6 ways to get more from Extras cover

If you’re new to Extras cover, or even if you’ve had an Extras policy for a while, it can be hard to stay on top of everything you’re covered for.

In this blog we share some insider tips on how to get the best value from your Extras cover.

Choose the cover that works for you

Call your health fund and check that you’ve got the cover that’s right for you. Do you have the cover that you need?

Check with your health fund about whether you have access to allied health, health checks and health management programs.

It’s helpful to get advice on the type of policy that’s best for you, says Edward Carruth, Team Manager of CUA’s Insurance Distribution Centre.

When it comes to Extras cover, there are two types: Extras cover that gives you a percentage back on the service, and cover that gives you a set benefit amount back each time.

You can choose either a percentage rebate – say 75 per cent on the 75% Extras package – or a set rebate per service each time.

Carruth says when you’re working out what cover is best for you, it’s helpful to know if you’re a high user – in other words, whether you make regular claims throughout the year.

“If you’re a regular claimer, a set benefit may be best for you. Those policies are designed to have higher limits, but give you less back each time.

“In that way, they’ll last you longer through the year,” Carruth says.

On the other hand, policies that give you a percentage back typically give you higher returns, but the limits aren’t quite as high.

“If you’re someone who only uses physio for example only a few times a year, getting 60% or 75% back on those would be a lot better than a dollar figure amount, which is usually a bit lower.

“Look at how the policy is going to work for you financially,” he said.

Find an Extras policy that includes ambulance cover

If you’re a resident of Queensland and Tasmania and you need to call an ambulance, you’re lucky (from a cost perspective). The fee will be covered by your state government.

But if you’re a resident of any other state or territory, you’ll need your own ambulance cover to avoid paying a large fee for each call out.

That’s why choosing an Extras package that includes ambulance cover will help you avoid that potentially large cost, should it be needed.

All CUA’s Extras policies include ambulance cover, Carruth says.

“Even CUA’s basic package can give you that peace of mind.”

Look for flexibility of providers

Some Extras policies may have “preferred arrangements” with certain health care providers. That means you can only claim a rebate with the health providers who have agreed to offer reduced rates under the health fund policy.

“CUA doesn’t have any preferred arrangements, so you don’t have to go to a specific physio, dentist or optician to access the rebate,” Carruth says.

“That gives you the freedom and flexibility to see who you want, rather than having to go to a health fund-appointed provider.”

Have free dental checks

Visits to the dentist can be expensive, but some Extras policies include free dental checks.

CUA’s Classic Extras and Total Extras policies include gap-free dental appointments at any dentist, up to $250 per visit.

“If a preventative check-up is less than $250, there will be no gap to pay once a year for adults on the policy, and twice a year for kids,” Carruth says.

Make claims straight away

Sometimes paperwork can pile up, and it can be easy to forget about making a claim.

Rather than putting it off, submit claims straight away through an app or website. All CUA’s claims can be lodged online or through the app, Carruth says.

“You can manage your claims on the go, which is handy if you don’t have your membership card on you.

“Pay for the service in full up front, take a photo of the receipt, log the claim, and then we refund the money back into your account,” he said.

Search for discounts

Under some Extras policies, you may be able to get discounts on glasses, lenses and sunglasses.

“Doing some shopping around is a good way to reduce costs,” Carruth says.

For example, if you shop at OPSM, CUA members can get a 20% discount on lenses and a 15% discount on non-prescription sunglasses.

At Specsavers, CUA members get a 25% discount on glasses over $149, and 20% off lens options such as lens coatings.

Keep safe and well during COVID

Depending on where you live and your own personal circumstances, we know that some people may need to change the way they access some health and wellness services due to COVID.

Many health and wellness practitioners are now providing their services via telehealth, while others – who are still open - are providing services in a modified manner to comply with social distancing requirements. If you’re not sure, just call your practitioner or service provider in advance to check on their specific arrangements.

Talk to a consultant

If you’d like more information about the best Extras package, talk to a CUA consultant about the policy that’s right for you.

Edward Carruth is Team Manager of CUA’s Insurance Distribution Centre.

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