What are waiting periods?

The set time you need to wait until you can start claiming with your insurance. Different Inclusions have different waiting periods, some have none at all.

Why should you care?

They keep things affordable

Private health insurance waiting periods help keep health insurance affordable. Without them, people could take out health insurance to cover specific expensive treatments, get us to help with the bill, then cancel their cover right after. If health insurance cover had no waiting periods, insurers would be forced to increase the cost of the insurance and pass that cost on to our members. So waiting periods actually keep things more affordable for you.


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They’re not all the same

There are waiting periods involved in extras and hospital cover. But not all waiting periods are the same. At ahm, different waiting periods apply to different Inclusions. They usually range from one day, two months, six months, 12 months and two years (some inclusions don’t have any waiting periods at all). You can see the waiting period for a specific inclusion on the cover’s page.

See all of our hospital and extras package cover
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When do waiting periods apply?

First joining

When you join your first health insurance fund, you’ll need to serve any waiting periods in full before we can help with the bill. 

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Cancelled your cover, and then had second thoughts? If you have a gap of more than 30 days between leaving and re-joining ahm (or switching to us from another insurer) then waiting periods may apply.


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Changing to a different level of cover

If you move to a different level of cover with additional inclusions, or higher annual limits on extras, or cover that helps reduce any excess or regular payments, you might serve any waiting periods on the inclusions that are affected.

How to switch or change your health insurance.

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When don’t waiting periods apply?

When you switch to ahm

Good news: if you’ve switched from another insurer, we’ll recognise any waiting periods you’ve already served, as long as the benefits are comparable. This could take up to 14 days to process, because we’ll need to receive your old fund’s transfer certificate. Keep in mind that if you're switching to a different level of cover, you may have to serve waiting periods for any additional inclusions.

Browse our cover.

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At ahm, we offer a one-off Mental Health Waiver for members who choose to upgrade to a cover with included Hospital psychiatric services, from one with restricted Hospital psychiatric services. This means the standard 2 month waiting period for those services won’t apply, as long as you have held hospital cover without a break of more than 30 days, and as long as you haven’t used the Mental Health Waiver before.

More about the waiver.

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Occasionally, we have special joining offers, and under these we’ll waive certain waiting periods. This usually only applies to 2 & 6 month waiting periods on eligible extras.

Our current offers.

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Depending on what level of extras cover you choose, some of our inclusions don’t have any waiting periods, which means we can start helping with the bill right away. For example, if our Lifestyle Extras cover suited your needs and you wanted to sign up, you wouldn’t have any waiting periods for routine dental, optical, physio, chiro, osteo, remedial massage, or psychology and counselling. Win. 

Browse all extras cover.

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Find extras and hospital cover that suits your needs

Want both? We’ve got a range of extras and hospital cover options.