Media Release

The lengths 6.8 million Australians go to in order to save on health insurance

  • New research reveals the lengths millions of Australians go to in order to save on insurance
  • Paying annually and switching insurers among top habits of frugal Aussies
  • Tips: Savvy ways to save

22 August 2018, Sydney, Australia – Australians are going to extreme lengths to save money on their health insurance, according to new research from finder.com.au, the site that compares virtually everything.

The research, based on a finder.com.au survey of 2,085 Australians, found that 60% of health insurance policyholders – the equivalent of 6.8 million people – have taken action to save on their cover.

Paying for the whole year upfront before premiums increase on 1 April was the most popular action taken (19%), followed by purchasing the most basic policy (16%).

A savvy one in 10 (9%) regularly switch their insurer in order to get the best value out of their policy.

Other actions taken include not taking out extras, being on a couples policy, and increasing excess.

However most worrying is the rate at which insured Australians have dropped cover, with 9% of women and 7% of men revealing they’ve ditched their hospital cover in order to save money.

Bessie Hassan, Health Insurance Expert at finder.com.au, said there are ways to save money on insurance without disregarding cover altogether.

“In many cases there is a tax penalty for not having hospital cover in place, so ditching health insurance is not necessarily the most cost-effective solution.

“Dropping to a lower level of cover, removing unnecessary inclusions from a policy, and switching providers are all ways in which Australians can get a better deal on their health insurance,” Hassan said.

The findings coincide with a new finder.com.au analysis of APRA data that shows the proportion of people in Australia with hospital cover has dropped to 45.1% - the lowest level since March 2011.

Those aged 25 to 29 are the most uninsured age group in Australia, with only only one in four (26%) who have hospital cover.

By comparison, 45% of children aged between five and nine years old have hospital cover.

However, it’s 70 to 74 year olds who are the age group with the most hospital cover in Australia, the research can reveal.

“Unfortunately underinsurance is becoming a growing problem as the rate of private hospital cover continues to fall,” Hassan said.

“For those who are reluctant to get rid of their insurance altogether, comparing policies online can help provide a bird’s eye view of the market.

“Complacency can be toxic when it comes to your financial situation, so it’s important to always be on the lookout for a better deal.”

What Australian policyholders do to save money on health insurance:

ResponseProportion
Pay for the whole year upfront before premiums rise on 1 April19%
Downgrade to a basic policy16%
Regularly switch so I get the best value9%
Don't get extras9%
Ditch hospital cover so I only have extras8%
Take out a couples policy8%
Have my hospital policy through one fund and extras policy through another3%

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Disclaimer

The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.

About us

More than 3 million Australians turn to finder.com.au every month to save money, time and make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by two Australians: Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia. Since launching in 2006, we’ve helped our users make more than 17 million decisions.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now operate in the United States and United Kingdom. For further information visit www.finder.com.au.

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