Can Health Insurance Be Backdated
Can health insurance plan be backdated? It’s a fair question, but the answer possibly isn’t what you were hoping for.
Ahead, we will answer this question and give you some more information concerning backdating health cover, switching health funds, and refunding premium payments.
Health Insurance Backdating Rules
Part of the reason purchasing private health insurance is so important is that it’s there when you need it. Without cover, you would not be able to receive benefits outside of the Medicare system.
Can health insurance be backdated? No. You require to have health insurance and have served out any applicable waiting periods at the time of your procedure to receive coverage.
Buying health insurance after getting treatment will only cover you for any future procedures. You can’t backdate your health insurance to receive benefits from procedures already performed.
Health Insurance Backdating Exceptions
There is an exception to the backdating rule we described early. This comes when you want to add a newborn as a dependent to your health insurance plan.
Every policy has its own rules about adding a child as a dependent – whether through birth, adoption, marriage, or fostering – so ensure you check with your fund first. After a child joins your family, health funds will typically give you a window within which you can add them as a dependent on your health insurance. This is normally two to three months after birth or the date the child joined the family.
As soon as you add them as a dependent, the insurer will backdate the health coverage. They won’t typically have to serve any waiting periods that have already been served by the policyholder.
It’s significant that you do not miss this window, however. Waiting too long to claim a child as a dependent might mean paying out of your pocket for some procedures, or being subject to new waiting timelines. Check with your insurer to see how long they permit you to wait before claiming a child as a dependent.
Switching Health Insurance Providers
One aspect that relates to the question of “can health insurance be backdated?” is switching health insurance providers.
Those who presently have health insurance might be reluctant to switch with waiting periods in mind. Fortunately, some regulations protect health fund members from such problems.
Any waiting periods you have already served with your current health fund will transfer to your new health insurance. That means that if you have already waited for six of the twelve months required for benefits, these six months will come with you. If you have been with your fund for more than 12 months and are not adding services, you would not have any waiting periods.
This law is known as portability and allows people to find better value health insurance when they already have coverage.
We should bear in mind that portability laws only apply to hospital cover. Those who are switching insurance providers for their extras may require to repeat waiting periods, although most health funds recognize portability with their additional policies.
There are some significant rules around portability. First, you will need to ensure there is no gap in coverage. You also want to serve any applicable waiting periods when you upgrade cover on the services that are being upgraded only. Funds will allow a small gap between funds, typically to a maximum of 30 days.
Backdating Health Insurance
As we have covered, you are not allowed to backdate health insurance. If you were, it would necessarily defeat the purpose of anyone purchasing private health insurance before they needed to. Different rules apply when switching health insurance providers, and you can avoid repeating the same waiting periods when changing coverage.
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