Health insurance premiums are rising by 2.7% in 2022 (but that’s good, kind of)

Posted: 18 January 2022 2:00 pm
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When will those price rises happen, and does it affect all providers? Here's what you need to know.

No one likes to pay more for health insurance, me included. But alas, no number of daily steps or gym memberships will stop the unrelenting march upwards of Australian health insurance premiums.

But this year, there is some good news. Which feels weird to say.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has approved price rises for 2022, which are an average of 2.7 percent across every fund. That's the lowest average annual increase in 21 years. It's also slightly lower than the average price increase from 2021, which was 2.74 percent.

So while you're still going to pay more, you'll be paying less more than you would have in the past. Which is good. Or at least less bad.

Some funds are delaying the increase

There's one more reason to look forward to paying your health insurance premiums in 2022. While health funds usually increase their prices on 1 April each year, they technically don't have to.

Medibank and ahm (ahm is owned by Medibank) aren't increasing prices until 1 September 2022. That means customers won't have to pay the higher price for 5 extra months. Come September, Medibank and ahm will charge an extra 3.10%.

nib may defer its 2.66% price increase until later in 2022 as well. In nib's release, managing director Mark Fitzgibbon didn't give exact details.

HCF is delaying its 2.72% price increase until 1 November 2022, 7 months later than normal.

Teacher's Health is delaying its 2.17% price increase until 1 October 2022.

Why are health funds being so nice?

Australian health funds are unlikely to be offering savings like this out of the kindness of their heart. Most funds have made savings through the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to people making fewer claims on their policies. This gives health funds a chance to offer some consumer-friendly savings without significantly affecting their bottom line.

Also, with Medibank, ahm, HCF and nib either thinking about or delaying their price rises, you may see other funds follow suit in the coming months. The last thing they'll want is to give you another reason to switch to another fund.

On the topic of switching health funds - it's actually pretty simple to do. Just compare health insurance policies on the market, then sign up for one. Your new fund will cancel your old policy for you. You also won't need to serve any waiting periods that you've already completed.

How much are health insurance premiums going up?

The average health insurance premium increase for 2022 will be 2.7 percent. The table below lists price increases that were announced for 2022 for most health funds, sourced from health.gov.au.

Health Fund2022 increase
ACA2.59%
AIA2.80%
Australian Unity2.73%
Bupa3.18%
CBHS Corporate5.33%
CBHS Health Fund2.91%
Cessnock District Health Benefits Fund3.77%
CUA3.42%
Defence Health3.33%
Doctors' Health2.28%
GMHBA3.10%
HCF2.72%
HBF Health3.62%
Health Care Insurance1.09%
HIF3.20%
Health Partners3.15%
Hospitals Contribution Fund2.72%
Latrobe Health3.41%
Medibank (including ahm)3.10%
Mildura District Hospital Fund2.90%
National Health Benefits Australia3.24%
Navy Health3.25%
NIB2.66%
Peoplecare3.27%
Phoenix3.16%
Police Health1.79%
Queensland Country Health3.34%
Queensland Teachers' Union Health2.26%
Reserve Bank Health Society3.74%
St Luke's3.19%
Teachers Federation2.17%
Transport Health1.16%
Westfund2.40%

This article was originally published on 23 December 2021.

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