With the Federal Government expected to give the green light to private health insurance premium increases for the 16th year in a row, Aussie families have named the point at which they would consider walking away from their family policies.
The findings come from a survey of a nationally representative sample of 1000 Australian adults with private health insurance, commissioned by leading health insurance comparison servicecomparethemarket.com.au and conducted by an independent research agency.
Respondents were asked at what point they would consider dropping their family policy altogether, should private health insurance premiums increase again this year. Among respondents who had children, more than half (55%) would consider dropping their health insurance altogether if annual health premiums reached $4000. This includes 1 in 3 respondents (32%) who would consider walking away from annual premiums of up to $3000.
Abigail Koch, spokesperson at comparethemarket.com.au, says: “Families are already struggling to make ends meet across their numerous household bills, and simply can’t absorb further health cover increases. Energy rates, property prices and rent costs are also increasing every year and families need some relief. We expect premium increases this year could be around the 5% mark – that could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”
Value for money is a major consideration for households that are considering walking away from their health cover. When asked how much they claimed through their private health cover in the last 12 months, a whopping two thirds of respondents (63%) indicated it was $500 or less. This includes 23% of respondents who made no claims at all.
Abigail says: “The fact that Aussies claim so little could point to a lack of understanding of their policies. Our survey also asked respondents if they find their health policy difficult to understand. A surprising 59% admitted they have difficulty understanding what they can and can’t claim for – and so we have a situation where premiums are increasing in a market where those with health cover aren’t or don’t know how to maximise the benefits from their policies.”
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 Pure Profile 2017: Of the 1000 respondents, 600 said that they were part of a family with one or more children.