No Waiting Period on Health Cover (2023)

Private health insurance no waiting period

If you are keen to sign up for a new private health insurance policy or increase the level of cover you already have, you should be aware of waiting periods. These can apply to both hospital and extras cover, and affect the benefits you can access after you join. Waiting periods can vary between health insurers and the type of cover you are after. But the good news is, you can access shorter waiting periods or private health insurance with no waiting period if you know how. And that’s where the expert team at No Worries come in. Know-how is what we excel in!

No Waiting Period on Health Cover (1)

What are health insurance waiting periods?

In Australia, a health insurance policy waiting period is a set amount of time you may have to wait before you can claim some of the benefits and services of your policy. The amount of time depends on your health fund, the type of cover (extras cover or hospital cover), your health fund and the type of benefits and services you want to claim.

After health insurance with no waiting period? We’ve got our finger on the pulse (pardon the pun)!

Why are there waiting periods with private health insurance?

Insurers have private health insurance waiting periods to make pricing fair for existing customers. Without waiting periods, people could sign up for cover and immediately claim on things like expensive hospital treatments, and then cancel their policy before paying anything substantial. This would effectively allow any Australian to access discounted private health care, which would result in higher premiums to compensate and impact customers with increased costs.

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Who sets the maximum waiting periods for private health insurance?

The Australian Government sets the maximum waiting periods for private health insurance hospital policies, which is regulated by the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman. This is why many health funds have similar (or no) waiting periods. After private health with no waiting period?

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Do I serve waiting periods again when I switch insurers?

If you transfer to another health insurance policy, your health fund will carry across any waiting periods you’ve already completed with a comparable or lower cover, so you don’t have to serve another waiting period. In fact, if there was no gap in your coverage and your new plan offers the same or fewer benefits as the old one, your new insurer is required to honour the waiting period for hospital cover that you’ve already served.

Some insurers will also waiver waiting periods if you take out extras cover with them as a new customer, even though they are not required to do so by law. You can then use your health insurance straight away without a break in coverage if you have already served a period of time with a different provider before switching.

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Is there hospital cover with no waiting period?

Many insurance policy holders stick with an expensive or outdated health insurance policy because they believe they’ll need to re-serve any hospital benefit waiting periods if they switch to a different health fund. But this simply isn’t true. Any hospital cover waiting periods you’ve already served with a health fund will be protected by law as long as you switch to an equal or lower level of cover, and funds generally honour extras waiting periods as well.

If you are a new customer or upgrading your level of cover, many insurers will also regularly grant special offers to waive waiting periods. That’s why talking to experts like us who know the ins and outs of health insurance — including hospital cover with no waiting period — is so valuable.

In Australia, hospital cover waiting periods can vary depending on the treatment you need and the private health insurer you choose. The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman and the Private Health Insurance Act 2007 outlines the maximum limits for specific hospital benefits, but none last longer than 12 months. These include:

  • 12 months for pre-existing conditions. These are defined as “any condition, illness, or ailment that you had signs or symptoms of during the six months before you joined a hospital policy or upgraded to a higher hospital policy”. However, it’s worth noting that in Australia, it is illegal for insurers to charge you a higher premium because you are more likely to need certain procedures.
  • 12 months for obstetrics (pregnancy and birth). This means you should consider health insurance for you and your unborn child before you fall pregnant.
  • Two months for psychiatric care, rehabilitation and palliative care, even for pre-existing conditions. This can include treatment for eating disorders, post-natal depression and drug and alcohol rehabilitation, among other treatments. However, there is a benefit called the Mental Health Waiver for those seeking immediate hospital care for mental health services or drug and alcohol treatment. It allows those who have served their two-month waiting period for restricted hospital psychiatric services (typically included on all hospital policies) to upgrade and receive the higher benefits with no waiting period. However, access to this benefit is limited and can generally only be used once per person in their lifetime.
  • Two months for accidents and new conditions.
  • Two months for other services that require hospitalisation that aren’t pre-existing conditions or subject to other waiting times.

Depending on your health cover policy, you may also be able to use your private health cover in a public hospital. Your cover can be used to pay for services offered in a public hospital that
Medicare doesn’t cover, or treatment in a public hospital with your choice of medical practitioner.

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Is there extras cover with no waiting period?

Waiting periods for general treatment, also known as extras or ancillary cover, are set by individual private health insurance providers and are not subject to the same laws as hospital cover. Holding an extras policy also doesn’t count towards waiting periods for a hospital policy.

Waiting periods vary from two months to three years. However, if you transfer from one health insurer to another, many health insurers will not require you to re-serve waiting periods again for certain treatments and offer extras cover with no waiting period. This means you can start using your benefits straight away.

