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2 The Shocking Truth About Extras Health Cover and Why Smart Australians Now Prefer to Pay for Dental, Chiropractic, Massage or other Treatment Without Ever Worrying about Premium Increases, Complex Regulations, Capped Limits and Other Headaches You Would Expect From Extras Cover. Page 2

3 Should you fall ill or become injured and call an ambulance, you would be taken to a public hospital, which is equipped to take care of medical emergencies. Public hospitals have specialists on hand to deal with such complexities. On the other hand most private hospitals are more suited to take the pressure off the public hospital by providing medical and surgical care. For elective procedures such as hip replacement you will have to wait for your turn in the public hospital system, which could be months or years potentially affecting the quality of your life. This is where private hospitals play an important part and offer whatally portant an on demand service of catering to your needs. Additionally you have the added reassurance of being treated by a professional of your choice at a time convenient to you. The cost of treatment at a private hospital is expensive and private hospital insurance cover helps in easing your financial burden. The Medicare System in Australia is the envy of the world but it comes at the cost of providing ongoing service. To reduce demand on the Medicare system a Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) is imposed on Australians with an income above a predetermined limit and who don t have private health insurance. Hospital cover from a registered health fund enables you to be exempt from this surcharge if you satisfy the stipulated conditions. To encourage young Australians take up private hospital cover, those who get their hospital cover before the age of 31 enjoy the benefit of reducing the lifetime health cover loading of 2% for every year over the age of 30 on top of the premium, which would be charged if they wait to take out cover after that age. Private hospital cover is not limited to private hospitals but can be used if you are admitted to a public hospital as well. Public hospitals often waive the excess or cocontribution and send the bill for the daily fee to your health fund, saving the hospital and you money. For all these reasons, having private hospital cover is beneficial and we recommend you have private hospital cover of your choice and if you are healthy it is wise to choose the maximum excess on the policy. Page 3

4 The Myth of Extras Cover While private hospital cover is beneficial to most Australians, health funds nowadays increasingly promote Extras Cover as a necessary addition to hospital cover. Extras cover is for services that aren t covered by hospital cover such as dental or physiotherapy, massages, and getting a new pair of spectacles. Private health funds have been quick to realise the potential of earning profits from ordinary Australians who believe extras cover enables them to afford treatment by their preferred practitioner and achieve their health choices. In fact the take-up of extras cover has escalated sharply in recent years. Twenty years ago, extras cover trailed far behind hospital cover. The barrage of advertising by health fund companies has seen a dramatic rise in the number of Australians opting for extras cover. The population of Australians with extras cover is 55% while those with hospital cover is 47%...clearly indicating the increasing popularity of extras health cover. The yearly premium paid by unsuspecting members far exceeds the benefits derived. In fact according to a comparison made by News Corp getting rid of extras cover can save a family $500 to $1,000 in a single year. Exploding the myth the reality of extras cover exposed While in theory, the concept of paying premiums is to put a cap on the money you have to pay from your pocket for medical treatment when you need it, nothing could be further from the truth with extras cover. Say for instance you have vehicle insurance and an accident occurs while you re driving your car. Whether it s your fault or not, all you would pay is the excess of around $500 and wouldn t have to worry about paying for repairs which could run into thousands of dollars. If your car is a write-off, depending on your cover, you ll get the agreed value or market value of your car. Now say you have extras cover and want to go to the dentist. Your health fund will pay the first $400 (for instance) and you will have to pay the rest. Check your extras policy and it will show the limit to what you are covered and then depending on your level of cover, the health funds will pay a fixed percentage. For a more detailed information visit See the difference? The health funds cap their liability and because your liability is not capped, you are at risk of paying over and above the cap for treatment. So, really, the terminology used by most Health Funds extras insurance is just a myth as the money you pay for certain health procedures is not capped at the level of your premium. Page 4

5 Here are 7 Important Reasons Why You Should Get Rid of Your Extras Cover Today 1 Provides No Tax Benefits If you re buying extras cover in the hope of getting tax benefits, you re making a huge mistake. The Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) is only applicable for hospital cover. Most private health funds don t openly communicate this when selling members extras cover. In most instances accountants also glaze over this fact when preparing your tax returns. Check this out with your accountant right now and if they seem clueless it might be a good idea to look for someone who really knows the truth and can save you money. 2 Premium Increases above the Consumer Price Index (CPI) Health insurance premiums are constantly on the rise. In 2014, private health insurance premiums increased by 6.2%. The average health insurance premiums rose by 6.18%, on 1 st April 2015, costing an extra $200 annually for the average family. On the other hand, the increase in dental fees was a rate below the CPI and also the Health Index. Private health insurers pay scant attention to these numbers and hike annual premiums to increase their profitability and keep the shareholders happy. Take a close look at your extras policy cover and you will find that despite the rise in premiums which is about double the increase in CPI there is no corresponding increase in the level of rebate. Where does this leave you? Despite paying a higher premium every year, your funds don t get rolled over and your rebate stays the same. Ask yourself if this makes any financial sense at all and whether you should allow private health insurers to keep your unused premiums payments. Page 5

