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What You Need to Know About Private Health Insurance Premium Increases in 2023

Megan Fraser Fact Checked Updated: 09 March 2023
Types of Health Insurance

The Australian Government is taking steps to ensure that its citizens receive the best value for their private health insurance plans, particularly as the industry experiences an annual average premium increase of 2.9 percent. This year’s increase is significantly lower than the 10-year average of 4.4 percent. With around 14.4 million Australians relying on private health insurance for access to over $22 billion in health and medical benefits each year, it’s vital to ensure affordability and accessibility to quality healthcare. While the increase will take effect from 1 April 2023, some private health insurance providers may choose to delay the rise until later in the year.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the details of this price increase and help you make the best decision for you and your family. If you’re wondering whether your current health insurance policy is worth the increase, you might want to shop around and compare quotes to determine if you’re still getting the best value for money.

Key facts

  • Private health insurance premiums will increase by an average of 2.9% on 1 April 2023, with some insurers delaying their increases until later in the year.
  • Rebates for private health insurance have not been changed due to the relatively low increase.
  • Rising healthcare costs are among the main causes of increasing premiums. 
  • Shopping around and comparing policies can help consumers find the best value for money and save on premiums. 
  • Individuals under 30 years old may be eligible for age-based discounts on their premiums. 

2022 Premium increases by insurer

Source: Health.gov.au (March 2023)

Which insurer’s are delaying premium increases?

Insurance ProviderNew Effective Date
AIA-Vitality1 July 2023
Bupa 150x75 TB1 July 2023
HCF 150x75 TB
(including RT Health)
1 September 2023
Medibank 150x75 1 removebg preview
(including AHM)
1 June 2023
NIB
(including Qantas Health)
1 September 2023

When do health insurance premiums increase?

Generally, private health insurance premiums rise every year on 1 April. The industry average increase for April 2023 is 2.9%. However, for the third year in a row, several insurers have made the choice to delay their premium increases until later in the year. The exact percentage increase you can expect depends on your chosen health fund and the state you live in. 

Generally, your health fund is required to notify you, in writing, of any updated rates and changes you can expect. If your increase is higher than the industry average, then your fund should be able to demonstrate how the rise is necessary to cover the benefits offered in your policy. 

2023 Private Health Insurance Rebates to remain unchanged

Most private health insurance holders receive an income-related rebate from the Government to ease the cost of their monthly premiums. The rebates apply to singletons and families and income scales range from $90,000 to upwards of $280,000. However, as premium increases are relatively low in comparison to the 10 year average, the rebate has not been changed.

Generally, rebates become effective on the same date as the increases in private medical insurance come into effect on 1 April of each year.

Compare 2022 and 2023 premium increases by insurer

Insurer2022 percentage increase2023 percentage increase
Medibank 150x75 1 removebg preview3.10%2.96%
Bupa 150x75 TB3.18%3.39%
NIB3.25%2.72%
HBF3.62%4.49%
Australian Unity 150x75 TB2.73%3.76%
Teachers Health2.17%2.50%
GMHBA Health Insurance Australia3.10%2.33%
Defence Health3.33%3.48%
CBHS Health Fund2.91%4.46%
AIA-Vitality2.80%1.69%

Source: Health.gov.au (March 2023)

Why has health insurance gotten so expensive?

While health insurers generally keep reserves to cover unexpected increases, for example, higher salaries for medical practitioners, if the expenses exceed their budget, then they have to submit a rise in health insurance cost or risk financial instability.

If premiums never increased, then these health funds would not be able to provide excellent value insurance and keep up with:

AdobeStock 438085100

Is private health insurance still worth it?

Whether private health insurance is worth it for you or not should depend on your health, stage of life and budget. Private health insurance might be worth it for you if you want to choose your doctor, be treated as a private patient in a public or private hospital, possibly reduce waiting times for surgeries and need various out-of-hospital treatments, like physio, optical and dental.

Compare Health Insurance Premiums by Insurance Provider:

Insurance ProviderAverage Premium (Single)Average Premium (Couple)Average Premium (Family)
Medibank 150x75 1 removebg preview
Bronze Everyday
$117.85$235.70$271.80
Bupa 150x75 TB
Bronze Plus Simple Hospital
$121.80$243.60$308.30
HCF 150x75 TB
Hospital Bronze Plus
$117.50$235.00$284.30
NIB
Bronze Hospital Plus
$123.60$247.34$281.55
HBF
Bronze Hospital Plus
$124.55$249.15$299.85

Source: Privatehealth.gov.au (March 2023; Premium estimates for Hospital cover for singles, couples and families with children under 18 living in NSW with full or interim Medicare and no current insurance and a 0% loading)

How to get cheaper health insurance premiums

If you find you can’t afford your increased premium, there are several ways you can keep costs more affordable:

  • Review your cover benefits and determine if you’re paying for treatments and service you don’t need.
  • Contact your health fund and find out if they’re able to offer you a cheaper alternative. You can always upgrade to a higher level of coverage in future.
  • Shop around and compare policies to determine which insurer offers you the cheapest premium, while including the benefits you want. You can switch health funds at any time.
  • If you’re under the age of 30, choose a health insurance company that offers age-based discounts and save up to 10% on your premium.
  • Avoid the April premium rise by locking in your premiums when paying annually.
  • For Hospital policies, consider paying a higher excess or co-payment to reduce your premium.

The importance of comparing private health insurance

If you’re looking for private health insurance, it’s crucial to compare your options carefully. With so many policies available, finding the right one for you can be a daunting task. However, taking the time to compare policies can save you money and provide you with better coverage in the long run. Fill in the form above and take the first step towards finding the perfect private health insurance policy for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

  • How much does insurance premium increase each year?

    There is no fixed amount by which insurance premiums increase each year, as it varies depending on various factors. However, health insurance premiums will increase by an average of 2.9% on 1 April 2023. It’s important to note that select insurers have chosen to delay their increases until later in the year.
  • Do private health insurance premiums increase with age?

    Although health insurance premiums are not calculated according to your age, it’s likely that private health insurance will only get more expensive as you age as the cost rises each year. To keep your insurance affordable, you may want to purchase cover prior to the annual increase.
  • How can I reduce my health insurance premium?

    Reducing your health insurance premium can be a challenging task, but there are several steps you can take to lower your costs. Many insurance companies offer incentives for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, such as discounts on gym memberships or wellness classes. Finally, it’s important to compare different insurance providers and plans to find the best deal for your needs. Consider factors such as premiums, deductibles, co-payments, and coverage limits when evaluating different plans.
  • Will health insurance premiums go up in 2023?

    Yes, health insurance premiums will increase by an average of 2.9% on 1 April 2023. This increase is significantly lower than the 10 year average increase of 4.4%.
  • Can you negotiate health insurance premiums?

    The cost of health insurance premiums is determined by the private health insurance companies and the government regulations. As a consumer, you can compare different health insurance plans and their prices offered by different insurers, but negotiating the premiums is not a common practice. The premiums charged by private health insurance companies are influenced by various factors such as your age, health status, location, and the level of coverage you choose. However, the prices offered by the insurance companies are usually fixed and not negotiable.

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