How switching health insurance now will save you more money

Richard Laycock 15 February 2017

Woman finding the perfect fitting pair of shoes

Finding the right deal early can save you big bucks in the long run.

Last week, federal minister for health and sport Greg Hunt announced that health insurance premiums would rise by an industry weighted average of 4.84% from 1 April 2017.

Each year before the price rise on 1 April, those who can afford to can make the switch to a new fund and prepay their premiums for the next year at the previous year's rate. This means that someone with an average single combined hospital and extras would be able to save roughly $200 by switching funds before 1 April 2017. But this isn't the only way you can save on health insurance.

Health funds know that March is a popular time for consumers to be looking to make the switch, so they offer all kinds of deals and discounts from gift cards to fitness trackers to try and entice you to join their fund (we will be writing a comprehensive round up about what is on offer from Australian funds in the coming weeks).

However, you don't have to wait until March to score deals and discounts. If you can afford to pay your premiums upfront before the price rise, not only will you be able to lock in your premiums at a lower rate, you may be able to save even further. Some funds offer premium discounts to those who either pay their premiums annually or biannually. Other funds offer discounts to those who chose to have their premiums direct debited from a savings or cheque account.

Below is a table of funds in Australia that offer direct debit discounts, annual payment discounts or both.

FundDirect debit discountAnnual payment discount
Australian Unity Health Limited4%
  • Annual: 4%
  • Biannual: 2%
Doctors’ Health Fundn/a
  • Annua: 2.5%
GMHBA Limited2%n/a
Health Insurance Fund of Australia Limitedn/a
  • Annual: 4%
  • Biannual: 2%
Mildura Health Fund (MDH)2.5%n/a
Navy Health Ltdn/a
  • Annual: 4%
  • Biannual: 2%
NIB Health Funds Ltd.4%n/a

Are you part of the one third of Australians planning on ditching or switching your cover this year? Compare your options online to see if you can find a better deal.

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