6 3 The Funds You Contribute Don t Roll Over from Year to Year Private health funds make it mandatory for you to renew your extras cover every year. What you end up doing is paying recurring sums of your hard earned money year after year to keep your extras cover active. If you have been with your health fund for a few years, you assume there would be enough money accumulated to cover the bulk of your expenses for dental, optical or chiropractic needs. Unfortunately, that s not how it works. Read the fine print in the Terms and Conditions and you ll find the unused portion of your funds paid into your extras cover don t roll over from year to year. Instead they expire at the end of the year. 4 You Lose Everything in the Event of Death or Cancellation of Cover You may be under the impression that in the unfortunate event of your death, your loved ones could claim the unused portion of the premiums paid into your extras cover. After all it s your money and whomsoever you wish to nominate deserve to get the benefit. If that s what you think, you re mistaken. Any unused portion of the funds paid into your extras cover are swallowed by your health fund provider. 5 Complex Levels and Tiers PLUS Your Health Fund Controls the Cover for Each service If you have extras cover you probably know there are different levels of cover such as basic, medium and top-level extras cover. The basic cover is best suited for singles and couples. The medium cover is for families with young children, singles and couples who are reasonably healthy, while the top level cover is for couples with school age children, empty nesters and others with a higher degree of health needs. This may appear straightforward enough in theory but the premiums and rebates could differ widely. It s up to you to figure out which cover is best suited for your needs as there s no flexibility once you decide on the cover. That isn t the end of your woes. What happens if you are in good health but a few years after paying into your health fund need root canal treatment? Page 6

7 Don t expect your health fund to be more generous and pay you more than your capped limits. Maybe you need a new set of multifocal glasses and your maximum benefit is $250. Of course you ll be left footing the rest of the bill even if you ve been paying into the fund for several years and have rarely used the funds for treatment. 6 Keeps You Guessing about Your Unused Balance If you want to check the balance in your bank account from anywhere in the world there is access to the internet, all you have to do is log in to your account and check your balance. It s that easy. Try finding the unused balance of your extras cover by calling your health fund and you ll most likely be asked several questions to verify your identity before being bounced to an officer halfway around the world who will most likely ask you more questions before putting you on hold. After an agonizing wait, you ll finally be given the sad news that the unused portion of your extras cover isn t sufficient to cover your expenses. If only you could have online access to check the unused balance in your extras cover, it would saved you the disappointment and time wasted in getting the information to make an informed decision. 7 Members are treated as a Number in a Pool of Millions It s human nature. People want to be appreciated and have a sense of belonging to a group or community. No one likes to be treated as just a number in a sea of humanity. While the advertising by health funds for extras cover promise to treat you like royalty, the warm fuzzy feeling you get when signing up quickly fades away when you realise the costs paid have not benefited you in the way you expect. Most likely the only time you ll hear from your health fund is when it s time to renew your extras cover. Expecting a loyalty bonus? Hoping to be surprised on your birthday? Would like to be rewarded with a cash back award when using the services of a preferred provider? Ask your health fund to provide any of these benefits and you ll be sorely disappointed. Page 7

8 Why you may ask? The answer is simple. It s just not in their interest. The administrative cost of treating you like a valued member just doesn t contribute to their profits. If you re a little more adventurous, try asking if the unused portion of your extras cover can be used to help a family member or even a friend who needs it more than you do. Don t be surprised if you re met with bewildered silence on the phone or a blank stare if you re speaking to a staff member in person. Now That You Know Why You Should Cancel Your Extras Cover Straightaway Here is What You Could Do Instead to Ease the Burden of Paying for Treatment Not Covered By Hospital Cover? Page 8

