Revealed: The country’s most expensive health insurance policies

Mar 16, 2023
Save big by swapping out of these overpriced health policies. Source: Getty

If you haven’t had a recent look at your private health insurance policy, now might be the time as you might be paying for coverage that is unnecessary.

With health insurance premiums set to increase on April 1 by an average of 2.9 per cent Australians are urged to review their health insurance policies.

New data from consumer group Choice has shown that people could save money if they switched to the cheapest equivalent Gold policy for their state.

According to Uta Mihm, Choice health insurance specialist, health insurance is both crucial and pricey, and since premiums increase every year, it is important for individuals to have the most suitable policy that provides the best value for their needs.

Choice has investigated the most expensive Gold policies in each state, and discovered that switching to the cheapest equivalent Gold policy could save singles anywhere from $600 to over $1300 per year,” Mihm says.

“If you’re a couple or a family, the savings are even greater.”

Based on their research, Choice has found that the priciest standard Gold cover policies are typically offered by major health insurance.

“A great tip to save money on health insurance is to look beyond the well-known funds that spend lots on advertising, and consider smaller insurers that are often not-for-profit,” Mihm says.

“Some of the smaller funds will increase their prices on 1 April while some of the bigger funds are waiting until later in the year. This means if you want to switch to the best policy, now’s the time so you can pre-pay and avoid the premium increase,” she advises.

Currently, consumers can prepay their premium for a minimum of 12 months at the present rate with all health insurance funds. This means that if you pay your complete yearly premium before the date of the price hike, you can postpone paying a higher premium for one year, allowing you to keep more money in your pocket.

Choice has also pointed out that although the most significant savings are accessible to Gold policyholders, those with a Silver policy could potentially find a less expensive option that provides the same health coverage.

“When we looked at the most expensive Silver policies across Australia, we found that if you hold one of those pricey policies, you could save anywhere from $290 up to $1176 per year by switching,” Mihm says.

“That’s money you could have back in your pocket, simply by doing a little research and making a phone call or two.

“Many health insurance funds will manage the switching process for you too, so once you sign up with them, you don’t have to call your old insurer to cancel – they’ll manage it for you, and if you’re switching to a policy with the same level of cover your waiting times won’t be affected,” she adds.

Here are some ways you can save on your premiums before the April 1 increase:

  1. Split out your hospital and extras – Bundling cover can be convenient but isn’t always best for your wallet. Looking at hospital and extras cover separately will give you more choices and more opportunities to save.
  2. Increase your excess – Your excess is the amount you will need to pay when you make a claim. Increasing this amount will lower the cost of your monthly premiums which can save you money over the course of the year. If you choose to do this, make sure you are comfortable paying the higher amount should you need to make a claim.
  3. Ditch the couple’s policy – It may seem more convenient for you and your partner to share a policy, but it can actually end up costing you more. One reason for this is that both you and your partner need to be on the same level of cover, e.g. pregnancy cover is only available on the Gold tier so you will both be paying for Gold cover even though only one of you is likely to need that level.
  4. Compare your options – Regularly comparing policies and funds and switching when necessary will ensure that you are getting the best deal on your health insurance. Fortunately, if you’re switching to a similar level of cover you often won’t have to re-serve waiting periods.



IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your financial or legal situation, objectives or needs. That means it’s not financial product or legal advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a financial or legal decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get independent, licensed financial services or legal advice.


Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up