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Compare Private Health Insurance Premiums

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Like so many other consumer products, private health cover regularly changes price depending on demand and the cost of services it covers. However, to give consumers greater certainty, the government regulates how and when private health insurers can raise the prices of their products.

Every year on 1 April, private health insurance funds can change their prices to adjust for increasing payouts due to aging memberships, new technologies and treatments, and lifestyle shifts. All health funds must submit their changes and reasoning to the Department of Health for review before any increase is approved. Increases are typically announced in March.

Not all funds will increase their premiums every year, and some may increase their prices by a little or a lot. In 2016, the average increase across all funds was 5.59% with several funds increasing some product by up to 10%. Due to major perennial media attention, it’s easy to find reliable information and compare private health insurance premiums Australia-wide.

Why does the price of health insurance change?

There are a variety of factors that can affect any fund as each is able to focus on different demographics and markets. As a general rule, younger members subsidise the claims older members. Additionally, some funds focus on families, so singles may be subsidising the cost of preventative dental or child birthing products. Prostheses can be expensive and is attracting a lot of attention at the moment, largely due to the high cost in Australia compared to other countries. Similarly, improving technology allows for better healthcare outcomes but that often comes at a cost – which is also reflected in higher health insurance premiums.

How can I beat the annual rate rise?

Use Choosewell to compare private health insurance premiums and ensure you find the best arrangement for your needs and budget. If you compare private health insurance premiums and review their increases year by year, it can be easy to see which funds are showing steady increases, which is to be expected or large shifts that can potentially indicate a rapidly ageing membership.

You can purchase up to 12 months of health insurance in advance to reduce the overall cost. If you do this before the rate rise on 1 April each year, you can keep your existing premiums stable for a further 12 months.

It’s important to note that it isn’t necessary to change or compare health insurance premiums and providers every year but, as your health and lifestyle needs change, so will the cost of your health insurance. By undertaking a quick comparison of health insurance premiums in March every few years, you’ll be assured peace of mind that you have a suitable arrangement.

Does the price of treatment covered by Medicare also rise every year?

The cost of health care services covered under Australia’s free Medicare health system will change from time to time. The government has frozen Medicare rebates so patient out-of-pocket costs for medical services are expected to increase over the next few years. There are no plans to increase taxpayer contributions through the compulsory Medicare Levy at this time.

The cost of private health insurance versus the potential tax implications of not having cover is a factor in the cost to each individual. A free, online private health insurance premium comparison can show you whether it is in your best interests to take out private health insurance or rely on Medicare alone. You can also discuss your options with a Choosewell Health Insurance Advisor for free after your initial health insurance premium comparison.

Where can I get more information?

Contact us to compare health insurance premiums online and discuss your needs with a health insurance expert for free.

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