How does football insurance work in Australia?

We compare football insurance to private health cover.

Feel the football itch? The beautiful game with the round ball that is.

Football is one of Australia’s most played sports, with more than one million players in December 2020.

No matter whether you play in winter, summer or both, the rise of small-sided summer competitions allows you to play year-round.

But with more football available, have you ever wondered what happens when you get injured playing football?

You might be aware that your player registration through your club includes Football Personal Accident insurance. 

But does that mean you don’t need Private Health Insurance?

Well, not exactly. They work together. Below we explain the benefits provided under Football Personal Accident Insurance provides. Just be aware that NSW has a separate, more generous, Football Personal Accident Insurance policy. To make matters more complicated, Northern NSW Football has a slightly different policy to the rest of NSW so make a note of the differences below.

2021 Football Personal Accident Insurance update

Loss of income payments have been removed since we first wrote an article on Football Personal Accident Insurance in 2018. In their place, some set benefits for injuries have been introduced under what the policies call ‘Injury Inconvenience Benefits’. According to the insurance broker, these benefits are easier to claim as they don’t require any paperwork from your employer.

Another thing worth highlighting is that the fantastic dental benefits that we highlighted in 2018 still exist under the Non-Medicare Medicare Medical Expenses limit, even though the policy overview document available to the public doesn’t list it. This has been confirmed with the insurance broker.

Just one more bit of dental detail before we press on: Football Personal Accident Insurance doesn’t cover first teeth nor artificial teeth. That means that if you’ve put in the expensive dental work like dental implants or veneers, take extra care.

Before we get into the details, an important part of Football Personal Accident Insurance is this clause:

If you are a member of a health fund, you must claim the expense from your health fund prior to claiming on the Personal Accident insurance.

This means you must use both Football Personal Accident Insurance and health cover together.

Extras

Football Personal Accident insurance has generous benefits for dental, physio, chiro, remedial massage and acupuncture.

In NSW & Northern NSW Football, a successful claim pays 100% and 85% respectively for dental, physio, chiro, remedial massage and acupuncture after any reimbursement from your health fund up to certain limits (NSW, Northern NSW) or requires you to pay a $50 excess if you don’t have private extras cover. Therefore, having private extras cover saves you the $50 excess.

Let’s look at the $50 excess with an example. A footballer tears a muscle, requiring six physiotherapy consultations. The footballer doesn’t have extras cover so needs to pay the $50 excess once only to claim the six consults.

In Vic, Qld, WA, Tas, ACT & NT, a successful claim pays 85% for dental, physio, chiro, remedial massage and acupuncture after any reimbursement from your health fund up to certain limits with a $50 excess for both people with and without private health cover.

Private Extras cover, on the other hand, can provide benefits towards things like physio, chiro and dental whether your injury is football-related or not. And claiming is usually as simple as swiping your health fund card. Benefits can vary, so check your cover, the benefits and the limits.

Hospital

If you don’t have Private Hospital cover and you go to hospital as a private patient for elective surgery (like an ACL repair or a knee reconstruction for instance) with your Football Personal Accident insurance, you may be able to claim some private hospital accommodation and other related expenses (subject to the terms of the relevant policy), but will likely have large out-of-pocket expenses.

This is because, under government legislation, Football Personal Accident Insurance can’t cover doctor, surgeon and anaesthetist fees, or any other Medicare items. 

That’s where Private Health Insurance hospital cover like Peoplecare’s* comes in handy, providing cover for costly medical specialist fees such as doctors, surgeons and anaesthetists for services on your cover.

Another advantage is that if you go to hospital for services that are included on your Peoplecare hospital cover, Peoplecare pays 100% of the cost for things like hospital accommodation fees, theatre fees and prostheses.

Football Personal Accident Insurance in 2021 includes some benefits such as private hospital accommodation and ambulance but these costs come out of the same bucket as the football extras limit which is as low as $2,500 for Vic, Qld, WA, Tas, ACT & NT.

Summary

In short, both your Football Personal Accident Insurance and Private Health Insurance can be used together to reduce your costs if injury strikes. 

  • Extras:  Football Personal Accident Insurance shows its value here with high benefits for extras claims that you’d rarely see elsewhere. Benefit rates range between 85-100% for costly services like dental, physio, chiro, remedial massage and acupuncture.

    One thing in favour of extras cover on Private Health Insurance however is that extras services are usually easier to claim and comes with fewer strings attached.
  • Hospital: Private Health Insurance does better to reduce your out-of-pocket costs for private elective surgeries, as long as you’ve served your hospital waiting periods and have coverage for the hospital treatment for clinical category you go to hospital for.

 

DISCLAIMER: This article is general advice only and you should obtain detailed information on the Personal Accident insurance and Private Health Insurance before acting on it.

*Pre-existing conditions have a 12-month waiting period. Other waiting periods apply. See here for details.

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