Time to review
Your private health cover?
5 handy tips

Every year around March most Australians with private health insurance are notified that their premiums will increase. This year, from 1 April, private health insurance premiums will see an average increase of a little under 3%1. But because this year is unlike any other, some insurers have deferred their 2020 premium changes on some, or all of their plans, for between three and 12 months.

As health funds occasionally change the services on their policies and the benefits they pay, it’s a good idea to regularly review your health insurance and compare it with others to make sure you’re getting the best deal and the right cover for you and your family. Here’s five handy tips to consider:

  1. Understand your options – It’s not compulsory to have private health insurance, but there can be financial implications if you don’t. The private health insurance rebate is income tested, so if your income is higher than the relevant income threshold, you may not be eligible to receive a rebate.
  2. Assess your health and family history – Consider your current state of health including any pre-existing conditions and think about what you might need in the future, for example, pregnancy or hip replacement cover.
  3. Compare health insurers – There’s ample health insurance providers and products to choose from, so compare and consider your options using a financial comparison website like Canstar. Private health insurance can be expensive, so it’s important to calculate how much you can afford to spend. But don’t just follow price, as cheaper products may not provide value for money over time and could exclude services you need.
  4. Don’t set and forget – Keep an eye on changes to your policy and review your health and insurance needs regularly. You can always switch insurers to get a better deal, and new insurers may waive waiting periods. If you are changing insurers make sure you’re covered by your new one before you cancel your old one.
  5. Understand the terms and conditions – Take the time to understand the details of your insurance policy, including the inclusions, the excess and the price (not forgetting your rebate).

For more information on private health insurance, visit the Australian Government’s private health insurance website.

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1 https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/privatehealth-average-premium-round