Health insurance premiums are due to rise again on 1 April but, according to government figures, the average increase will be 2.9 per cent, well below the 10-year average of 4.4. per cent.
It pays to do your research, because while the average is 2.9 per cent, some fund fees will increase significantly more, including for-profit group CBHS Corporate Health (a 5.38 per cent increase), healthcare giant HBF (a 4.49 per cent increase) and CBHS (a 4.46 per cent increase).
The ‘big five’ health insurers – Medibank, Bupa, HCF, NIB and HBF – will increase their premiums by an average 3.38 per cent.
On average, a single person will pay an extra $1.17 a week and a family an extra $2.58 a week.
Figures calculated by comparison service Compare Club found that for Australians in the 55 to 64 age bracket, an average 2.9 per cent increase equates to an extra $76 per year for singles, $157 for couples and $165 for families.
In the 65-plus age bracket, the 2.9 per cent increase represents an increase of $81 per year for singles, $167 for couples and $166 for families.
If you have a policy with one of the ‘big five’, the average increase in premiums for 55 to 64-year-olds will be $88 a year for singles, $183 for couples and $192 for families.
For those aged over 65, the average premium increase will be $95 a year for singles and $194 for couples and families.
If you are with CBHS Corporate, which has the highest increase in premium, in the 55–64 age bracket your premiums will go up by $140 a year for singles, $291 for couples, $306 for families and $225 for single parent families.
For the 65-plus age bracket the increase will be $151 a year for singles, $309 for a couple and families.
Some funds, including Medibank, Bupa, HCG and NIB, will delay their increase until later in the year.
The relatively low average increase is good news for YourLifeChoices members with the YourLifeChoices Older Australians Insights Survey 2022 finding that 76.2 per cent of 6000-plus respondents saying they had private health insurance and hoped to maintain it for life.
Companies on the lower scale for increases include Queensland Teachers Union Health Fund, which will increase by only 0.81 per cent and AIA Health insurance (1.69 per cent). Health Care Insurance is actually reducing its premiums by 0.09 per cent and Police Health will be maintaining its current rates.
Given the lower-than-average increases, you may be able to save by prepaying your premiums. That way, you can lock in a price for at least 12 months.
Your health fund must let you know of any increases to your premiums.
It’s estimated that about 14.4 million Australians have private health insurance.
Health minister Mark Butler said the government and private health insurers were working together to achieve better value for policyholders.
“All Australians deserve access to affordable treatments and the devices they need to stay healthy and live full and productive lives,” he said.
“Our government supports people who hold private health insurance with around $6.9 billion through the private health insurance rebate each year.”
Do you shop around for the best health cover? Why not share your suggestions in the comments section below?
YourLifeChoices is owned by comparison service Compare Club.