The dreaded April 1 health insurance increase is coming and this year, Australians can expect a hit to the hip pocket with an average increase to premiums of 5.59 per cent, adding approximately $200 a year to the cost of the average family policy.
For those who aren’t watching closely on your health insurer, you may be stung with an increase as high as 8.95 per cent, more than double the lowest increase of just 3.76 per cent. For the full list of insurers and their price increases click here.
If you are currently receiving a rebate on your insurance, take note that you have received some of the $5.8 billion the government has handed out to members.
At the end of the last financial year, almost half the population had private hospital treatment cover (47.4 per cent) and more than half the population had some type of private extras cover (55.8 per cent).
With more than 13 million Australians now having some form of private health insurance, it’s important to note that you have 34 health insurers to choose from, offering more than 45,000 policies. This makes it hard to know which one is best and how you can get the most out of your insurance.
Here are some top tips to follow.
Start with your current policy
When it comes to getting the best deal, don’t underestimate the value of calling your current insurer to see if there is a better policy within the same insurer or removing covers that you may be unlikely to need such as pregnancy for the elderly or hip replacement for young adults.
Consider paying your full year’s premium before April 1 to save on costs. Why pay for the increase if you can afford not to?
Check before you swap
If you choose to move on from your insurer, make sure that before you change, you are aware of what you are losing and what you may be gaining in benefits.
Save time … and money
There are vast differences between the thousands of policies that are available so consider using a comparison site or talk to a health insurance broker who can help you identify a health insurance policy that is better suited to your needs and is priced the most competitively.
Olivia Maragna is the co-founder of Aspire Retire Financial Services and is a respected and independent financial expert. Olivia’s advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions.