Ten Tips for Comparing Health Care Policies

Australians already know that health coverage can provide security for individuals and families when a medical need arises. Many, however, do not know how to find the best value when comparing health insurance policies.Below are 10 tips everyone should read before shopping for private health coverage.1. Choose coverage that concentrates on your specific health needs, or potential health needs.The first thing you should do before comparing your health plan options is determine which policy features best fit your needs. A 30-year-old accountant, for instance, is going to need very different coverage than a 55year-old pro golfer, or a 75-year-old retired veterinarian. By understanding the health needs that most often correspond to people in your age and activity level group – your life stage – you can save money by purchasing only the coverage you need and avoid unnecessary services that aren’t relevant. For instance, a young family with two small children isn’t going to need coverage for joint replacement or cataract surgery. A 60-year-old school teacher isn’t going to need pregnancy and birth control-related services.Whether it’s high level comprehensive care you’re after, or the least expensive option to exempt you from the Medical Levy Surcharge while providing basic care coverage, always make sure you’re comparing health insurance policies with only those services that make sense for you and your family.2. Consider options such as Excess or Co-payment to reduce your premium costs.When you agree to pay for a specified out-of-pocket amount in the event you are hospitalized, you sign an Excess or Co-payment option that will reduce your health insurance premium.If you choose the Excess option, you agree to pay a predetermined, specific amount when you go to hospital, no matter how long your stay lasts. With a Co-payment option, you agree to pay a daily sum up to a pre-agreed amount. For example, if Joanne has an Excess of $250 on her medical coverage policy and is admitted to hospital, regardless of how long her stay turns out to be, she will pay $250 of the final bill. If Andrew has signed a $75×4 Co-payment with his provider, he will pay $75 per day for just the first the first four days of his hospitalization.For younger individuals who are healthy and fit with no reason to expect to land in hospital any time soon, either of these options are great ways to reduce the monthly cost of your medical insurance premiums.
Keep in mind that different private insurers have their own rules when it comes to Excess and Co-payments, including how many payments you will need to make annually on either option. It is important to read the policy thoroughly and ask questions in advance in order to have a clear understanding of what you are paying for, and what you can expect coverage-wise in the event that you are hospitalized. Also, make sure you choose an Excess option greater than $500 if you’re purchasing an individual policy, or $1,000 for family coverage, in order to be exempted from the Medicare Levy Surcharge.3. Pay your health insurance premium in advance before the cost increases.Each year insurance providers increase their premiums by approximately five percent sometime around the first of April, a practice approved by the Minister of Health. By instituting these annual increases, your health insurance provider retains the ability to fulfill their obligations to policyholders despite increasing medical costs.Most private medical policy providers allow policy holders to pay for one year’s premium in advance, which locks them into the previous year’s rate for an additional 12 months – a great way to save money. In order to take advantage of the savings offered, most insurers require payment in full be made within the first quarter of the year, between January and March.4. Lock in to low cost health insurance at an early age.The most obvious advantage any Australian can take when it comes to saving money on your insurance premiums is to buy in early to the least expensive rate available. And by early, we mean before age 31. Everyone who is eligible for Medicare will receive at least a 30 percent rebate from the government on the price of their health care premium, no matter what age you are. However, by purchasing hospital coverage before the July first following your 31st birthday, you can be ensured the lowest premium rate available.After age 31, your health insurance rate is subjected to a two percent penalty rate increase for every year after age 30 that you did not have health insurance. Therefore, if you wait to purchase private health coverage until you’re age 35, you will pay 10 percent more annually than you would have if you had purchased it at age 30.There are exemptions for some people who were overseas when they turned 30, or for new immigrants, and certain others under special exception status. However, if you purchased private insurance after age 30 and are paying an age loading penalty on your health coverage, you will be relieved of the excess penalty after 10 years of continual coverage.The earlier in life that you lock in to a private health plan, the more money you will save both immediately and over your lifetime.5. Choose a health care provider who already works with your health fund.Determine which hospital you prefer if and when the need for treatment does arise, and seek out those health insurance providers that have an agreement with your hospital of choice before making a decision on your health insurance purchase.It’s a good idea to also find out if your insurer has a list of “preferred providers,” which would include those physicians and practitioners who also have made arrangements with the health funds regarding their charges for services. Request this information from every provider when comparing health insurance policies. This way you can be sure you’ll receive the full gamut of benefits available at the lowest possible cost. These preferred providers often have “no gap” cover – special rates that reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket expenses to policyholders.6. Double check your health insurance policy before you schedule any treatment or procedures to make sure you have coverage.Any time you are headed to a private hospital for treatment, first check to see if the hospital and your health insurance provider have an agreement to be absolutely sure you have adequate coverage. At the same time, check with your insurance provider, physician and the hospital to see if there is a Gap between their fees and the government’s Medicare Benefits. This is extremely important because if your physician charges more than Medicare covers and you do not have a “no Gap” plan set up, you could find yourself responsible for a considerable bill. Simply contact your doctor and your insurance company to double check on these items, and avoid being saddled with an out-of-pocket expense your weren’t expecting.7. File your expense claims promptly.When you have a health insurance membership card, you can file a claim against your benefits at the time of treatment with no additional paperwork or filing to worry about, at least in most cases. Sometimes, you may still need to file a claim with your insurance provider. When that happens, make sure to file your claim promptly. The typical cut off for insurers to pay health care claims is two years. You can file your health insurance claim directly with your provider or at your area Medicare office, which has a reciprocal agreement in place with most insurance providers.8. Whenever you travel overseas, suspend your health coverage.Anytime you travel overseas for more than a few weeks but less than 24 months, certain medical insurance providers allow policyholders to suspend their memberships for the time they’re out of the country, freeing the policyholders from paying premiums during that time period. While your insurance policy is suspended, your Lifetime Health Cover status remains intact, so you do not have to worry about age loading added when you return home. Contact your health insurance provider to make sure of their policy and rules regarding waiting periods and re-activation.Remember too that Australia has reciprocal arrangements in certain countries, including New Zealand, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden and the U.K. For more information, visit http://www.smartraveller.gov.au.9. Review your policy benefits annually.Lifestyles change, individuals get married, have children, age – children grow up and move out on their own, couples separate. A lot can happen in the span of 12 months, which is why the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman recommends that everyone review their policy benefits once every year to make sure your coverage still fits your needs.Regardless of your life changes, your Lifetime Health Cover status remains protected, and waiting periods for benefits that equal your current coverage are waived in compliance with the Private Health Insurance Act of 2007. This means you will be able to file claims related to features you had before you made any changes without interruption in benefits.10. Compare policies to get the best price and the coverage you need.To make sure that you are getting the best possible price on your health insurance premium, you must compare policies from different insurers, Make sure you are comparing policies that reflect the treatment plan and coverage you need, without filler services that you won’t need. The more you know about private health coverage and government sponsored Medicare, the more likely you will find the best value for your money when it comes time to purchasing or renewing your health coverage.

Auto Loans for a New Car – Prepare Yourself for a Buying New Car

Every American dreams of the amazing invention called car. The car dream is passed over from one generation to another. Everyone wants to get behind the wheels of a brand new car. Truly, buying a new car is the perfect dream.When you set out to own a new automobile, auto loans become a necessity. This is because most new cars cost a pretty penny. Also, most of us don’t have ready cash to incur such an expense. If you are looking for a new auto loan, this comprehensive article can solve your problem.Best Time to buy a CarMost experts will suggest that it’s best to buy a car in the last quarter of the year. But, when you need a car, you need a car. You cannot wait till the year-end shopping season to buy what you need. The best time to buy a car is when you want it.Why Auto Loans for New Cars are LESS EXPENSIVE now?There are many lenders and auto financing companies who offer year-round great rates on new car loans. This is because of the constant cut-throat competition in the auto financing market. You can easily get approved for a low rate auto loan if you follow the following tips.How to prepare for buying a New Car with Auto Loans?Financial – WISEEvery great decision begins with planning. When you even decide the color of your new car in advance, why not plan your budget. A wise car buyer never discounts the importance of planning. Calculate your income and expenses. Once you know the amount that you can spend on monthly payments, you will see things in a better light. It will help you to decide on the loan amount and the car as well.Credit ScoreGetting a good score was important in school, it’s important even today. Understand that a better credit score will ensure better rates. If you have bad credit history, try to improve it before applying for a new car loan. Also, don’t forget to check your credit report because it may contain errors.Down Payment to avoid Dangerously High RatesDown payment is the wonderful life-saving drug in the world of auto financing. Paying 10% of total car loan cost as down payment can work wonders for you. Don’t worry if you don’t have money to make down payment. Use your old car as a trade-in. But, make sure that the car doesn’t have any lien because it will make matters worse.When you buy a new car, car manufacturers offer cash rebates. You can use that money as down payment so that you don’t have to lighten your wallet. E.g. If you buy a new 2013 Ford Fiesta in Seattle, the company offers $1500 in cash-back scheme. If you buy a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in the same city, you will get $1000 as cash rebate.Can you find a Co-signer?Finding someone with a good credit score can be ideal for any auto loan. As the new car loan amount is more than the amount of financing a used car, lenders want to ensure safety. They feel more secure when they have a co-signer in picture.Choosing the LenderUnderstand your situation before filling the new auto loan application form. It will help you in choosing the best auto loan program. If you are a first time buyer, many lenders as well as car manufacturers can offer you an auto loan under first time car buyer program. If you are college student, there are many college discount programs available.A bad credit borrower must ensure that he applies at a sub-prime lender only. Go for a lender that offers auto loans to low-income car buyers if income is a problem for you.When you apply for auto financing for a new car, you have many options for getting car financing:
1. New Car Dealerships who offer financing
2. Online Auto Financing Companies
3. Auto Lenders
4. Banks
5. Car Manufacturers’ Financing CompaniesConsider every option so that you choose the perfect auto loan program with lowest interest rates and flexible loan terms. Trust only those lenders who are reputed. Also, ensure the safety of the websites before filling the online auto loan application forms.Take your time in choosing an auto loan for your new car. If you choose an affordable car loan, it will help you in getting better rates in future.All the best for choosing the best!