Insurers also often hold promotions where they waive some of the extras health cover waiting periods on combined hospital policies to encourage new members to join with them. But with the number of health insurers in Australia, having to research all the options available can be stressful and time-consuming.

And that’s where the team at No Worries can help. We live and breathe health insurance, so can help you find the best cover that suits your individual circumstances, so you can start accessing your extras cover benefits straight away.

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Some of the maximum waiting periods outlined by the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman include:

  • Two months for general dental and physiotherapy.
  • Six months for optical items like glasses or contact lenses.
  • 12 months for major dental services like crowns and bridges.
  • One, two or three years for braces, orthodontics and other high-cost procedures.

Find out how you can get health insurance with no waiting period by talking to the experts at No Worries.

What about ambulance cover?

Private health insurance providers also offer different forms of ambulance cover that differ by state. For this reason, you shouldn’t assume that just because you have private health insurance, you are covered for ambulance services. Cover depends on the type of services you require, which are typically deemed as an “emergency” or “non-emergency”. An emergency is generally an unplanned event where you need immediate medical treatment. A non-emergency could be transportation from a hospital to your home, nursing home or a hospital for ongoing medical treatment. Some insurers offer unlimited cover, others limit or exclude cover or cap the amount you’re entitled to. There are also situations where you might not be covered, including:

  • Air and helicopter and road transport services that aren’t operated by a state or territory government or an organisation recognised by your health provider.
  • Where your state Government provides an ambulance benefit (for example, Queensland and Tasmania) or you are covered through a state-based reciprocal arrangement.
  • When you hold a subscription with your state ambulance service.

In terms of general ambulance cover entitlements in Australia by state:

  • Queensland. All Queensland residents are covered by Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) arrangements, including interstate travel.
  • NSW/ACT. An ambulance levy to cover transportation or attendance by NSW ambulance is typically included in your hospital cover. If you require ambulance assistance in another state, you should be covered if you have combined hospital and extras cover.
  • Tasmania. All Tasmanian residents are covered by Ambulance Tasmania. If a Tasmanian resident requires services in Queensland or South Australia, they are not covered by the state scheme and can only claim if they have combined hospital and extras cover.
  • All other states and territories. You are generally entitled to cover for emergency ambulance transportation or attendance if you have both hospital and extras cover.

In terms of waiting periods, many health funds stipulate a one-day waiting period for emergency ambulance and on-the-spot treatment, and a one-month waiting period for non-emergency ambulance transportation.

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No Waiting Period on Health Cover? ›

A short-term disability policy typically pays employees a greater portion of their income than a long-term disability policy. Also, the “elimination period” — the amount of time that employees must wait to begin collecting benefits — for short-term disability insurance is usually only about two weeks or fewer.

Does Aflac have a waiting period? ›

A short-term disability policy typically pays employees a greater portion of their income than a long-term disability policy. Also, the “elimination period” — the amount of time that employees must wait to begin collecting benefits — for short-term disability insurance is usually only about two weeks or fewer.

What does insurance waiting period do? ›

A term typically seen in maternity and a handful other insurance policies, 'waiting period' is a source of confusion for many. It protects insurers from clients who know full well that they have a medical cost coming up and file for claims immediately after their plan enrollment.

Can you use Aflac right away? ›

Aflac will not pay benefits for an illness, disease, infection, or disorder that is diagnosed or treated by a Physician within the first 30 days after the Effective Date of coverage, unless the resulting Disability begins more than 12 months after the Effective Date of coverage.

Can you get Aflac with a pre existing condition? ›

Disability caused by a Pre-existing Condition or reinjuries to a Pre-existing Condition will not be covered unless it begins more than 12 months after the Effective Date of coverage. Aflac will not pay benefits for a Disability that is being treated outside the territorial limits of the United States.

Why do insurance companies make you wait? ›

The waiting period is in place so the insurance company can conduct a thorough evaluation of your background. This allows the company to determine the risk of insuring you before they make you a formal offer.

Why do companies make you wait 30 days for insurance? ›

So, a waiting period ensures that the new employee has time to select what coverage she can afford and wants to have and that the new employee lasts in the job for at least the waiting period.

Does whole life insurance have a waiting period? ›

Guaranteed whole life insurance has no waiting period means that the full benefits of the policy are available once the first payment has been made.

What is the downside to Aflac? ›

Aflac Cons: Some coverage is only available through employers. Only offers supplemental coverage. Certain coverages not available nationwide. Not BBB accredited.

What is the best alternative to Aflac? ›

Top 10 Alternatives & Competitors to Aflac Incorporated
  • Lumity Benefits Solution. (62)4.8 out of 5.
  • ADP Comprehensive Services. (44)4.3 out of 5.
  • Insperity Workforce Optimization. (29)3.8 out of 5.
  • Zenefits Services. (31)4.0 out of 5.
  • Sequoia. (24)3.3 out of 5.
  • Global Expansion. ...
  • Deloitte Consulting. ...
  • Global Squirrels.

