Health insurance rises outpace CPI


CHOICE says it’s time for Australians to health-check their health insurance cover 

With the Federal government signing off on private health insurance price rises for 2014, CHOICE is calling on Australians to health-check their insurance and make sure they have the cover need at a competitive price.
 
The latest average price rise of 6.20% for 2014 comes on the back of the 5.6% rise in May this year. 
 
“While health insurance price rises are regulated, these increases of up to 8% for some funds are running well ahead of CPI and will put pressure on family budgets,” says CHOICE spokesperson Tom Godfrey.
 
“With price rises varying from 3.25% to 8%, it is worth comparing policies to ensure you are getting the cover you need at a competitive price. You should also review your extras cover, check for a discount for paying annually and see if you qualify for a restricted membership fund.”
  

Media contact:

Tom Godfrey, CHOICE Head of Media – 0430 172 669

 
To read more on CHOICE tests, reviews and campaigns, go to choice.com.au/comparehealth
 
The good news is there are some simple things consumers can do to offset the impact of prices rises:
 
CONSUMER CHECKLIST
  • Review your extras cover
  • Take a look at your Hospital Cover and ask yourself why you have it. Is it for tax or health?
  • Check for a discount for paying annually or direct debit
  • Visit privatehealth.gov.au and choice.com.au
Compare Policies
  • Check whether you qualify to join a restricted membership fund
  • Beware of lifetime limits (some funds have them for orthodontics) and combined annual limits
  • Our analysis of health insurance finds that top-cover policies with an excess or co-payment provide better value than medium-cover policies 

HOW TO SWITCH FUNDS

1.    Get a detailed quote
2.    Ask for the cover to start only when the old cover is cancelled
3.    Clearance certificate
4.    Itemised claims statement (make a copy and send to new fund)
5.    Cancel direct debit with fund and your bank 


Health funds reviewed
  • AHM
  • Australian Unity
  • BUPA
  • Central West
  • CUA
  • GMF
  • GMHBA
  • HBF
  • HCF
  • Health.com.au
  • HIF
  • Health Partners
  • Latrobe
  • Medibank Private
  • NIB
  • Peoplecare
  • Queensland Country Health Fund
  • St Lukes
  • Westfund

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