It varies between different health insurance companies, but it’s usually quite fast. And the good news is that you're in control of this one.
With ahm, your cover and waiting periods start from the date you nominate. We’re only able to adjust any waiting periods you have already served once we have received your old fund’s transfer certificate (which can take up to 14 days). Remember, you won't be able to claim benefits for any services received while you are serving waiting periods.
Most insurers will arrange the transfer certificate and switch with your old provider after you consent to the switch, so you don’t have to get involved. Alternatively, you can arrange the switch yourself. If you do, your old fund is required to provide this within 14 days of your request. Mark the date you asked to switch in your calendar in case you need to chase it up.
Are there waiting periods when I switch health insurance?
It depends on your cover. If you're switching to a different level of cover or a cover with different services or benefits, you may have to serve waiting periods. However, at ahm, we’ll recognise waiting periods for comparable benefits with your old insurer.
But we can’t help with any bills that you’ve received from any services during a waiting period.
Waiting periods apply when:
You first join ahm.
You re-join with ahm or switch to ahm from another fund after more than 30 days without health insurance.
You change to a higher level of cover or one that has additional services or higher benefits on services.
You switch from another fund, but have not fully served all of your waiting periods with your old fund.
Check your product guide to see what waiting periods apply.
Waiting periods don't apply when:
You switch health insurance, if you've served waiting periods for comparable benefits with your old insurer already
You're changing your extras cover to include mental health care services such as psychology and counselling.
You’re increasing your cover for hospital psychiatric services from Restricted to Included and you haven’t used mental health waiver with any health insurance provider.
Why do health insurers have waiting periods?
A waiting period is the set amount of time you must wait before you can claim for the things that are included in your cover. Without waiting periods, people might be more likely to take out health insurance to cover specific costly treatments, then cancel the insurance soon after. If too many people did this, health insurers would have to significantly increase premiums (the regular payments), which would affect all members.