What does Aflac pay for COVID? ›

Aflac policies/certificates (i.e. Accident, Hospital, etc.) provide coverage for an annual wellness or health screening benefit. Tests for COVID-19, as well as other laboratory tests, may be covered as a wellness or health screening benefit under your Aflac policies/certificates.

Does Aflac pay your bills? ›

Aflac Short-Term Disability Insurance pays cash benefits for covered disabilities (subject to exclusions and limitations). Payments can be used as needed – to help with medical bills, recovery expenses or even to help you pay for rent or groceries.

How much does Aflac pay for surgery? ›

This benefit is limited to one payment per calendar year, per covered person. No lifetime maximum. Surgical Benefit Aflac will pay $100–$2,000 when a covered person has surgery performed for a covered sickness in a hospital or ambulatory surgical center based upon the Schedule of Operations in the policy.

Does Aflac pay for missed work? ›

Aflac Short-Term Disability Insurance can help provide income protection while you are unable to work due to a covered sickness, injury or mental health condition so you can focus on recovery. With a variety of options to fit your unique needs, Aflac's Short-Term Disability Insurance keeps on working when you can't.

How long does it take for Aflac to kick in? ›

It will depend on the type of claim filed whether you'll receive lump sum payment or payments throughout treatment. Either way, if filing online and assuming all necessary documentation is present, payment turnaround should be 24-48 hrs. If filing via fax or mail, it will be longer.

How long after accident can you claim Aflac? ›

How long do I have to file a claim? A. There is a one-year timely filing provision in your certificate. Please review the provision and call us with any questions.

Does Aflac still do one day pay? ›

If an eligible claim is submitted via SmartClaim by 3 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday, with all supporting documentation, Aflac processes, approves and disburses payment for the claim within one business day.

Is Aflac worth having? ›

Without accident and injury coverage, expenses for these incidents can be devastating to pay out of pocket. Because of the extensive list of covered conditions, we'd certainly say that Aflac's accident insurance is indeed worth it.

Does Aflac pay for COVID? ›

Q.: I need to be tested for COVID-19. Will Aflac cover that? A.: Aflac's accident and some of its critical illness and hospital plans provide an annual wellness or health screening benefit. If you have not already used this benefit, it would be available to you because of your doctor's visit.

Why would Aflac deny a claim? ›

When Aflac denies your claim, they must provide you with the reason. The main reason why they will deny your claim is they do not think you meet the plan's definition of disabled.

Can I get Aflac after an injury? ›

Injuries and Emergency Services Covered

Aflac's accidental injury insurance helps cover a wide span of events, from emergency situations to more common accidents. On one side of the spectrum, we provide coverage for burns, comas, paralysis, concussions, dislocations, and lacerations.

How much does Aflac pay for MRI? ›

Major Diagnostic Exams Aflac will pay $200 if a covered person requires one of the following exams for injuries sustained in a covered accident: CT (computerized tomography) scan, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), or EEG (electroencephalogram).

How much is Aflac 2 day pay? ›

No lifetime maximum. $50 per day Aflac will pay $50 per day for days 2 through 31 of the period of hospital confinement, when a covered person requires hospital confinement for a covered sickness or injury and a room charge is incurred. * The maximum benefit period for any one period of hospital confinement is 31 days.

How much does Aflac pay for short term? ›

Monthly Benefit: $500-$5,000 (subject to income requirements). Aflac expresses benefit amount in scheduled monthly amounts based on the employee's gross salary and the monthly benefit selected. Note: Aflac is not a provider of Long-Term Disability Insurance.

How do you get money from Aflac? ›

  1. Before filing a claim, make sure you register online by creating a MyAflac® account. ...
  2. Simply log in to your account at
  3. Then go to “File a Claim” and follow the steps.
  4. There's no uploading required. ...
  5. Follow a few simple steps and your Aflac Wellness Claim is complete. ...
  6. Need your money even faster?

What is considered an accidental injury? ›

The term accidental injury refers to various sudden, unexpected and external events occurring without the will of the injured party and causing injury in connection with a medical examination or treatment.

Does Aflac give you money back? ›

Can you get your money back from Aflac? Aflac will pay you a premium refund value based upon the annualized premium paid for the rider, the policy, and any other attached benefit riders. All Return of Premium Benefits/premium refund values paid will be less any claims paid.

What type of insurance pays when you get hurt and miss work? ›

Workers' compensation insurance, also known as workman's comp, provides benefits to employees who get injured or sick from a work-related cause. It also includes disability benefits, missed wage replacement and death benefits.


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