9 Introducing MEMPLANS Australia s First Self-Funded Rollover Health plan for Extras With Fees Capped for Life So what does this mean to you and how is MEMPLANS Different? To begin with, MEMPLANS is a self funded model of health care where your unused funds rollover every year. It is not an insurance policy. Think of it as a health bank account where you earn a loyalty bonus of 1.5% on your contributions paid each year. So you not only benefit from rollover of balances but you also earn whilst being a member. The purpose of MEMPLANS is to create win-win solutions for Members, Health Practitioners and the operator with the view to Enable Health Decisions and Choices. It s about finding ways to maximise the value of your investments made for health by each member. Rollover of unused funds every year creates a tidy sum for the members. With members being able to afford better healthcare options, health practitioners will be able to offer more of their knowledge and skills in delivering optimal care rather than sub-standard care which does not benefit anyone, not the member or the health practitioner. YOU Have Total Control Over Your Funds...NOT Your Health Insurance Company! Private health insurance companies impose waiting period to stop new members signing up and cost them a lot right at the beginning. At MEMPLANS your money is rightfully yours. It is not pooled or shared with anyone else. In short you can only spend what is in your account. MEMPLANS gives you complete peace of mind with guaranteed funds in your account which have been built up over time to take care of your dental, optical, physiotherapy, chiropractic, podiatry, massage and other requirements just like your current health insurance extras cover. The rolled over funds will never expire as long as they remain in the fund. MEMPLANS never subsidies other members who have higher demands. MEMPLANS is the only extras rollover healthplan where you have the same control over your money, as you have when putting it in a bank. Page 9

10 Worried about premium increases? As a MEMPLANS member, you no longer have to. Starting with a minimum of $5 a day, you decide to scale up when your needs change and scale back down to a level that meets your lifestyle needs. At MEMPLANS we believe you should have the freedom of choice about how you wish to use your money. You can pay for Gap s in treatment at hospitals, your GP visit, buy medication at the pharmacy, massage and much more as long as it is related with health and wellbeing. Here s How MEMPLANS Gives You Even More Value for Your Money! Earning You Rewards. The funds accumulated in your MEMPLANS account earn you MEMPLANS dollars that can be used to pay for health services. Each year you will be rewarded with a 1.5% loyalty bonus on the money you pay into your account. That s way more than what a bank pays. PLUS, to top it you also get a referral bonus of 3% of the subscriptions paid by each new member you refer, who signs up and remains financial for a period of 5 years. Want to share the love? You can use the funds in your account to pay for dental or other treatment required by someone you care for. Try asking your private health insurance fund You can t even take care of your own child if their name is not on your membership. No Lock-In Contracts. Here s what happens if you cancel your private health insurance extras cover. You lose out on all the money you paid over the years for Peaceof-mind and possibly more such as refunding the taxman for insurance rebates when you signed up. With MEMPLANS you can have peace of mind to know that 80% of your accumulated funds will be returned to you if you cancel. Lifetime Loading. Are you past the age of 31 and hate the thought of being slugged with fees on top of what you pay for your extras cover? MEMPLANS makes lifetime loading history, you can feel comforted by the thought you will not have to dig into your pocket to find extra cash. Complete Transparency. You will be able to access details about your funds online, just like you do with internet banking. All you need to do is log in to your password protected membership portal and view the balance of your unused funds. The online platform is secure and no payment is ever processed without you entering multiple levels of credential checks. It s that simple. You don t have to waste time making calls. Preferred Partners Schemes. By using our Preferred Partner Network you benefit from capped fee and cash back on treatments provided by our Preferred Partners. However if you prefer to visit a health practitioner who is not a preferred partner you will not be Page 10

11 penalised either. The full amount of the invoice submitted is paid, as it is your money and we support your decision whether you choose to use preferred partners or one that you prefer to go to. Stop Paying For Extras and Take Control of Your Healthplan What you now have is an opportunity to get complete peace-of-mind about paying for treatment not included in your hospital cover. Imagine when April comes around next year, everyone else will be worrying about how much extra money they will need to come up with for the increased premiums and other hidden fees while you go about your life unconcerned. Looking back a year from now you will be so glad you made a sensible decision. Your family will look up to you with gratitude, knowing you re there to help them if they ever need some of the unused balance in your MEMPLANS account. No Premium Hikes or Lifetime Loading Rolled Over Funds Never Expire Information about Available Funds at Your Fingertips Loyalty and Referral Bonuses No Lock-in Contracts AND no restrictions on who can use the cover. So there you have it... If you re serious about taking control of your healthplan forever, then the next step is simple. You have two choices 1. Continue losing money by paying for extras cover you do not use Or 2. Act now and make the switch to MEMPLANS for lifelong control of your healthplan. Option 2 is the ONLY way to get complete peace-of-mind. How You Can Join MEMPLANS today 1. Sign up for your MEMPLANS Member account or if you have more questions please call us on Accept terms and conditions of the membership 3. Pay your subscriptions using Credit Card, PayPal or Bank transfer 4. Login to your account with your login credentials and you are in the driving seat now. Take full control of your health decisions and choices as well as finances for your health It s that simple and convenient. The best part is, you will never have to shop around for extras cover ever again! We look forward to welcoming you as a member of our MEMPLANS family. Page 11

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