Private health insurance costs have increased by 3.25% on average, although some funds have average increases as high as 5.9%.
"While this is the lowest change in nearly two decades, premiums have increased by 66% in the last decade, while CPI has grown only 22%," says Uta Mihm, CHOICE's health insurance expert.
We project that the average cost of a single-person top hospital policy will increase from $2542 to about $2625 before the rebate is applied. (But rebates are decreasing too: find out more here.)
Think dollars, not percentages
While the percentage increases can be confronting, it's important to focus on costs, not just percentages. Even if your premium has increased by more than the average, don't panic: compare it with other funds and policies. If it was cheap before, you may find that it's still reasonably priced, even if it has increased by a larger percentage.
"A higher percentage increase off a low base can be good when compared to a smaller increase off a much higher base," CHOICE Community member Phil says.
The state you live in could also impact how much your premiums increase.
Health costs are more expensive in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the ACT, and premiums are usually higher in those states.
Some smaller funds have had the same pricing across the country, instead of state-based pricing, which bigger funds tended to do. Smaller funds may increase their premiums in states where medical costs are higher, so if you're with one of those funds this could be one of the reasons for your premium increase.