Earlier this year, major health insurance providers announced that they would be raising their prices throughout October and November. As a reult, nearly 2 in 5 Australians with private health coverage can expect to fork out more for their health insurance.
AAMI, Bupa, NIB, Suncorp, and Qantas are among the providers who raised their prices from October 1, however, Australian Unity and Navy Health have delayed their price increases until November 1.
With prices going up, Australians are being urged to take action in order to negate or reduce the impact of the increased premiums. The comparison website Finder has crunched the numbers and devised some strategies to save Australians money on their health coverage.
Across all health funds, the average price increase is 2.9 per cent. While this may seem small, for some families, this can potentially result in hundreds of dollars in additional premiums. As prices for almost everything continue to rise, this is an increase that many people can ill afford.
Tim Bennett, Finder’s health insurance expert, suggests that people should pay their premiums in advance, which would allow them to use the current prices.
“If you’re able to pay for next year’s policy in advance, you might be able to avoid the price increases altogether,” Bennett said.
“Some brands even offer an additional discount if you pay in advance. Paying upfront could end up saving you hundreds of dollars a year, depending on what policy you have.”
Not all providers allow their customers to pay in advance however, so you will need to check if it is possible. Bennett also suggested splitting hospital and extras cover as well.
“Other savings strategies include splitting your hospital and extras policies. You don’t have to get these from the same fund. Savings can be made by looking at two policies from different providers,” Bennett said.
“You should also review your current insurance and see if it’s possible to cut any unnecessary cover,” he added.
For people looking to save money while maintaining the same amount of coverage long-term, Bennett suggested switching providers.
“The best thing you can do is shop around to check to see you’re still getting the best deal to suit your needs,” he said.