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The gulf grows between health insurance premiums and rebate

Posted: 22 February 2018 5:35 am
News

Seniors will be hit hardest by the 2018 private health insurance rebate changes.

Each year 1 April brings with it our annual price increase for private health insurance but that's not all. Since 2014, it's also brought with it a reduction in the private health insurance rebate.

Come 1 April the amount you'll be able to claim back on your private health insurance (if you're in the base tier) will go from 25.93% to 25.42% for those under 65, from 30.26% to 29.65% for those between the ages of 65 and 69, and from 34.58% to 33.89% for those over the age over 70.

While the year-on-year change is less than a percentage point from where it was a year ago, it's an ongoing trend. In 2013 someone in the base tier could claim a rebate of 30% (under 65), 35% (65-69) and 40% (70+). Those same people in 2018 can claim 25.42%, 29.65% and 33.89% respectively.

While each age bracket has seen a reduction in their rebate, those over the age of 70 are able to claim back 6.11% less than they could in 2013, which represents a -15% change. Despite this, younger people are ditching health insurance, while cover for over 60s is increasing.

Rebate decrease and premium increase gulf

Since 2014, how much we can claim as a rebate has decreased. Unfortunately, at the same time, the price of health insurance has risen while our wages have stagnated.

This year marks the lowest increase in premiums in 17 years and while the 3.95% increase is not all that much, it could be the tipping point for many families to either drop or reduce their level of cover. A survey conducted by finder.com.au found that 27% of those surveyed plan on reviewing their cover. And can you blame them?

Since 2010, premiums have risen every year by an average of 5.42%. If this trend continues, the average family will be spending 20% of their income on private health insurance every year.

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