Media Release

6.5 million Aussies to switch or ditch health cover

  • On 1 April 2017, health insurance premiums rates will have risen over 50% on average since 2010
  • Half of Australians with health insurance will be reviewing their cover before April 1
  • finder.com.au encourages Aussies to shop around and pay 12 months up front to beat the price hike

13 February, 2017, Sydney, Australia – With an average premium increase of 4.8% approved on Friday, 6.5 million Australians will be reviewing their health insurance policies before 1 April 2017, according to new research by finder.com.au, Australia’s most visited comparison website.

A finder.com.au survey of 2,031 Australians found more than one in three (36%) would switch providers for a better deal, while almost one in four (22%) would abandon their cover altogether if their health fund raised their premiums by over five per cent this year.

Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at finder.com.au, said the cost of private health insurance, which ranges from $28.55 per month for the cheapest basic hospital cover to $317.45 for top cover, was outweighing the benefits for thousands of policyholders.

“When the increase takes effect on 1 April average health insurance costs will have jumped by over 50% since 2010, causing financial strain for many Australians,” she said.

According to research by finder.com.au, Australians will be paying an extra $191 on average this year, with the average cost of hospital and extras cover in Australia to rise to $4,138.50.

“Each health will raise its premium at a different rate, for example out of the big four health funds, not-for-profit HCF has the lowest average increase, raising its premiums by just 3.65%, while outside of the big four, the restricted fund CBHS has the lowest average increase, with its premiums going up by just 2.98%,” said Ms Hassan.

Ms Hassan urged Australians to shop around for health insurance as premiums continue to rise.

finder.com.au tips for beating the health insurance price hike:

  • Review your current cover - Look at what you’ve claimed for over the last 12 months. Are you paying for extras that you don’t need? If yes, then you might be better off switching to a lower cover with less extras or taking out hospital only cover.
  • Pay 12 months up front - By paying your annual premium up front before 1 April, not only will you be able to lock-in a price based on current costs but many health insurers offer additional incentives, for example HIF offers a 4% discount for annual payments.
  • Mix and match - You might be better off taking out hospital cover with one insurer and extras cover with another for a policy tailored specifically to your needs.

Family hospital cover by state (most expensive to least expensive):

StateCurrent average monthly premium (rounded)Current average annual premium (rounded)Average annual premium with 4.8% increase (rounded)Annual difference (rounded)
VIC$396$4,757$4,985$228
QLD$385$4,615$4,837$222
TAS$370$4,437$4,650$213
SA$369$4,428$4,640$213
ACT$365$4,376$4,586$210
NSW$365$4,376$4,586$210
WA$331$3,972$4,163$191
NT$294$3,531$3,700$169

Source: finder.com.au/health-insurance

Family hospital & extras cover by state (most expensive to least expensive)

StateCurrent average monthly premium (rounded)Current average annual premium (rounded)Average annual premium with 4.8% increase (rounded)Annual difference (rounded)
VIC$538$6,456$6,766$310
QLD$530$6,354$6,659$305
SA$520$6,240$6,540$300
ACT$517$6,202$6,500$298
NSW$517$6,202$6,500$298
TAS$506$6,068$6,359$291
WA$473$5,677$5,959$272
NT$438$5,253$5,505$252

Source: finder.com.au/health-insurance

finder.com.au has published a full list of what the health rate increase will look like for each health fund in 2017. Aussies can also visit finder.com.au/health-insurance to compare 30+ health funds.

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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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