4.1 million Australians may cut ties with their health insurance provider in 2021
Millions of Australians are shopping around for cheaper health insurance in the new year, according to new research by Finder.
A new, nationally representative Finder survey of 671 health fund members has revealed that 28% are considering switching to a better deal this year, while 12% plan to cancel their cover altogether.
With nearly 10.3 million Aussies covered by private health insurance, that's equivalent to 4.1 million who may cut ties with their current provider to save money in 2021.
Health insurance premiums are set to increase by 2.74% on 1 April, costing families an estimated extra $126 per year on average.
Taylor Blackburn, insurance specialist at Finder, said that with premiums increasing in April, now is the time to compare health policies.
"Switching to a better deal on your health insurance could save you over $500 per year in some cases – that's a pretty easy way to pad your pocket.
"Beyond saving money on your premiums, some providers are offering perks like a free month of cover, up to $400 in gift cards or up to 140,000 Qantas Points.
"With insurance premiums increasing on 1 April, now is the time to start looking if you want to take out an affordable policy before the deadline," Blackburn said.
The research found more than half (56%) of Generation Z policyholders want to switch or ditch their cover before the end of the year, compared to 29% of Baby Boomers.
Victorians are the most loyal, with 60% planning to stay with their current insurer.
Blackburn urged health insurance consumers to review their health insurance policy before renewing it in April.
"Health insurance policies can be hard to understand but the new year is an ideal time to figure out if you are getting good value from your health insurance policy.
"Not only could there be a better deal within your tier of coverage, your current policy may cover too little or too much for you and your family needs," Blackburn said.
The survey found that up to 1.2 million Australians don't plan to renew their policy at all.
"There are ways you can reduce the cost of your policy without leaving yourself exposed with no coverage.
"From upping the excess to dropping to a basic plan, it's possible to reduce your monthly premium while retaining adequate health cover," Blackburn said.
|Will you renew your health cover in 2021?
|Yes, with the same insurer
|Yes, but I might switch if there's a better deal
|Source: Finder survey of 671 health insurance customers, January 2021
How to lower the cost of your health insurance premium:
- Compare your options. Hospital insurance is split into tiers: basic, bronze, silver and gold. The coverage is relatively similar but prices can vary significantly. Work out what level of cover you need and pick a plan accordingly.
- Ditch the couple's policy. A couple's policy will help you save on paperwork but doesn't work out to be any cheaper. In fact, one person may end up paying more than necessary for a level of cover they don't need, such as pregnancy cover.
- Mix-and-match your hospital and extras cover. While combined cover may be more convenient, customers may receive better value or more tailored cover if they split their policy depending on their health requirements.
Visit Finder's Health Insurance hub to compare across 30+ health insurance brands in Australia.