What is a waiting period?

A waiting period is simply the period of time you have to wait between signing up with Frank and being able to claim. They apply to both hospital and extras cover.

Can you give me an example of how that works?

Sure! Frank's Some Extras cover has a six-month waiting period for optical.

Which means if you take out Some Extras today, you’ll need to keep that cover continuously for six months before you can claim for glasses.

It doesn’t mean you can take out extras cover today, get glasses today, and then wait six months to lodge the claim. You need to wait out the ‘waiting period’ before you can actually use a service and then claim on it.

How long are the waiting periods?

The following table outlines the waiting periods that apply for any services included on your cover:

Hospital cover
12 months Pregnancy and pre-existing conditions (except psychiatric, rehab or palliative care) Important information regarding PEC
2 months Psychiatric, rehab or palliative care and any other hospital treatment
0 days Accidents (accidents must occur after joining)
Extras cover
12 months Major Dental, Orthodontics, Orthotics, Podiatric Surgery, Hearing Aids and Blood Glucose Monitors
6 months Optical
2 months Acupuncture, Chiropractor, Dietetics, Exercise Physiology, General and Preventative Dental, Hydrotherapy, Myotherapy, Osteopath, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, General Podiatry, Psychology, Remedial Massage, Speech Therapy
0 days Ambulance Subscription (VIC, SA, WA and NT)
Emergency Ambulance Australia Wide

Will my waiting periods reset if I switch or upgrade cover?

You won’t need to serve waiting periods for anything you have previously served waiting periods for. If your new Frank cover has higher benefits than your old cover, you’ll have to serve the standard waiting periods to receive those higher benefits. You’ll be covered for your old (lower) benefits during that time though.

If I add a new person to my cover will they have to serve the waiting periods?

Yes, the new person will have to wait the standard waiting periods listed above. Unless:

  • They are your newborn baby and have been added to the family policy from their date of birth (and you have served a two month waiting period with Frank)
  • They are your new adopted or permanent foster child and are added to the policy within 30 days of being adopted or fostered
  • They have already served the waiting periods with another fund (at an equal or higher level of cover) and have been added to the policy within 30 days of ending cover with their previous insurer
  • They have already served the waiting periods with Frank (at an equal or higher level of cover) and transfer from their policy straightaway to yours.

What if I have a pre-existing condition?

There’s a special waiting period for pre-existing conditions (PEC). For services that relate to your condition the waiting periods will be extended to 12 months. Find out more about pre-existing conditions. If you haven’t held your current level of cover for at least 12 months, you are required to go through the PEC check for any hospitalisation. This involves asking your GP and specialist their written opinion on whether your condition is pre-existing. The process can take some time and it’s best to get this done as soon as possible to confirm whether Frank can cover your procedure. The documentation will then be assessed by a medical practitioner appointed by Frank, who will decide whether your condition is deemed pre-existing or not.

Do I still serve waiting periods if I’m pregnant?

Yes, but they’re calculated differently. The 12-month waiting period is worked out from the time you join up to the due date. This means that if the baby decides to come early you're still covered as long as the due date was 12 months from the time you joined up. Usually your health insurer will ask for a letter from your doctor stating your due date.