Health insurance premium to increase again
The Federal Government has approved health funds receiving an average weighted premium increases of 3.95 per cent from 1 April 2018.
From 1 April 2018, a single person will pay an average of around $73 more per year, while families will pay an average of around $143 more per year for their private health insurance.
More than 13 million Australians have private health insurance and it is vital that cover is affordable and provides value for money.
Private health insurance reforms announced by the government in October 2017 have made an impact on costs.
Savings from the $1.1 billion reform of the Prostheses List is being passed onto consumers and this has already resulted in this lower premium change this year.
As part of the reforms announced at the end of last year, the Government is acting to simplify private health insurance by requiring insurers to categorise products as gold/silver/bronze/basic.
The changes will require insurers to use standardised definitions for treatments to make it clear what is and isn’t covered in their policies.
The Government is encouraging younger Australians to take up private health insurance by allowing insurers to discount premiums for 18 to 29 year olds by up to 10 per cent.
People with hospital insurance that does not offer full cover for mental health treatment will be able to upgrade their cover and access mental health services without a waiting period on a once-off basis.
To support Australians in regional and rural areas, insurers will be able to offer travel and accommodation benefits for people in regional and rural areas that need to travel for treatment.
There are 37 private health insurance funds operating in Australia - shop around to get the best deal.
Independent advice on health insurance — free of commissions — is available online on the government's private health website https://www.privatehealth.gov.au/
25 January 2018.