me thinking about the other health funds, do I have the best deal? Well, let’s see.
I called the following health funds and my questions were based on IVF treatment, extra cover for acupuncture & dietetics and price. Here’s what I found…
Unfortunately, Medibank customer service wasn’t as informative as the other health funds.
If you are thinking about changing your health fund to accommodate IVF treatment, there is a waiting period of 12 months. However, if your current health fund covered you for IVF/pregnancy and you’ve cleared your 12 months wait period, health funds will recognise your wait and will honour it, so you don’t have to wait for another 12 months before it kicks in.
And there you have it! I’m a big advocate of health funds because I’ve used it for my day surgeries, hospital stays and of course using my extras. Declaimer: The monthly price is dependent on salary band, hospital excess, the level of hospital cover and the level of extra’s options chosen.
This blog post is providing general information only. All About Fertility Expo does not represent or warrant the content of this blog is accurate or complete or that the information contained is suitable for your needs. Should you wish to assess the information please seek information from the relevant health fund you require for more information.