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Millions of Aussies hit with extra $170 cost

Private health insurance companies will hike premiums from October 1.

A composite image of a crowd of people walking on the street and Australian currency to represent health insurance hikes.
Aussies are facing hikes to their health insurance premiums next month. (Source: Getty)

Millions of Aussies are about to see their health insurance premiums increase, with some of the nation’s biggest health funds confirming prices will rise next month.

Bupa, NIB, GMHBA, Qantas and Frank will end a temporary pause in hiking premiums and will increase their premiums by an industry average of 2.9 per cent, come October 1. However, the exact percentage increase will vary between funds and individual policies.

The increase will mean some Aussies will be forking out as much as $170 a year more than they currently are.

Compare the Market head of health insurance Lana Hambilton said, while the increase may seem unfair in a cost-of-living crisis, these health insurers delayed rises by more than six months to give their members extra time.

“Typically, health funds adjust the price of their premiums on April 1, but to help Australians manage the cost-of-living crisis and to make up for lower volumes of claims made during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many chose to delay their premium increases in 2023,” Hambilton said.

“Other funds like AHM, Medibank, AIA and HCF - who delayed their rates - have now passed the increases onto customers, but the time has now come for other major health insurers to do the same.

“Just as you’ve experienced higher prices in your day-to-day life, the reality is that it’s costing more to treat patients and provide a high level of health care. Australia’s health funds have no choice but to pass these costs on to customers.”

More than 5.1 million Aussies will soon receive a notification from their health fund, detailing their premium increase if their policy is impacted.

Don’t pay for what you don’t need

While comprehensive policies have the most inclusions, it comes at the price of higher premiums, and you might be paying for inclusions you don’t need.

If your health circumstances have changed, you may be able to switch to a lower hospital insurance tier that still includes everything that’s important to you.

Health insurance swap checklist: Read terms and conditions

Before switching or taking out a new policy, ensure you’ve read your policy brochure carefully.

Here’s the key differences to be across:

  • Waiting periods

  • Changes in inclusions or exclusions

  • Excess amounts

If you switch policies, your new fund will recognise any waiting periods you’ve already served on the services you held previously. However, you’ll still need to wait for any new or upgraded services or benefits.

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