As you might have seen on the news or on the internet, Health insurance premiums are set to rise by an average 5.59 per cent on the 1st April 2016, adding an extra $200 to family budgets and the average family policy priced at $5,329 a year, according to Compare the Market’s infographic.
One in three average Australian families struggle to pay their health insurance premiums as it is.
In 2015, health insurance premiums rose by an average 6.18 per cent. In 2014, the rise was 6.2 per cent and it was 5.6 per cent in 2013. That’s almost 25 per cent over four years, which is far greater than the rate of inflation, which is 3%.
Considering 56% of Australian’s have some form of private health insurance, that is a lot of money going into the health insurance industry coffers.
Of course, private health insurance is a necessary evil to have, particularly if you are in the middle to high-income bracket and need it for taxation purposes, like we do.
It is also essential to have in case one of us needs to see a specialist or a surgical procedure in a hurry. For example, to see a specialist, the average wait time for an appointment of over 12 months in Melbourne through the public system but with private health insurance, you can see a specialist much quicker.
How can you save on your private health insurance before the rate rise?
- Lock in this year’s premium by paying in advance. Obviously, this can be done by those who can afford too (not a great deal of people have $5000+ to prepay their health insurance) but it is an option to save money.
- Work out what you need. You can tailor most insurance policies these day, even with the hospital cover you can tailor whether you want basic hospital cover or premium cover. Extras (or Ancillary cover) can be tailored to suit your needs. If you’ve finished having children or aren’t planning on having children, remove pregnancy treatments. If you’re young and healthy, hip replacements or orthopaedic treatments are unnecessary. Simply taking away the things you don’t need will save you a lot of money.
Check the limits for each treatment and whether they are worth it to you, and look for flexible extras products that combine separate limits into a single amount that can be used across all treatments
- Increase your excess. Like your car insurance, it may be worth increasing the amount of excess to be paid in the event of a hospital admission, to decrease your premium payments.
- Compare insurance packages. There is so much competition in the private health insurance market, you should never automatically renew. Go to comparison websites like Compare The Market and make sure you’re getting the best deal.
#SP This post was a collaboration between Compare The Market and Woman of Style and Substance as per our Disclosure Policy.