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Health insurance D-Day is fast approaching, but more than half with private health don’t know how much their premiums will rise

Reviewed by Executive General Manager – Health, Life & Energy, Steven Spicer
5 min read
26 Mar 2024
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With just days to go until millions of Australians with private health insurance are hit with a premium increase, alarming new research from Compare the Market reveals that more than half of those with private health don’t know if their premiums could increase on 1 April.

The new findings from Compare the Market revealed that 55.9% of those surveyed with private health insurance admitted that they don’t know how much their premiums could increasing this year.*

From April 1, private health insurance premiums will increase by an industry average of 3.03%, with some funds and individual policies jumping even higher. By now, those with private health insurance should’ve been contacted, or soon be contacted, by their health fund to explain how much their premiums are increasing this year.

Compare the Market’s Executive General Manager of Health, Life and Energy, Steven Spicer, said it’s important for those with private health to be aware of how much extra they could be paying from 1 April.

“We know that the industry average increase is 3.03%, but the reality is that your actual increase could be much more,” Mr Spicer said. “We’ve seen one customer who’s been hit with a 9.98% premium increase, which means they’ll be paying hundreds more over the course of a year. Another customer’s premiums are increasing by 3.43% – or $7.26 a month. So it really is a mixed bag.

“We’d really encourage all Australians with private health insurance to put their policy under the microscope and ensure they’re not paying more than they need to.

“There’s been a lot of chatter in the media about the 2024 rate rises coming in under inflation, but these increases can still hurt the hip pocket.”

Compare the Market’s data found that Gen Zers are the least likely to know their premium increase from 1 April, while Baby Boomers are most likely to be on top of their health insurance costs.

Generation% who don’t know how much their premiums will increase
Gen Z63.8%
Gen X58.92%
Baby Boomers47.16%

“It’s highly likely that younger generations may still be on family policies and not be aware of how much their premiums are set to increase,” Mr Spicer said. No matter your age, now’s the time to check your letterbox, email inbox, or health insurance app to ensure you know how much you’ll be paying or if you could save by switching to a different provider or policy.

“Right now, there are some fantastic offers available that can really help Australians who want to maintain their health insurance or sign up for cover. Unless you sniff them out, you could miss out on these deals. The clock is ticking and if you’ve been told your insurance premiums are going up or you want to see what options and deals are available, now’s the time to do it. If you leave it until 1 April or later, the same offers may not be available.”

According to Mr Spicer, many insurers boast a range of perks, incentives, and discounts alongside the products and services they offer that people may not even be aware of.

“Amid the cost-of-living crisis, we know that Australians have done a great job of comparing their insurance policies against others on the market. However, to ensure they get the most bang for their buck, we’re also encouraging them to consider the perks and incentives on offer that could sweeten the deal.

“In some cases, you may be able to switch to the same level of cover for less with a different provider and receive other perks that make the move more worth your while. Or, you may get access to reward stores or programs that can offer discounts on things like gym memberships, prescription glasses, meals, shopping, and more.

“Others offer discounts on dental and other services, which can help the hip pocket throughout the year. There are even some providers, like Qantas and NIB, which offer programs that reward healthy lifestyle choices. Essentially, you’re rewarded for being healthy, completing health checks or exercising.”

Mr Spicer’s top health insurance tips:

  1. Use your benefits or lose them. Claiming regularly on benefits such as annual dental check-ups or renewing your glasses yearly is important for your health and to get the most from your cover. If you’re assessing your insurance and finding that there are services you’re not claiming on, consider seeing if you can move to a different level of cover.
  2. Consider increasing your excess to lower the cost of your premium. Be mindful that while increasing your excess can lower your premiums, you’ll need to pay more if you do need to make a claim.
  3. You won’t have to re-serve waiting periods you’ve already served.

Once you’ve seen out your waiting periods with your provider, you’ll have the flexibility of switching between funds and not serving those waiting periods again. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to wait for any new or upgraded services and benefits.

Choosing the right level of cover for your circumstances is vital: don’t pay for services you don’t need. You have the option of taking out hospital cover alone, extras only, or combined hospital and extras policies for a full range of cover.

Access a free comparison tool. At Compare the Market, we don’t charge our customers anything to use our comparison service. We help millions of Australians every year to beat the increasing cost of living pressures.

*Survey of 1,010 Australian adults, conducted March 2024.

For more information, please contact:  

Phillip Portman | 0437 384 471 | [email protected]

Compare the Market is a comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We make it Simples for Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy insurance, energy, and home loans products from a range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool helps you look for a range of products that may suit your needs and benefit your back pocket.

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Written by Phillip Portman

When he’s not busy writing, Phillip can usually be found at the movies, playing with his Italian Greyhound Wilma, hanging out with his cockatiel Tiki, or talking about everything pop culture. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Journalism and has previously written about health, entertainment, and lifestyle for various publications. Phillip loves to help others and hopes that people learn something new from his articles.

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