Need to know
- Due to the COVID-19 crisis, most health funds deferred their premium increases for six months
- Bupa, Medibank, HCF, NIB and others increase premiums on 1 October. HBF has cancelled its 2020 price hike entirely
- Premiums were set to increase on 1 April, on average, by 2.92%.
Most health fund members will see their premiums increase on 1 October, as a six-month moratorium on price hikes comes to an end.
New premiums were set to take effect on 1 April, as they do every year. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic making many elective surgeries and extras services unavailable, most funds chose to delay the increase.
Premiums were set to increase on 1 April, on average, by 2.92%, though some funds were to have increases as high as 5.6%. In most cases, these increases will now come into effect on 1 October.
HBF and TUH have both cancelled their 2020 premium increases entirely, while small funds Onemedifund and Health.com.au have deferred the price rise until 1 January.
Some funds are giving premium reductions or price freezes for people accessing JobSeeker or JobKeeper payments. Check with your fund for the details of their hardship support.
Rebate frozen for 12 months
The annual decrease to the government's private health insurance rebate has also been cancelled for 2020.
Under 65s on the base income tier will continue to have 25.06% of their premiums covered by the government.
Older customers and wealthy households will receive different rebate amounts.
The rebate was set to reduce to 24.8% on 1 April. The amount of the reduction is determined by how much premiums increase compared to the rate of inflation: the bigger the difference, the more the rebate goes down.
In most years premiums go up by two to three times the rate of inflation, but the price hike delay has led the government to recalculate the adjustment.