Interest rates, power, petrol, groceries – is there anything that hasn’t gone up in price recently?
The last thing many Australian households need is another cost-of-living increase but unfortunately, temporary financial relief is almost over for many of us covered by private health insurance.
Some health funds increased their policy premiums on April 1st this year, but many health insurers delayed their 2022 premium increases due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.
So, read on as we break down the reasons why you should consider reviewing your policy before November 1st.
Most of the country’s biggest health insurers are increasing premiums on November 1st
On November 1st, customers of Medibank/ahm, Bupa, nib and HCF (which combined, have over 70 per cent of the market share) will see their premiums go up by between 2.66 per cent and 3.18 per cent, after these funds delayed their 2022 increases.
This may not seem like much, but the timing adds extra pressure to many households already doing it tough.
Reviewing could save money
This year’s increase may be small, but every dollar counts. So, it’s important health fund members don’t get complacent. If your health insurance premium has already gone up this year, or is about to, and you haven’t reviewed your policy, it might not be a suitable option for your personal circumstances.
If you’re worried about rising private health insurance premiums, check if there’s a more affordable option out there before you cancel your cover or downgrade it. Saving money doesn’t have to mean compromising your level of cover, with many customers able to ease the budget strain by switching to a similar level of cover with a different fund for a cheaper price.
You could be covered for things you don’t need, and not things you do
If it’s been a few years since you last reviewed your policy, or perhaps you never have, then you could be paying unnecessarily for things you no longer need or not be covered for things you do. For example, retirees still paying for pregnancy, young people covered for cataracts or families without orthodontics cover when teenagers need braces.
Maybe you’re not using your Extras? You could drop your Extras cover and keep Hospital only, which could work out cheaper for you or perhaps you could explore flexible limits on your Extras so that they are tailored towards the benefits you use the most. Life changes over time, so taking the time to review your policy regularly is a great idea.
There you have it. With cost-of-living increases across the board, now is a great time to review your cover before most of the country’s biggest insurers increase their premiums on November 1st. You may even end up with some extra money in your pocket – something many of us could do with right about now!
|Health fund||Average 2022 premium increase|
Source: Calculated as a weighted average based on the percentage of policies held in the respective funds per the APRA Operations of Private Health Insurers Annual Report data 2020-21 (https://www.apra.gov.au/operations-of-private-health-insurers-annual-report)
Sophie Ryan is a spokesperson for iSelect.
*iSelect does not compare all health insurance providers or policies in the market. The availability of policies will change from time to time. Not all policies available from its providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, your stated needs and circumstances, not all policies compared by iSelect are available to all customers. Some policies and special offers are available only from iSelect’s contact centre or website.