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Hungry for healthcare: 4.3 million Australians say they are underinsured

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Millions of Australian health fund members don't believe they have adequate insurance, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,059 respondents – 575 of which have private health insurance – revealed a staggering 32% wish they were on a higher level of cover.

That's 4.3 million Aussies who feel underinsured.

Finder's research shows 1 in 3 (32%) health fund members have Basic cover, 27% have Silver and 16% have Bronze.

While 1 in 4 (25%) insured Aussies have Gold cover – the highest available cover – this is naturally most taken up by older Australians.

Roughly 2 in 5 (41%) baby boomers are on Gold compared to just 1 in 5 gen X, gen Y and gen Z (20%, 21% and 18% respectively).

James Martin, insurance expert at Finder, said the cost of living crisis is causing a rise in underinsurance.

"The cost of insurance has increased like almost everything else and some Aussies are reducing coverage to cope."

Martin said it's becoming increasingly difficult for people to absorb rising insurance bills.

"Dropping to a lower level of cover is a quick way to reduce monthly premiums, but the risk is you won't have enough insurance if you become sick or injured, or your circumstances change.

"For example, a drop from Gold to Silver hospital cover could mean you're no longer covered for pregnancy."

Martin urged policy holders to review their policy at least once a year.

"Checking a policy annually is crucial to making sure coverage is adequate and could save you money.

"You don't have to stick with any particular insurer – if you want to save on your health insurance costs, you should shop around for the best deal."

Women (36%) are more likely than men (29%) to say they have insufficient coverage.

Which level of health cover do you have?
Source: Finder survey of 575 respondents with private health cover, February 2023

Check out the winners of the Finder Health Insurance Awards 2023 here.

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