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About 43% of Australians have private health insurance, which includes extra cover. Extras allows rebates for services like physio, chiropractic, and optical benefits. 

Most health funds have an annual limit of $200 to $250 for glasses and contacts. Some funds allow you to adjust the amounts you can claim on the extras you use most, and some funds are more generous than others.  

It is definitely worth checking every year to make sure you are covered for what you need, particularly on the surgical side. Most eye surgery requires you to have “top” or “gold” cover, so if you don’t have that coverage, it’s probably worth updating. This is particularly true post-pandemic, since the public system is struggling with long waiting lists, and it will take a long time to get those back to what they were.  

You can claim your optical extras from any optical store via HICAPS, which is an POS style claiming system that lets providers claim directly from the fund, rather than you claiming yourself. 

Some stores sell basic frame and lens packages that are covered by the rebate, or you can buy designer brands with premium lenses, and the rebate reduces the cost of your glasses. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Premium products use better materials and are more expensive to make, and are more exclusive, so you’re less likely to see someone else wearing your frame.