Health insurance premiums usually increase on April 1st every year. In 2020, the rise has been deferred until October 1st. If you haven’t compared policies in the past year, you could be paying more than you need to. How much more will you pay? Use our simple 2 question private health insurance rate rise calculator to find out.Compare and switch
According to the Department of Health, at the time of writing the industry average rate rise for 2020 is 2.92%. This is the lowest average increase in nearly two decades and down from the 2019 average of 3.25%.
However, the actual fund average rate rise in October could be higher or lower than 2.92%. As it stands, the highest fund average rate rise for 2020 is 5.63%, while the lowest is 0% (some health funds have opted not to implement this year’s rate rise).
This average was calculated based on scheduled premium changes in April 2020, but most health funds deferred their rate rises until 1 October 2020 due to COVID-19.
The exact increase you could face depends on your health fund and policy. Your insurer will let you know about any change to your insurance premium by letter, email or SMS.
Every year, the government approves a rate increase for health insurance premiums to account for the rising cost of healthcare in Australia. There are a few factors contributing to this:
This means paying benefits is getting more expensive for health funds each year. Most health funds pass some of these additional costs on to customers in the form of yearly premium increases.
The theory behind the annual rate rise is that it allows health funds to continue to be competitive, cover you for more services and provide more benefits.
However, the rate rise can make a serious impact on people’s finances, which is why it may be useful to compare health insurance and see if you can find a similar policy for a lower price.
The short answer is it depends. The longer answer is it depends on your health fund, your current policy and the amount they will put your premiums up by.
If you’re on a basic level of cover and a health fund that’s putting up premiums by less than the 2.92% average, you may not notice much difference. But if you’re an average family who is with the most expensive health fund, you could be paying over $260 a year for the same policy.
It’s worth keeping in mind that these rate rises happen every year for most health funds. Over the course of a few years, your health insurance costs can creep up significantly while what’s contained in your policy remains largely the same.
Reviewing your policy regularly is a good idea to make sure you know how much you’re paying and what you’re covered for. And, like any purchase, shopping around can help you get the best value for money on your health insurance policy.
There are a few ways to potentially avoid a premium increase.
Firstly, some health funds will allow you to lock-in your current rate if you pay your premiums in advance before a certain time. For example, you might be able to avoid an increase if you pay 12 months upfront before 1 October 2020. Check with your health fund to see what rate protection options are available.
You might also be able to reduce your premiums by paying a higher excess or co-payment. Keep in mind, though, that this could also mean higher costs when you have to make a claim.
Last but not least, you could be able to save on your premiums by switching to a health fund that can offer you comparable cover at a lower price. This might mean going with a fund that isn’t raising their premiums this year, or choosing a policy that’s more affordable but still covers what you need.
Our health insurance comparison tool is a quick and easy way to see what options are out there and how you could be saving money. Last year we saved our customers, on average, $380.79 on their health insurance when they compared and switched with us.
If your health fund has notified you that your premiums are about to go up, here’s what you can do next:
The great news is the power is in your hands when it comes to choosing health insurance. There are a few things you can do to potentially get better value for money on your health insurance:
Bundle your insurance
If you’re happy with your current health fund, you might be able to save by bundling policies or choosing a policy that covers the whole family.
Shop around for a better deal
Comparing options from different health funds can help you find better value for money on a policy that suits your circumstances. Compare health insurance quotes for free or talk to one of our health insurance specialists for help in finding the right policy.
Consider switching policies
You aren’t locked in to one health insurance policy forever. Generally, you can switch at any time without incurring additional charges. If your health fund is raising premiums this year and/or decreasing your cover, it may be worth moving to a new policy.
Our experts can provide you with free personal advice. Let us call you.