Media Release

10 million Aussies think they’ll be worse off following private health reforms

      • 87% of Baby Boomers think they won't be better off
      • New hospital cover tiers and natural therapy exclusions will be introduced from 1 April
      • How to decide which policy is right for you

11 March 2019, Sydney, Australia - Australians fear they won't be better off when changes to health insurance policies come into effect from April, according to research from Finder, Australia's most visited comparison site.

The Finder survey of 1,217 Australians with health insurance found 77% – the equivalent of 10 million members think they'll be worse off under the new hospital cover tiers.

Under the new reforms, hospital products will be classified into four tiers – Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic – to help consumers compare apples with apples.

Health funds have until April 2020 to move policies across to this new system but some – including HCF and NIB – will be making a move this year in line with the April 1 price hike.

The research found Baby Boomers were the most likely to think the reforms won't lead to a good deal (87%), and 70% of Gen Y felt the same.

Sophie Walsh, insurance specialist at Finder, encourages all Aussies to take a closer look at their policy this year, with multiple changes occuring.

"Beyond the annual price hike on 1 April, Australians need to be aware that what they are covered for might also change this year, based on the new reforms.

"The main concern is that some Aussies might be paying more for less cover under these reforms. For example pregnancy might have previously been available on a mid-tier policy, but it'll now only be available on Gold.

"If you think your health insurance is no longer providing value for money, now is the time to find a better deal," she said.

In addition to the new tiering system, from 1 April health funds will no longer be offering rebates on some natural therapies such as naturopathy.

Finder's research shows this change could affect 10% – the equivalent to 1.3 million health fund members – who will no longer be covered for naturopathy.

"Some policies will have more inclusions but others will have items dropped, so it's a good time to take a closer look at what you're actually paying for."

How to decide which tier is right for you
Here's a breakdown of which tier and what it typically includes

  • Gold: As its name suggest, Gold is the highest tier for hospital insurance. It provides a range of services that aren't covered in other tiers. This is the policy to be on if you're starting a family and you want to have a private room. It's also a good option for seniors as benefits for cataracts and joint replacements are only available on Gold.
  • Silver: Silver health insurance will cover about 68% of the procedures that are offered by a Gold tier hospital policy. If you're not planning to start a family in the near future but still want reasonable coverage, then a Silver policy might be a good choice.
  • Bronze: If you're not after comprehensive cover but want to cover the basics, Bronze will cover roughly 48% of what's covered on a Gold policy. If you're after a hospital policy that offers a baseline of cover without breaking the bank, a Bronze policy may be for you.
  • Basic: Basic hospital provides a limited range of cover for bare essential medical services at an affordable price. It's a good choice if you're young or if you're a high income earner wanting to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

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For further information

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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