Hikes to health insurance

Cut the cost of your cover

Just when you thought your health insurance couldn’t get any more expensive, on 1st April premiums take yet another hike.

Those Aussies who do have health insurance are already paying a small fortune for it. This latest increase of around 5% will hit most of us hard, and at a time when we can’t afford it.

It’s no wonder that around 2 million of us are planning to ditch or downgrade our private health cover.

Health insurance costs big bucks

  • The average Aussie family already spends around $4200 a year on their health insurance. That’s a lot of cash, in anyone’s language.
  • The latest price increase will see most families pay over $200 more a year, and most singles over $100 a year more.

Over half of us don’t have private health insurance

  • It’s just too expensive for many of us.
  • The latest price increases mean 2 million Aussies plan to cancel or reduce their cover.
  • But soaring medical costs, combined with the fact that we just never know when an accident or illness might strike, mean many of us do pay for cover.

So how can you stay covered, while keeping your premiums within budget?

  1. Review your policy

When was the last time you took a good look at what your policy covers?

  • Many of us are paying for things we don’t need. You could be coughing up cash to be covered for pregnancy, yet you’ve finished raising a family. Or are you young and healthy, but paying for cover on dentures or a hip replacement?
  • Or other funds might offer a much better deal.
  • Use insurance comparison sites like iSelect and Compare the Market to give your cover a health check.
  1. Don’t miss out on discounts

Keep more of your cash in your pocket.

  • Most funds offer a premium discount for direct debit payments.
  • Paying your annual premium upfront can also bring big savings.
  1. Don’t worry about waiting periods
  • You don’t have to serve waiting periods again if you switch insurers.
  • They’re protected by law. You don’t lose them if you move between funds to get a better deal, if you keep the same or a lower level of cover.
  1. Mind the gap
  • Most doctors charge above Medicare’s scheduled fee, leaving you out of pocket and having to cover the gap.
  • You can avoid this gap cost by asking your health fund which doctors and hospitals they have a no-gap agreement with.
  1. Tax savings
  • Having hospital cover could help you avoid paying extra tax and higher premiums as you get older.
  • Insurance comparison advisors like iSelect and Compare the Market can help you understand your options and the potential savings.
  1. Remember the rebate
  • Many of us are eligible for a government rebate on private health insurance.
  • This helps cut the cost of your policy.
  • You can either claim it as an up-front discount on your premiums, or as a tax rebate when you lodge your tax return.

So give your health insurance a health check, and make sure you’ve got the right cover for the least amount of cash.