Consumer advocacy group CHOICE is urging Australians to check in with their health funds before pre-paying their insurance, with more than 80% of funds delaying premium increases this year.
"Pre-paying your health insurance by 31 March is usually a smart way to lock in a lower price, but this year is different. Over 80% of funds are delaying their premium increases due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which means that most people don't need to pre-pay their premium now," says CHOICE Insurance Expert Jodi Bird.
"Health funds and comparison sites will push you to pre-pay your premium now, but that only helps if your fund is increasing its premiums on 1 April. Don't fall for the health insurance advertising blitz this March and keep your money in your own pocket," says Bird.
More than two dozen private health funds have announced they will be delaying their 2022 premium increase due to the pandemic. This includes some of the big health insurance funds:
- 1 September - nib
- 1 October - Bupa; Medibank
- 1 November - HCF
Some funds will also allow you to lock in your premium for up to 18 months by pre-paying your cover.
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To delay a price increase to your health insurance premium, here's what you need to do:
1. Check if your fund is delaying your premium increase this year. CHOICE has a list on our website that makes this easy.
2. Find out how long you can pre-pay for, and what discounts for pre-paying and paying by direct debit are on offer, if any. Contact your fund directly for this information.
3. Make sure you pre-pay before prices increase. Check if a pre-payment date applies with your fund and that your payment is received before the cut-off date.
"Now is also a great time to review your cover and make sure your health insurance actually fits your needs. You might be able to save money by downgrading your cover if your situation has changed or even by switching to a new fund," says Bird.
"CHOICE has done the hard work and compared a huge range of health insurance policies so you don't have to. Our tool compares thousands of policies and narrows down the best options for you. You can also find a complete list of which funds are freezing their premiums on our website."
Read the full story here: https://www.choice.com.au/money/insurance/health/articles/how-to-avoid-health-insurance-premium-hikes
Compare health insurance options here: https://www.choice.com.au/money/insurance/health/compare
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