We are often asked by our members if they can suspend their Doctors’ Health Fund policy when they go overseas to travel or to live.
The answer is yes. Your Doctors’ Health Fund policy covers you for hospital and allied health services within Australia. So when you leave the country, you may choose to suspend your cover during this time.
There are some important considerations to keep in mind when suspending your policy, which we highlight below.
To be eligible to suspend your policy:
- Your trip must be longer than four weeks
- Premiums need to be paid up to your date of departure
All you need to do is send our Member Services Team a copy of your boarding pass, e-ticket or travel itinerary before you leave, showing the date you will depart Australia.
It is a good idea to also provide proof of a return date at this time, and we can set your policy to automatically reactive on your return. Although this information is recommended, it is not required to suspend your policy.
What does this mean for my policy?
Once your policy is suspended, you will not hold cover or pay premiums. This means you are uninsured for the period of the year you are suspended. Due to this, the period of suspension will show on your Private Health Insurance Annual Tax Statement, and the suspension may result in tax implications. It is important that you speak with your accountant, financial advisor or the Australian Tax Office about how this could affect you.
What do I need to do to reactivate my policy?
Proof of return either through a boarding pass, e-ticket or travel itinerary needs to be provided to us to reactivate your policy, if it was not provided at the time of suspension. If your policy is not reactivated when you return to Australia it can have serious implications on your cover and can cause your policy to lapse. It’s important to be aware that if your policy lapses, you will be required to re-serve all relevant waiting periods.
Remember to still notify us if you return earlier than expected, as you will be unable to make a claim while your policy remains suspended.
Suspensions can only apply to the whole policy and cannot be applied to only one member on the policy. If you are considering travelling soon and have any questions regarding suspending your cover, please call our expert Member Services Team on 1800 226 126.
A copy of your proof of departure can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed to 02 9260 9958 or posted to PO Box Q1749, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney NSW 1230.