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9 in 10 Aussies say health insurance increases are unjustified

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As private health insurance premiums increased on April 1 for another year, new research points to how poorly informed Australians have been regarding premium increases year on year, as well as the reasons for the increases.

Results from a survey of a nationally representative sample of 1000 Australian adults with health insurance, commissioned by leading health insurance comparison service comparethemarket.com.au and conducted by an independent research agency[1], revealed that nearly all respondents (88%) have been unaware of how much premiums have increased in six years and, once informed, nearly all (89%) believe the increases are unjustified.

Since 2010, private health insurance premiums have increased every year, at a total cumulative increase of approximately 40 per cent by 2016. Only 12 per cent of survey respondents were aware of this, when asked. More than half (55%) believed the total increase was lower than 20 per cent since 2010. This includes 25 per cent who thought the total increase was below 10 per cent.

Only 1 in 10 (11%) believe that the price hike is justified, over half (54%) say there is no justification for the level to which these increases have risen, and a third (35%) said they were not justified at all.

Comparethemarket.com.au spokesperson Abigail Koch said: “With the Federal Government approving a 4.84 per cent average weighted premium increase this year, our survey also found that a quarter of respondents (24% ) are unaware that premiums have increased every single year. Sadly, it is the younger generation who are the most ill-informed about these increases, with over 1 in 3 (37%) under 35 year olds believing premiums don’t increase year after year,” she said.

Younger generations are also the most optimistic when it comes to how much private health insurance has increased on average. Almost a third (32%) of the under 35s believe the increases to be less than 10 per cent over the last six years, compared with 22 per cent of the over 35s. Likewise, 38 per cent of millennials think the increases have been between 10 and 20 per cent, compared with just 27 per cent of the over 35s who believe the same.

“Health insurance increases creep up every year, and although this year’s rate rise is the lowest in 10 years, many Aussies are ignorant of these changes. When asked if they knew why private health insurance premiums increase each year, more than half (55%) of respondents didn’t understand why.”

 

For interviews and more information, please contact:

Neneh McGuire | +61 2 9279 3330 | +61 404 433 263| e: nmcguire@theideassuite.com.au 

About comparethemarket.com.au

Comparethemarket.com.au is an online comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We help Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy products from a wide range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool enables consumers to find a product that best suits their needs and their back pocket. We’re also in the business of comparing personal finance products, utilities and can help find the lowest fuel prices in your area. Whether it’s car, health or home & contents insurance, we provide a completely free service, that empowers Australians to make buying decisions with greater trust, knowledge and savings. We’ve got your back, simples.

 

[1] Pureprofile 2017: Of the 1000 respondents, 600 said that they were part of a family with one or more children.

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