Private health insurance premiums to increase again
The Australian Government has approved increases in private health insurance ranging from 1.98% to 5.63% with a meaningless average increase of 2.92 per cent, from 1 April 2019.
The Minister for Health, Greg Hunt said that the Morrison Government’s reforms to make private health insurance simpler and more affordable have delivered the lowest annual average premium change in 19 years.
The average increase is lower than the 3.8 per cent inflation rate for medical and hospital services this year, with however, eight funds increasing premiums above the medical and hospital inflation rate.
The Morrison Government is delivering the most significant reforms to private health insurance in over a decade, which is making private health insurance simpler to understand and “more affordable”, Mr Hunt said.
The Governments reforms have enabled more than 380,000 young people aged between 18 and 29 to receive discounts on their premiums of up to 10 per cent since 1 April 2019.
A young person on a $1,500 annual policy could save up to $150 a year. A young family on a $3,000 policy might save up to $300 a year.
The reforms also continue to provide record coverage for mental health services. Consumers have been able to upgrade their existing insurance policies to access psychiatric services without serving a waiting period, claiming more than $73 million in benefits since 1 April 2018.
There are 37 private health insurance funds operating in Australia so consumers should shop around to get the best deal for themselves and their families.
Over 13 million Australian have private health insurance and 50% of people with private health insurance earn under $50,000 making premium increases even more painful for those who can least afford them.
The Government supports Australians private health insurance with around $6.3 billion every year in the private health insurance rebates to keep cover more affordable.
In 2018-19, Australians have received a record $21.1 billion in benefits — 3 per cent more than the previous year.
For information on the premium increase for your health fund, see the Department of Health website at https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/privatehealth-average-premium-round
Independent, commission-free advice on current health insurance products offered in Australia is available online on the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman website www.privatehealth.gov.au
7 December 2019.