Every year, health insurance premiums in Australia go up. This is for a few reasons, but mostly to cater for growth in the industry and to ensure that the private health system can sustain itself.
This year, premiums will be rising by 3.95% on average. It might sound like a scary number, but the government estimates that it will only cost around $1.40 more per week for a single person’s policy. Greg Hunt, minister for health, has stressed that this reform will deliver over $1.1 billion worth of savings and payouts to policyholders. This is also the lowest premium increase since 2001.
The increase in price means that now’s a great time of year for you to review your options. So what do you need to know about getting the best value for your health insurance before 1 April?
Don’t pay for what you don’t need
A lot of unnecessary cost can come from signing up for a policy that you don’t really need, so it’s important to find out what’s actually included in your policy. You should do this before you sign up for any policy, but you should also check your inclusions once a year to ensure that everything is still relevant.
For example, if you’re a baby boomer and you’re paying for a policy that includes cover for pregnancy related services, you may want to lower your level of cover. Similarly, a young person paying for hip replacement surgery and treatment is probably not making the best use of their money.
Pay in advance
By paying for your premiums upfront and in advance, you can avoid the price increase for that year. Pay for a full year’s worth of premiums before 1 April and you can save yourself from having to cough up the extra 3.95%. Plus, you won’t have to pay again till next year. The same goes for every year. Premiums rise annually but you can always stay ahead of them by paying for your policy in advance.
You could also consider a policy review. If you’re not happy with your current policy, contact your insurer and make sure you’re getting the best value. Your insurer is there to help you, so speak to them directly or check out their website for useful links and frequently asked questions. Doing your own research is an important part of having a health insurance policy, and you need to make sure that the policy you have is best suited to you and your needs.
The 1 April deadline is rapidly approaching so make sure you take action sooner rather than later. You don’t want to wait until the last minute and miss the boat!