How to minimise the Health Insurance Hike

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How to minimise the Health Insurance Hike

The dreaded 1 April increase is coming and this year, Australians can expect a hit to the hip pocket with an average increase to health insurance premiums by 5.59%, adding approximately $200 a year to the cost of the average family policy.

For those who aren’t watching closely on your health insurer, you may be stung with an increase as high as 8.95%, more than double the lowest increase of just 3.76%.

Here is the list of all funds and their increases.

Insurer
Average Increase with rate protection
ACA Health Benefits Fund Ltd
6.19%
Australian Unity Health Ltd
5.05%
BUPA Australia Pty Ltd
5.69%
CBHS Health Fund Ltd
5.92%
Cessnock District Health Benefits Fund Ltd
6.19%
CUA Health Fund Ltd
8.95%
Defence Health Ltd
5.48%
Doctor’s Health Fund Pty Ltd, The
3.76%
GMHBA Ltd
5.44%
Grand United Corporate Health Ltd
4.26%
HBF Health Ltd
4.94%
Health Care Insurance Ltd
6.90%
Health Insurance Fund of Australia Ltd
6.55%
Health Partners Ltd
7.14%
Health.com.au Pty Ltd
8.81%
Hospitals Contribution Fund of Australia Ltd, The
5.42%
Latrobe Health Services Ltd
5.52%
Lysaght Peoplecare Ltd
4.38%
Medibank Private Ltd
5.64%
Mildura District Hospital Fund Ltd
6.74%
National Health Benefits Australia Pty Ltd
5.28%
Navy Health Ltd
5.50%
NIB Health Funds Ltd
5.55%
Phoenix Health Fund Ltd
5.72%
Police Health Ltd
4.81%
Queensland Country Health Fund Ltd
4.91%
Queensland Teachers’ Union Health Fund Ltd
7.15%
Railway & Transport Health Fund Ltd
5.61%
Reserve Bank Health Society Ltd
5.37%
St Luke’s Medical & Hospital Benefits Association Ltd
5.89%
Teachers Federation Health Ltd
4.97%
Transport Health Pty Ltd
6.49%
Westfund Ltd
5.94%
INDUSTRY WEIGHTED AVERAGE
5.59%

If you are currently receiving a rebate on your insurance, take note that you have received some of the $5.8 billion the Government has handed out in rebates to members.

At the end of the last financial year, almost half the population had private hospital treatment cover (47.4%) and more than half the population had some type of private extras cover (55.8%).

With over 13 million Australians now having some form of private health insurance, it’s important to note that you have 34 health insurers to choose from, offering more than 45,000 policies. This makes it hard to know which one is best and how you can get the most out of your insurance.

Here are some top tips to follow.

Start with your current policy
When it comes to getting the best deal, don’t underestimate the value of calling your current insurer to see if there is a better policy within the same insurer or removing covers that you may unlikely need such as pregnancy for the elderly or hip replacement for young adults.
Pay upfront
Consider paying your full year’s premium before 1 April to save on costs. Why pay for the increase if you can afford not to.
Check before you swap
If you choose to move on from your insurer, make sure that before you change, you are aware of what you are losing and what you may be gaining in benefits.
Save time…and Money
There are vast differences between the thousands of policies that are available so consider using a comparison site or talk to a Health Insurance Broker who can help you identify a health insurance policy that is better suited to your needs and is priced the most competitively.

Why not increase the financial savviness of those around you – pay it forward and pass on these tips to your family, friends and kids.

Olivia Maragna is the co-founder of Aspire Retire Financial Services and is a respected and independent financial expert. Olivia’s advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions.
You can follow Olivia on Facebook or Twitter at https://twitter.com/oliviamaragna

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