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How to Navigate Health Insurance Premium Hikes

How to Navigate Health Insurance Premium Hikes

In a challenging cost-of-living environment, Australians are bracing themselves for another wave of health insurance premium hikes, with Medibank and AHM customers already facing an average 2.96 per cent increase from June 1, 2023.
However, scouring for competitive coverage that suits you best can help ease the economic squeeze.

Understand Your Coverage

With the current increase in health insurance premiums, it's essential to evaluate whether your health coverage is serving your needs or not. Elizabeth Deveny, chief executive of the Consumers Health Forum, recommends taking time to understand what your policy covers and which extras are essential to your circumstances.

“Private health insurance is transferable so it’s worth shopping around and given the current cost-of-living pressures, it’s more important than ever to compare options and get the best deal”, remarks Dr Deveny.

To do this, she recommends visiting privatehealth.gov.au, where individuals can compare policies, get premium quotes, and take advantage of the coverage calculator. By using the website, you can determine which insurer offers the best deal based on your coverage needs.

For instance, basic hospital coverage without any specialist requirements or extras in Victoria can be as low as $104 per month or as high as $376 per month.

Think Switch, Not Ditch

With public wait times for elective surgeries getting lengthier, it is advisable to think twice before forgoing private health insurance to escape hikes in policy premiums. Lana Hambilton, head of health insurance at Compare the Market, encourages switching health policies rather than ditching them altogether when experiencing sizable policy hikes. This is especially important because specialized healthcare services like dental and optical expenses are not covered under public Medicare schemes; thus, private insurance is the only way out.

When assessing whether your policy suits your needs, consider consulting your GP regarding your medical and family records to ensure you're adequately insured. For families with children, adding extras like dental and optical to your health plan may make it more valuable in the long haul.

Published:Thursday, 1st Jun 2023
Source: Paige Estritori

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