Real Estate Investing – Using Options to Purchase Property

Did you know that by using real estate options you can legally take control of valuable properties to generate quick income with only a small amount of money. Learning to understand and use this valuable technique can be extremely valuable to the success of a new or seasoned real estate investor.In order to take full advantage of this great technique, you only need to understand how the technique works and become familiar with, and follow, your local state laws. Having learned how to use this technique and the law, you will soon be on your way to a great return on your investing efforts.Here are some very important questions concerning real estate options…What is a real estate option? Is that the same as a Lease Option? I thought real estate options were illegal! What are the steps in a real estate option transaction? And – How are options used to purchase real estate at discounted prices?What is a real estate option?A real estate option is a unilateral agreement:Between an optionor (The Seller) and an optionee (The Buyer, for the rest of this article I will refer to them only as the Buyer and Seller)Binding only on the SellerWhere the exclusive, unrestricted, and irrevocable option to purchase is exchanged with the Buyer for valuable considerationThe purchase of the option does not impose any obligation upon the Buyer to exercise the option and or purchase the propertyHowever, the Seller is bound by the agreement to sell the property at the agreed price to the Buyer should the Buyer choose to purchase the property within the option time periodThe elements that must be spelled out in an option agreement are:o Price (consideration) to be paid for the optiono Time-when will the option start and when will it expireo Strike Price-the mutually agreed purchase price or property during the option periodo Other terms and conditions of the option agreementIs a real estate option the same as a Lease Option?Yes and No! The option part of a lease option agreement could be exactly the same as the option agreement we are discussing but the lease option includes a lease for the property.
I thought real estate options were illegal!Real Estate Options of some kind are legal in most free countries in the world. It is the lease part that may cause some legal problems in certain American States. In order to avoid any problems, be sure to consult with a real estate attorney before entering into any real estate agreement.
What are the steps in a real estate option transaction?Here is a step by step overview of an option transaction:1. The Buyer and the Seller enter into an agreementAnd the Buyer pays an option consideration to the Seller The Seller grants the Buyer the exclusive, unrestricted, and irrevocable option to purchase property at a fixed purchase price
during a specified period of time.2. The Buyer eitherSets up a closing and purchases the real estate during the option perio sells the option to another investor or Lets the option expire by not purchasing the property during the option period
How are options used to purchase real estate at discounted prices?Investors may use options to gain control of a property for short time. During that time, the investor can seek out another buyer to sell to for a higher price than the option amount. The profit is the amount of difference in the amount of the option and the sale price.But a more creative use of an option would be to locate a seller having a hard time selling their property. Then convince that seller to sell you an option to purchase but with the right to sublease it immediately. The investor may then rent out the property on a rent to own agreement. This will allow the investor to generate some income while helping their renter get into the position to purchase the property from them at a substantial profit.Options are a great way to tie up property for a small amount of money. Some of the benefits of using options to purchase property are:Saving the closing costs of purchasing and selling the propertySaving the holding costs involved in purchasing a propertySaving the maintenance and many other holding costs of owning a propertySaving time by avoiding the loan process–setting up and going to closingsPutting time to use on more productive efforts like finding more optionsOne other thing to keep in mind is that a real estate option will expire when a Buyer fails to exercise the real estate option within the option period of the agreement. At that point the Buyer will not only lose their control of the property but also their original option payment.