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October 2020 Health Insurance Price Increase

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Anneke Van Aswegen Updated: 07 September 2020
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To help reduce the Coronavirus’s financial impact, Australian health funds postponed the scheduled 1 April 2020 premium rise for 6 months.

As of 1 October 2020, health insurance premiums will increase by an average of 2.92%. So far, only HBF has elected to scrap its price rise. However, certain health funds, like NIB and Bupa, are waiving the October premium increase for members on JobKeeper or JobSeeker.

Other insurers, like Medibank and AHM, are offering a 50% premium reduction for 6 months for members receiving an eligible government support payment due to Covid-19.

What does this mean for you?

If you have a Hospital policy or combined Hospital and Extras cover, you will receive an email this month, September 2020, to inform you of your new premium for October 2020.

The Australian Government Rebate is frozen for 12 months. So, if you have a rebate applied to your policy, you might pay slightly less than the premium increase communicated to you in April 2020.

If you’ve registered an intent to claim for Australian Government financial assistance through JobKeeper or JobSeeker before October 2020, you might be eligible to delay your premium increase by another 6 months, to April 2021. Please contact your health fund to inquire if they offer such financial assistance.

Private health insurance premium increase for October 2020

Health insurance company 2020 average premium increase
HBF Health Limited 0%
CBHS Corporate Health Pty Ltd 2.37%
Transport Health Pty Ltd 2.59%
Queensland Teachers’ Union Health Fund Limited 2.66%
Health Partners Limited 2.77%
Australian Unity Health Limited 2.79%
NIB Health Funds Ltd 2.90%
St Luke’s Medical and Hospital Benefits Association 2.90%
Railway & Transport Health Fund Ltd 2.91%
National Health Benefits Australia Pty Ltd 2.99%
Reserve Bank Health Society Ltd 3.08%
Phoenix Health Fund Limited 3.10%
Police Health Limited 3.14%
Teachers Federation Health Ltd 3.24%
BUPA HI Pty Ltd 3.26%
Medibank Private Limited 3.27%
Doctors’ Health Fund Pty Ltd 3.29%
GMHBA Limited 3.34%
Hospitals Contribution Fund of Australia Ltd 3.39%
Peoplecare Health Limited 3.48%
Defence Health Limited 3.49%
Latrobe Health Services Limited 3.49%
Navy Health Ltd 3.49%
Queensland Country Health Fund Ltd 3.56%
Nurses & Midwives Health Pty Ltd 3.74%
Health Care Insurance Ltd 3.75%
CBHS Health Fund Limited 3.91%
ACA Health Benefits Fund Limited 3.94%
health.com.au Pty Ltd 3.94%
Cessnock District Health Benefits Fund Limited 3.96%
CUA Health Limited 3.99%
Westfund Limited 4.32%
Mildura District Hospital Fund Ltd 4.68%
Health Insurance Fund of Australia Limited 5.58%
myOwn Health Pty Ltd 5.63%

Source: Australian Government Department of Health (December 2019)

Compare online before the increase

Not all insurers are increasing premiums on 1 October, and for those that are, the percentage might be much lower than your current provider. You might save money when switching health funds and finding a policy offering a similar cover level before 1 October 2020.

However, if you’re going to choose a policy with higher limits or additional services, you’ll have to serve the required waiting period before claiming those other benefits.

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Covid-19 health insurance relief initiatives

Some health funds have provided measures to relieve pressure on members, including:

Contact your insurer for a list of relief initiatives available to you.

Frequently asked questions and answers

  • Why are premiums increasing in October?

    Health insurance premiums increase every year on 1 April due to the rising cost of healthcare, medical equipment, and technology. However, the Covid-19 pandemic changed the typically scheduled rate rise. For 2020 Health funds postponed premium increases for 6 months until 1 October 2020.

    The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) requires all health funds to have enough capital to meet all its members’ ongoing healthcare needs. A rise in your health insurance policy’s price ensures funds can cover expected expenses while honouring their commitment to paying claims.

  • Are all health funds increasing their prices?

    No, for 2020, certain health funds like HBF have opted not to increase premiums, while other companies provide a further 6-month premium freeze to customers experiencing financial hardship and on a Federal Government Covid-19 support package.
  • What can I do in September to avoid the increase?

    You can avoid the October premium increase and keep paying the same price for your health insurance when pre-paying for cover 12 months in advance, before 30 September 2020.
  • Will health premiums increase again in April 2021?

    Yes, as of writing this article, 1 April 2021, health prices are still set to increase as scheduled.
  • How can I save on my health insurance?

    Compare health insurance policies from several providers to determine which fund will offer you great cover at a lower price.

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