Why are there waiting periods? What happen if you change your health insurance?

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OSCHglobal - Waiting periods are in place to protect both customers and health insurers. By having a ‘waiting period’, people are not able to make a large claim shortly after joining, and then drop insurance straight after.

It makes it fairer, because the price of each type of cover changes based on the claims for all customers in a state on a particular type of cover.



Will you have to wait again if you change your health insurance?

If you’re swapping to an equal level of cover, by law, you won’t have to wait again. This is important because it protects your choices. You need to be able to weigh up your choices, without being penalised.

It’s called ‘continuity of cover’, and it means:

  • If you switch to an equal level of cover at another insurer, you maintain your cover, without serving waiting periods again. Some health insurers will allow a small period of time between the end of your old policy, and the start of your new one, but this varies. It’s worth checking this with your new insurer.
  • If there are any higher benefits, or new services included in your new cover, you will generally serve waiting periods for those things only. Any limits you’ve used at your old insurer also count to your new limits.
  • You can still access your previous level of cover while waiting for higher cover to kick in.

OSHCglobal (source: Bupa)