Australians are about to experience a double whammy of health insurance price increases. Premiums went up on 1 October 2020 and they’re due to go up again in April 2021.
That’s potentially a big price hike for the average policy holder at a time when making every cent count is more important than ever.
The good news is even if you didn’t get round to switching and saving before October’s recent rate rise, you can still cut your premiums and beat the health funds at their own game.
What’s the deal with health insurance price hikes in 2020 and 2021?
You’re probably already painfully aware that private health insurance premiums go up on 1 April every year.
In 2020, however, consumers were given a temporary reprieve with most health funds postponing the annual rate rise until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s not great for households looking to balance budgets and it’s set to get even worse. At the time of writing, there’s still expected to be another premium increase in April 2021. That means you could see a pretty big increase in just six months.
If you’ve not switched cover recently, these costs start to add up.
If you were paying $2,000 in annual premiums on your health insurance policy in 2013, you’d now be paying, on average, $2,908 for the same policy today. That’s a 45 per cent price hike over the last seven years**.
How much more am I paying on my health insurance premiums?
At the start of October 2020, health insurance providers raised their premiums, on average, by 2.92% But that’s not the whole story, as that number is the average rise across all of Australia’s health funds.
So some insurers had an average premium increase of as much as 5.63%**. And that’s only an average across their customer base. We’ve seen stories of some funds raising their prices by as much as 8%.
We don’t yet know what April 2021’s increase will be, but if you’re worried about rising costs it could pay to compare policies and switch to better value cover.
What can I do about it?
How much did your current fund increase their prices by in October? Check out our health insurance rate rise calculator to find out. Go on, we’ll wait.
Done a quick calculation and not pleased with your result? We don’t blame you. Fortunately, your finances don’t have to take an extra hit.
That doesn’t mean cancelling your private health insurance. Getting rid of your health insurance could expose you to a Lifetime Health Cover loading or the Medicare Levy Surcharge, and could increase your wait for elective surgeries.
Instead, you can make significant savings while keeping your private health insurance. All you need to do is compare providers and find a better deal to switch to.
And if you move to a cheaper equivalent policy, you won’t have to serve any new waiting periods. That should put a smile back on your face.
How do I compare health insurance providers?
That’s what Healthinsurancecomparison.com.au is here for. Our team of experts is standing by to help you find the best health insurance deal for you from our panel of trusted insurers. We take care of the process from start to finish, including all the paperwork.
In fact, we saved our customers an average of $380.79* when they switched to a new insurer in 2019. That helps take the sting out of any annual health insurance premium increases.
This article is opinion only and should not be taken as medical or financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.
References: *Based on 20,400 customers during 2019. ** The Department of Health, Average Annual Premium Price Change by Insurer, 31 March 2020