Media Release

1.7 million Australians plan to ditch their health cover

  • New research shows 1 in 7 Australians plan to cancel their private health insurance
  • Nearly half of those planning to cancel their cover are ditching it due to the cost
  • finder.com.au encourages Aussies to shop around for a policy that meets their needs

14 November 2016 Sydney, Australia – Around 1.7 million Australians with private health insurance intend to dump their policies, according to new research by finder.com.au, Australia’s most visited comparison website1.

A finder.com.au survey of 2,005 Australians found 15% are planning to cancel their health insurance, and nearly half of those (44.7%) due to the cost.

Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at finder.com.au, says 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.

“Health insurance costs have jumped by over 40% since 2010 which is causing problems for ordinary Australians,” she said.

“Australians need to compare policies and read the fine print in order to gain a better understanding of the intricacies of their private health cover and the claims process before they sign up,” she said.

Latest figures from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority show 11.3 million Australians, or 47% of the population, were covered for hospital treatment in 2015/2016.

More than 14% of survey respondents say they plan on ditching their cover because they don’t get enough back in rebates, while over one in 10 (10.3%) say the cover simply doesn’t suit them.

Top reasons for Aussies cancelling health cover:

RankReasonProportion
1Too expensive44.7%
2I don't get enough back in rebates14.2%
3Cover doesn't suit me10.3%
4I'm already fit and healthy5.8%
5I'm not sure what I'm covered for4.8%
6I'm under 30 and there are no penalties for not having cover4.8%
7The claims process is too complicated3.9%

The survey revealed nearly 6% want to cancel because they’re fit and healthy, however, Ms Hassan said this reason could be shortsighted.

“Insurance is there for the unexpected health events – things that are beyond people’s control,” she said. “Could you afford the medical bills in a worst case scenario?”

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

“It’s vital to do your homework to make sure you are not paying excessive fees and for extras that you don’t require. For example 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.”

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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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