23 December 2013
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.”
The good news is there are some simple things consumers can do to offset the impact of prices rises:
- 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
- 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
- Get a detailed quote
- Ask for the cover to start only when the old cover is cancelled
- Clearance certificate
- Itemised claims statement (make a copy and send to new fund)
- Cancel direct debit with fund and your bank
Health funds reviewed
- Australian Unity
- Central West
- Health Partners
- Medibank Private
- Queensland Country Health Fund
- St Lukes