Australians running away from health insurance

Posted: 15 May 2018 6:59 am

More than 250,000 Aussies said see ya to health insurance last year.

Australia's frustration with private health insurance continues with more than 250,000 Australians choosing not to renew their health insurance, according to the latest data from Roy Morgan.

The research found that in the year to March 2018, approximately 256,000 people didn't renew their health insurance. This was the highest level in five years and an increase of roughly 40% from 2017 when a comparably small 182,000 chose to ditch their health cover.

Price isn't the only factor

While the cost of health insurance was the major reason cited for why people were choosing to forgo health insurance (53.3%), it wasn't the only reason.

Out-of-pocket costs was the second most common reason (19.1%), followed by "Medicare suits my needs" (15.5%), "Poor service" (11.6%) and "Change in family circumstance" (9.7%). Out of the top five reasons why people didn't renew their cover, only "Change in family circumstance" saw its number go down year-on-year dropping a precipitous 89.69%.

Industry Communications Director at Roy Morgan, Norman Morris, said that results were not surprising considering public sentiment surrounding the private health insurance industry and a perceived lack of value.

"This research has shown that apart from the cost of health insurance being a major problem for customer retention, it should be related to the perceived benefits or value of paying increasingly high premiums. With a large proportion of individuals who leave saying that there remains a major gap for them to pay (i.e. ‘too much out of pocket expense’) and ‘Medicare suits my needs’, there is major doubt among many members regarding the current value to them of retaining their private health insurance. It is up to the health funds to communicate the value of having private health insurance over just relying on Medicare," Morris said in a statement.

Reason Change YoY
Too expensive 11.63%
Too much out-of-pocket expense 32.98%
Medicare suits my needs 65.81%
Poor service 80.17%
Change of family status -89.69%

The research backs up research Roy Morgan released earlier this year which found that while Aussies were happy when it came to the process of making a claim with their health insurer, their overall satisfaction was down over 2% year-on-year. If you're not happy with your current fund, why not compare your options? Read through our guide to health insurance or compare policies from over 30 funds in just five clicks using our engine below.

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