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Could’ve been worse: How much the health hikes could have cost you

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Health funds initially proposed a 6% increase but the government said no – so how much will 3% save you?

Private health insurers are set to raise premiums by just over 3% in April (3.03% to be exact) following approval from the Australian government.

Health insurance is a bit different from other forms of insurance such as car and home. Insurers can't just raise prices. They need to get approval from the government.

In December, Health Minister Mark Butler rejected a bid from funds for an increase of up to 6%.

Yesterday, the minister approved a revised increase of 3.03%. It'll come into place on April 1. Insurers aren't allowed to increase premiums for another 12 months.

The 3.03% health insurance premium increase is the biggest in five years but it's still below inflation.

By comparison, home insurance premiums have gone up approximately 25% in the last year, according to Finder research. Car insurance costs have gone up an average of 10.6%.

It could've been worse

We calculated the average premium for basic, bronze, silver and gold policies to see how much more you could've been paying.

If the initial 6% had been approved by the government, you may have had to fork out as much as $78 more for a gold policy.

Accepted increaseDecember proposalAnnual difference
3.03%6.00%2.97%
Gold average premium$2,712$2,790$78
Gold lowest premium$2,008$2,066 $58
Silver average premium$1,828$1,881$53
Silver lowest premium$1,267$1,304$37
Bronze average premium$1,222$1,257$35
Bronze lowest premium$1,067$1,098$31
Basic average premium$1,040$1,070$30
Basic lowest premium$951$978$27

This is over a 12-month period for a gold policy so it looks like a lot. The difference for a basic policy is significantly less. $27 isn't likely to make a substantial difference to your wallet.

Bottom line

Thankfully, we've dodged a 6% increase. Health insurance premiums are still increasing though. It's another expense we're going to be paying more for.

3.03% is just the average. Every insurer is increasing their premiums at a different rate. This highest increase is from CBHS Corporate, at 5.82%. The lowest increase is from Health Care Insurance (HCi), at just 0.27%.

If you're keen to dodge a big hike, head to our 2024 rate rise guide to find a cheaper policy.

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