Small insurers beat out big funds in health insurance satisfaction survey

Richard Laycock 7 August 2017 NEWS

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The big four health funds need to lift their customer satisfaction game.

Chalk up a win for the little guys as niche health funds come out on top for customer satisfaction according to new research from Roy Morgan.

The survey of over 50,000 consumers looked at the customer satisfaction levels of the 15 largest health insurers in Australia for the year to June 2017.

Teachers Health came out on top with a customer satisfaction rating of 85.1%. Teachers Health also saw the largest increase in their satisfaction rating year-on-year, with an increase of 2.1%.

Smaller funds dominated the top five ranked funds with Health Partners coming in second (84.6%), CBHS coming in third (84.1%), Defence Health coming in fourth (83.5%) and TUH coming in fifth (81.1%). Defence Health was the only fund in the top five to see its satisfaction level dip in the last 12 months, down 0.8%.

“With a great deal of negative publicity being given to the rapidly rising cost of private health insurance over recent times, it is not surprising that satisfaction levels have been declining for most funds. It is worth noting that a number of smaller funds have shown that it is possible to improve even in this environment," said industry communications director for Roy Morgan Research Norman Morris.

The big four health funds all ranked in the bottom half for customer satisfaction, with all seeing a decrease in their customer satisfaction levels year-on-year.

Of the big four, Medibank Private ranked the worst coming in 15th, with its satisfaction level dropping to 68.4% – a drop of 1.6%. In 14th place was nib at 69.5%, a drop of 2.2%. Following these two were Bupa in 12th place at 70.7% (-2.8%) and HCF in 8th place at 71.9% (-1.3%).

While ranking firmly in the middle of the pack (8th), HIF saw the largest drop in its customer satisfaction levels year-on-year, plummeting 8.5% to 74.7%.

Private health insurance satisfaction dropped by 2% across the industry over the last year.

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