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Media Release

Aussies urged to check their health policy before 1 April price hike

        • Australians have been with the same health fund 10.6 years on average
        • Premiums have increased by 81% since 2009
        • Tips for saving on health insurance without ditching it altogether

23 March 2020, Sydney, Australia – Australians have a week left to beat the health insurance price increase on 1 April warns Finder, Australia's most visited comparison site.

According to Finder's Loyalty Tax Report, Australians have been with the same health insurer for 10.6 years on average. Premiums have increased by 81% – or around $920 annually per person based on the average gold-level policy – in that time.

Health insurance premiums are set to rise by another 2.93% on average next Wednesday 1 April, with some policies increasing by as much as 5.63%.

According to Health Minister Greg Hunt, singles can expect to pay an extra $35.36 per year as a result of the increase, while families will pay around $103.48 more on average.

Sophie Walsh, health insurance specialist at Finder, said the figures indicate that many Aussies do not realise the potential savings to be had from switching providers.

"Health insurance can feel like a total rip off. Households adjust to a price rise, only to come back a year later and see they've gone up again.

"Some policyholders are paying more than necessary for cover – with loyal customers not rewarded for staying with the same provider," she said.

"That said, there is a range of things you can do to save on cost without ditching your health insurance altogether."

Sophie Walsh, shares Finder's top tips for saving on your health insurance:

1. Compare health funds. Finder research revealed there was a $58 gap per month between the most expensive and the cheapest 'gold' policy – a potential saving of $635 a year between the highest and lowest priced policies on the same coverage tier.

The new Finder app could save health insurance members hundreds of dollars in premiums by alerting them to a cheaper, comparable deal to the one they have.

"The technology within the app will tell you if there's a cheaper policy on the market. This takes the pressure off time-poor Aussies who need help avoiding high costs."

2. Ditch the couples policy. A recent Finder survey of over 1,000 respondents shows that 64% of Australians wrongly think a couples policy is cheaper than two single policies. "A couples policy may help you save on paperwork, but it still costs the same as two singles policies. Couples may even end up paying more for their insurance than they need to if one person needs a higher level of cover."

3. Mix-and-match your hospital and extras cover. One in two Australians wrongly think you can't split your cover, according to Finder's survey. "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.

"For example, when it comes to extras cover you might want to take advantage of 'no gap dental' with one health fund, but for hospital cover another provider might have a better partner network. You also have the option to split your policy with the same provider."

4. Regularly review your hospital tier. "You may have opted for gold cover during pregnancy, but no longer need the same level of cover now that your baby is born. Opting for lower tier cover can see your premium drop significantly. Just be aware of what treatments you'll be ditching before you make the call. Also keep in mind the waiting periods you'll have to reserve if you do want to increase your cover again at a later date," advised Walsh.

5. Prepay your annual premium up-front before the April 1 deadline. 1 in 5 Aussies already do this, according to Finder's survey. "This will enable you to lock in your rate for the next 12 months at the old price. Some health providers also offer an extra annual discount of around 1% for paying upfront."

6. Make the most of sign up deals when switching. "Some providers may offer 4-6 weeks free and no waiting periods if you choose to sign up."

What health insurance customers can expect to pay after the increase

Hospital tierAverage annual costAverage annual cost after 2.93% increaseAverage annual cost after 5.63% increase
Basic$958986 ($28 increase)1012 ($54 increase)
Bronze$1,0901122 ($32 increase)1151 ($61 increase)
Silver$1,5221567 ($45 increase)1608 ($86 increase)
Gold$2,0512111 ($60 increase)2166 ($115 increase)

Source: Finder

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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

Every month 2.2 million unique visitors turn to Finder to save money and time, and to 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, Finder has helped Aussies find what they need from 1,800+ brands across 100+ categories.

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

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