Saturday , January 16 2021

Everything you need to know before the premiums rise on 1 April

As consumers suffer from advice to find the cheapest health insurance premiums as the refurbishment starts today, experts warn that you need to be precisely what will be included in your fund t .


From today, private health insurance has risen by an average of 3.25 per cent with four new layers of hospital cover delivered, namely: Gold, silver, bronze and basic.

What is, and is not, to be included in all categories based on new minimum standards. For example, if the heart system and vascular are dealt with in that category it must contain everything listed in that category.

Basic plus, bronze plus and silver plus policies will include at least one service over and above those offered in the usual categories. For example, a cash and larger policy might include cover for cataract surgery that would otherwise only be covered by a gold policy. Each insurer will vary in what they include on the plus pack.


Private health insurance customers should have received an email or letter from their provider informing them how their cover will change.

“This year, it's worth spending time looking at what they're paying for,” said Sophie Walsh, Finder's insurance expert at

“Some people will be better off, and they will have more treatments in their policy, but others will actually pay the same if not more for less insurance.

“They could be surprised when they came to the hospital and found their treatment without being included in the new policy system.” T

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For example, those with diabetes need to be aware that insulin pumps are only included under the gold cover.

Similarly, those who need chronic pain management may be out of pocket because it may not be included if the consumer does not have the top tier insurance.

“Senior Australians need to pay particular attention as cataracts and joint surgery are only included on gold,” said Ms Walsh.

“We don't know the percentage of policies that are going to change, but we know there is a chance that you would no longer have treatments if you don't have a gold level cover.” T


The Canstar financial comparison site says that plenty of options and range in each product's costs means “you're mad” if you don't shop around.

“The difference in the premium for gold-style products – between the highest and the low is the $ 200 per month – that's $ 2400 a year,” said financial services group operator Canstar, Steve Mickenbecker.

Health insurance is complex, Canstar admits, but the new policy layers and the availability of online comparison tools make it easier for Australians to consider their options and choose a policy that works for them.

“It's a good start to decide whether you need a gold, silver, bronze or basic level of insurance,” said Mr Mickenbecker.

“Clearly, affordability comes to this consideration. Then compare the individual policies

It fits with the selected category at a price and the benefits you get. ”


As comparison companies flock to offer advice on the best deals, Choice's consumer group has warned that any health insurance advice is “dishonest dishonest”.

The group says that a national survey shows that 82 per cent of Australian families are worried about health insurance costs with spending now a major concern for families.

“We asked our community Choice to introduce it to help us understand these changes,” said group spokesman Jonathan Brown.

“What we saw was a health insurance system in a messy state.

“In fact, it's dishonest for anyone to say they can compare the health insurance market right now.

“New policies will be released over the coming weeks and months that will change the coverage and price.

“Until we have all the facts about the quality of the cover in the market, no one can tell you what the best value for money policy will be for your needs.”

But the operator of iSelect price comparison websites refused this.

“We've worked closely with all the health insurers on our panel to make sure our comparison services reflect the upcoming changes,” said iSelect Health Laura Crowden.

“Customers who compare or buy health insurance through iSelect can be confident that the policy we recommend will meet their needs today and after April 1, based on the customer's current circumstances.”


• Youth relief

Insurers are allowed to offer discounts of up to 10 per cent to 18-29 year olds on their private health insurance premiums. They'll be able to keep that discount until they turn 41 if they stay on the same policy. The allowable discount will be 2 per cent for each year a person is under 30 years of age.

• Rural support

People living in regional and rural areas can receive travel and accommodation benefits from insurers if they need to travel for medical or special hospital treatment.

• Elimination of natural therapies

Insurers cannot cover a range of natural therapies and will be removed, including homeopathy, naturopathy, pilates, yoga aromatherapy and Bowen therapy.

• Increased excess exchange for lower premium

People can increase their excess in exchange for a lower premium. The largest overpayments were raised to $ 750 for singles (from $ 500) and $ 1500 for couples and family policies (from $ 1000).

– with AAP

Continue with the chat on Twitter @James_P_Hall or [email protected]

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