Whose health insurance premiums have gone up the most?

Richard Laycock 20 February 2017 NEWS

People, family and finances. Young beautiful wife wearing rectangular glasses doing paperwork, sitting at kitchen table with papers, laptop and calculator on it, having focused and frustrated look

We've tracked all the changes over the last seven years.

With March fast approaching those wanting to switch funds before the 1 April 2017 deadline will need to get a move on.

During this time each year much attention is paid to the fund whose average premium increase is either the lowest or highest in the industry. This year, the restricted fund CBHS Corporate Health offered the lowest average increase with premiums rising by just 2.98%. At the other end of the spectrum, health.com.au's average premium is going up by 8.53% in 2017, which means its premiums are rising by over 8% for the second straight year.

However, increases vary from year-to-year. In 2016, the restricted fund Doctors' Health Fund had the lowest average increase (3.76%), while CUA Health had the highest (8.95%). The year before the lowest increase was (again) Doctors' Health Fund (3.98%) and the highest increase was from Westfund (7.92%). And so on.

While these year-to-year increases are important to take into account, so to is the history of these increases. The table below displays the cumulative average premium increase from the funds that submitted increase each year 2010 through 2017.

Who were the standouts?

Not surprisingly, the five top five lowest average increases over the last seven years were all corporate or restricted funds.

Grand United Corporate Health had the lowest average increase, with premiums only going up by 27.40%. Conversely, Railway & Transport Health Fund's premiums have gone up by more than double that of Grand United Corporate Health, increasing a whopping 55.50% on average.

What was surprising was that out of the "Big Four" health funds only one, Bupa, had an average increase (43.77%) that was lower than the industry weighted average (44.81%) between 2010 and 2017. Medibank Private came in second at 45.31%, followed by HCF (46.56%), with NIB bringing up the rear at 48.71%.

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