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“You never know what’s sitting around the corner. That’s why I always tell people that the preventative healthcare programs available through private health insurance offer peace of mind.”—Swati Kakkar, Customer Solutions Team Leader, Australian Unity

Key points

  • Preventative care plays an important role in reducing your risk of illness and increasing your chances of staying healthy for longer.
  • Your private health insurance may offer a variety of preventative care programs and tools to help you live a healthier lifestyle. 
  • At Australian Unity, your health insurance may cover services such as annual check-ups, dental checks, screenings, vaccinations and health coaching. 

You’ve heard the saying “age is just a number” but, as you get older, it’s important to be realistic about your changing health needs—no matter how young at heart you still might feel. One thing that can make a big difference? Focusing on preventative care in your 40s, 50s and 60s

By actively working to protect your health, you can reduce your risk of illness and increase your chances of staying healthy for longer. But you don’t have to go it alone—your health insurance may already offer a range of preventative care programs and tools. 

We spoke to two of Australian Unity’s experts to discover their recommendations when it comes to making the most of your health insurance’s preventative care options. 

Understand your needs

Knowledge is power—and understanding your family’s health history means you can take steps to reduce the risk of developing a serious illness. Your doctor or healthcare professional is particularly important here, as they can help you to understand your risk factors and make necessary changes to protect yourself.

The other important benefit of understanding your health risks? It means you can make sure you’re covered by your health insurance. 

As Radeyan Sazzad, Manager—Health Management at Australian Unity, points out: “If your grandparents all had cardiovascular disease, you might be at greater risk of experiencing a serious heart condition. So having a private health insurance policy that covers you in the case of a cardiovascular event is really important.” 

“Similarly, if you have a family history of osteoarthritis, or you’ve experienced lower-back pain in the past, make sure you have chiropractic or physio coverage that's appropriate for what you might need,” Radeyan adds.

Schedule in a check-up

Swati Kakkar helps Australian Unity members get the most out of their health insurance every day in her role as Customer Solutions Team Leader. Her top tip? Regular check-ups can help you keep track of your health—so pick up the phone and make an appointment. 

“With our preventative healthcare programs, you can have annual check-ups,” she says. 

Depending on your cover, you may have benefits for annual Doctor Health Checks, where they are not already covered by Medicare, or health coaching consultations with a recognised health professional such as a dietician or psychologist.

Don’t forget dental check-ups or optical appointments too, as these can both have an impact on your health

“You never know what’s around the corner,“ says Swati. “That’s why I always tell people that the preventative healthcare programs available through private health insurance offer peace of mind.”

Get screened

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Australia, but many cancers can be detected early through screening programs. 

With approximately 80 percent of new breast cancer cases occurring in women aged 50 or above, Swati stresses the importance of taking advantage of mammogram screening programs

“These services are covered within some of our health insurance policies,” she says. “Even if Medicare doesn't pay any benefits, all you have to do is attend a screening in private practice and provide us with the bill and a completed preventative health services form.” 

Similarly, the incidence rate of cervical cancer increases with age and peaks among women aged 40 to 44. It’s why Swati says it’s so important to keep attending screenings. 

“In your early 40s, you might not be thinking about pregnancy, but it’s still important to keep on top of your gynaecological health. We see women in this age category asking for support from their health insurance provider, which is why we cover preventative services like pap tests.” 

You can also ensure your family is protected with cervical cancer vaccinations, which are available for women who are sexually active from the age of 17 and above. 

Embrace a healthy lifestyle

Small lifestyle changes—such as stopping smoking, reducing your alcohol intake, exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet—can result in a big improvement in your overall physical and mental wellbeing. 

But while these changes can sound easy in theory, they can sometimes be harder to implement in practice—which is where a team of experts can help. 

Australian Unity’s health support programs are run by a team of highly qualified and experienced health coaches, including nurses, dieticians, occupational therapists, exercise physiologists, physiotherapists and diabetes educators.

“We offer various tools that are designed to support people’s health,” says Swati. “There are programs to help you quit smoking, as well as weight-loss programs that are run in partnership with recognised providers.” 

In addition, personalised health coaching programs help eligible members to prevent, or cope with, long-term health conditions. 

Prioritise your wellbeing

Our health plays such an important role in our Real Wellbeing—so it makes sense to draw on all the available tools protect it. 

As Swati says, “When you take a preventative approach to your health, you prioritise your wellbeing. And maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential because, at the end of the day, health is wealth.” 


Information provided in this article is not medical advice and you should consult with your healthcare practitioner. Australian Unity accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the opinions, advice, representations or information contained in this publication. Readers should rely on their own advice and enquiries in making decisions affecting their own health, wellbeing or interest.