Beat the health insurance price hike!

22 Mar 2018

By Gary Mitchell

Do you pay monthly premiums for your health insurance?  Would you like to save money?

On 1 April each year, health insurance premiums increase and this year is no different with an average increase of 3.95%* announced.  At the same time, the tax rebate for health fund premiums is decreasing.

How can you save some money?

Pay upfront. If you’re paying monthly, and have the means, pay the annual premium in advance now.  If you change to annual payments you can capture the current rates and the rebate (assuming you get the fund to use the rebate to lower the premium) for the next year.

Take note you need to pay by 30 March but this year 30 March is Good Friday, a public holiday! So you should assume the deadline for making any changes is the last business day of the month, Thursday 29 March.

Comparing the funds

Are you absolutely happy with your current fund?  Are you paying for services that you don’t use? Do you want to check if an alternative fund may offer better or cheaper cover?  Sifting through the various offers can be a nightmare and using a commercial comparator can be limited to the funds that pay a commission to that site.

If you want to check if you are paying a reasonable price and that the health services you consume are covered, read on.

  • Check out http://www.privatehealth.gov.au - you can compare different health insurances using this website, an Australian Government initiative that provides a wealth of information, including the ability to search and compare health insurance policies. Complete the questions about what services you need and you’ll get a listing of funds that offer the benefits you are interested in plus a monthly pre-rebate premium.  You can also add your current policy in for comparison.

    There is also a question “Are you eligible for a restricted fund?” Check to see if you’re eligible for any of the funds listed.

    By clicking on the policy name – you’ll get a ‘Standard Information Sheet’ that details the inclusions, exclusions, benefit limits and maximum benefits for services.  These details are really important as making a decision on premium alone may mean lower benefits for services that are important to you.
  • Choice buying guideChoice has free information you can access about the value of health insurance as well as a buying guide. Note however you need to subscribe to their service to access it.
  • Tax rebate - the rebate reduces from 1 April 2018.  Check out the Australian Government’s Department of Health website to find out what they will be.

I hope you find this useful. And remember before making any decision to change your health cover, ensure you understand the benefits you receive through your current policy.

*Source: http://health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/content/privatehealth-average-premium-round

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