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Health insurance: act now to avoid more premium pain

CHOICE says time is running out to get a better private health insurance deal before the April 1 price hikes

26 March 2018

Consumer group CHOICE is reminding people to act before April 1 to get a better deal on their private health insurance.

"There are only five days left to assess your private health insurance needs and act before premiums go up yet again on April 1," says CHOICE head of media Tom Godfrey.

"Whether you are looking to drop out of the private system, move out of a 'junk' policy or upgrade to top level cover, this is the last chance to act to avoid the premium hike.   

"With premiums having increased approximately 70% over the past decade and a growing number of policies with loopholes, many people are questioning why they have private insurance," Mr Godfrey says.

The good news is there are a number of simple things you can do to take control of your private health insurance costs:

  • Decide if you really need private hospital cover: take the free quiz 
  • Decide if you need extras cover: ask your insurer for an annual claims statement to see if you're getting value from your extras 
  • If you need hospital cover: independently compare top level cover policies with an excess 
  • If you need hospital or extras cover: pre-pay your annual premium before April 1 to lock in your premium at the old rate and avoid the premium increase 
  • Check if you can join a restricted membership fund: these funds can offer the best deals in the market if you are looking for top cover.

"Using the public health system through Medicare is a sensible option in many cases, especially emergencies. If you decide to go private, it pays to be aware of exactly what you're getting in terms of cost, coverage and value for money," says Mr Godfrey.

"Even if you're struggling with the latest price hike, don't be fooled into downgrading from a top level cover policy into a 'junk' policy with excessive exclusions. Although it might reduce the premium cost in the short term, it can ultimately compound your hip-pocket pain."

Media contact: Tom Godfrey, CHOICE, Head of Media and Spokesperson: 0430 172 669