How to pay for health insurance in Australia
How you pay for private health insurance can affect the overall cost of your cover.
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One of the important issues to consider when taking out health insurance is how to pay your premiums. There are several payment methods and also payment frequency options available, and the premium payment choices you make can even affect the total cost of cover.
How can you pay for private health insurance?
There is usually a number of ways your fund will accept premium payments. Although not all funds will offer support for each of the payment types mentioned below, you can typically choose from the following options:
- Direct debit from bank account. When you sign up for a policy, all you have to do is provide your bank account details (account name, account number and BSB) to your health fund. The fund will then automatically withdraw the necessary payment from your account whenever the premium is due.
- Direct debit from credit card. This works the same as above except that instead of providing your bank account details, you provide your credit card details (name on card, card number, expiry date and CVV). Your health fund will then automatically debit your card whenever payment is due.
- BPAY online or over the phone. When you need to pay a premium, you can do so via BPAY through your bank’s Internet or phone banking service. You’ll need to provide your health fund’s biller code and quote a reference number.
- Online from your credit card. Most funds will allow you to pay your premium by logging into your health insurance account online and entering your credit card details into the payment section.
- In person at a retail centre. You can visit your health fund’s nearest retail centre to pay via credit card, cheque or any other method of payment your fund allows.
- In person at a post office. You can visit your local post office to pay your health insurance premium in the same way you might pay a utility bill.
- By mailing a cheque or credit card details. Some funds will provide a postal address to which you can send a cheque to cover your premium amount, or to which you can send a credit card payment slip.
What are the pros and cons of each payment option?
There are benefits and drawbacks to each of the health insurance premium payment methods listed above. Check out the table below to work out which of these payment options is the right one for you:
|Direct debit from bank account|
|Direct debit from credit card|
|BPAY online or over the phone|
|Online credit card payment|
|In person at a retail centre|
|In person at a post office|
How often do you pay health insurance premiums?
Depending on the fund, the available options may include fortnightly, monthly, quarterly, six-monthly or yearly. Prices for private health insurance are generally quoted as a weekly or monthly price, so they tend to be the most common payment schedules. Most funds also require you to pay at least one month in advance.
Why would you want to pay your premiums upfront?
The most affordable premium payment frequency is usually to pay your annual premium in advance. This is because many funds offer sizable premium discounts, sometimes as high as 4%, to those customers who pay a full 12 months of membership in advance.
|Fund||Direct debit discount||Annual payment discount|
Frequently asked questions about paying for health insurance
Here are some of the other questions we're often asked about paying for health insurance.
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