16 health insurers are giving money back to customers: Is yours?
Bupa and ahm are among the health funds offering payments.
Millions of health fund members are set to receive cashback payments as insurers continue to pass on savings from the pandemic.
Fewer policy claims during lockdowns – largely driven by delays in elective surgeries – led to many providers building up cash reserves.
In June this year, 5 major providers announced they were providing relief to the tune of $1.6 billion.
Finder research has confirmed 16 funds in total have either made payments or will roll them out soon.
For example, Bupa customers can expect to receive their cashback payment from October.
Is my fund paying out?
The health funds giving back to customers are the following:
In addition to the cashback, some major health funds have postponed their yearly premium increases until November. These are ahm, Bupa, Medibank and nib.
Health Partners is set to reduce premium payments by 5% from 1 October to 31 March next year.
Defence Health told Finder it will be making cashback payments to eligible members in December, with almost $42 million being returned. The not-for-profit health fund added: "We have always told members we would not profit from the pandemic and we're staying true to that promise."
Finder has reached out to 18 other health funds to see if they have any plans to pass on savings. We will update this article with any responses.
How do I know if I'm eligible?
If you hold a policy with the funds above, you'll likely have been sent a notification about your cash payment. The money may have landed in your account already – it happens automatically, you don't need to do anything to claim your cash!
To be eligible, you'd need to have held cover for a certain period. For example, with Bupa, you'd need to have had insurance for at least 90 days between 1 July 2021 and 30 June 2022.
You can still get the payment if you've since cancelled your membership with your fund.
Not all policyholders will be eligible, so it's best to contact your insurer directly if you're unsure.
How much could I get?
This will vary depending on the policy you hold and your fund. Medibank said customers with a hospital and extras policy could get back $123 on average. Bupa said payments will range from $16 to $118.
Teachers Health is offering payouts ranging from $47 to $242.
So, not exactly huge sums. Any insurance savings are likely to land well amid insurance premiums going up by 4.1% over the past year.
And the days of health insurance premium relief might not be around for long.
Matthew Koce, CEO of Members Health Fund Alliance, said he anticipated health insurance claims to bounce back in the future.
"People who have deferred their treatment due to the impact of COVID will still need care," explained Koce.
"There is a lot of concern that because people have put off things like surgery, seeing their GP and getting scans and health checks due to COVID, we may see a sharp increase in complex conditions that are more difficult to treat," Koce added.
"Shop around for deals"
Responding to more cashback being paid out to customers, Finder health insurance expert Tim Bennett commented:
"This is great news for existing members, but it won't help if you're not a member of one of these funds, but are looking for a better deal."
Bennett added, "The best advice for Aussies looking to save is the same as always – shop around and see what deals are available in the market, then go with the policy that best suits your needs."
We updated this article on 14 September 2022 to include details of Defence Health's plans to give money back to its members.
If you feel you could be getting more from your health cover, compare some of Finder's top picks for September.