Is it time to switch health insurance?

Did you know that health insurance premiums are due to increase on April first? In fact, every year at this time, health insurance premiums go up as health funds review their plans annually. This year, the average rate rise is set to be 6.2%.1

Why do premiums increase every year? Generally the rises are in keeping with the increasing cost of medical treatment and benefits paid to members. Rest assured, health funds can’t just jack up their prices without proving that they’re necessary. All increases have to be approved by the Federal Health Minister before they can be passed on to you.

If you’re like most of us, chances are you’ve held the same health plan for years. That means you’ve simply paid the increase year after year because it seemed just too hard or too confusing to look for another plan. Well we’ve got great news for you. At Choosi we make switching health insurance as easy as 1, 2, 3.

1. Compare your options

It’s easier than you think. Just provide us with some basic information about what you’re looking for and we’ll give you quotes from several different health funds that suit your needs. Then you simply choose the one that best suits your lifestyle and meets your budget. Simple.

2. Apply with Choosi

When you apply with us, your application goes directly to your chosen health fund. Once you fill out your transfer form, your new health fund can cancel your existing health insurance policy on your behalf. You’ll even receive a refund from your old health fund for any payments you’ve made in advance, so there’s no gap or overlap in cover.

3. Start claiming

When you switch health funds in Australia, you can claim right away without serving any waiting periods that you’ve already completed with your old health fund. The only exception is if your new cover has added or higher benefits than your old cover. The waiting periods will apply only to the additional features.

You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that your Lifetime Health Cover is not affected by switching hospital insurance between different health funds.

As if that wasn’t enough, here are another few reasons to consider switching health insurance plans:

  • Save money. By shopping around, you could find a plan that gives you the cover you need at a better price.
  • Find a better fit. Has your lifestyle changed since the last time you reviewed your health cover? Now’s a good time to make sure your plan covers all the things you need and not the things you don’t.
  • Double check your cover. Has your cover changed since you applied? It’s a good idea to scrutinise your cover and make sure you’re getting the best deal. To find out how much your premiums could be going up, see table below:
Insurer Average Increase with rate protection
ACA Health Benefits Fund Ltd 5.78%
Australian Unity Health Ltd 6.62%
BUPA Australia Pty Ltd 6.35%
CBHS Health Fund Ltd 5.61%
Cessnock District Health Benefits Fund Ltd 5.36%
CUA Health Fund Ltd 5.47%
Defence Health Ltd 5.34%
Doctor’s Health Fund Pty Ltd, The 4.23%
GMHBA Ltd 5.94%
Grand United Corporate Health Ltd 3.46%
HBF Health Ltd 3.72%
Health Care Insurance Ltd 5.34%
Health Insurance Fund of Australia Ltd 2.98%
Health Partners Ltd 3.14%
Health.com.au Pty Ltd 6.13%
Healthguard Health Benefits Fund Ltd 4.95%
Hospitals Contribution Fund of Australia Ltd, The 6.89%
Latrobe Health Services Ltd     5.98%
Lysaght Peoplecare Ltd 5.82%
Medibank Private Ltd 6.49%
Mildura District Hospital Fund Ltd 3.65%
National Health Benefits Australia Pty Ltd 4.50%
Navy Health Ltd 4.53%
NIB Health Funds Ltd 7.99%
Phoenix Health Fund Ltd 6.52%
Police Health Ltd 4.81%
Queensland Country Health Fund Ltd 5.85%
Queensland Teachers’ Union Health Fund Ltd 4.50%
Railway & Transport Health Fund Ltd 4.80%
Reserve Bank Health Society Ltd 4.39%
St Luke’s Medical & Hospital Benefits Association Ltd 6.33%
Teachers Federation Health Ltd 5.42%
Transport Health Pty Ltd 5.90%
Westfund Ltd 3.25%
Industry Weighted Average 6.20%

Source: 2014 Premium Round Individual private health insurer average premium increases, The Department of Health.
Note: This table provides the percentage increase on base premiums without taking into account the effects of the Private Health Insurance income tax offset. If you are eligible for the offset the impact on you may be different.

So what are you waiting for? Shopping around for a health insurance policy is clearly the smart thing to do. You could save heaps while at the same time ensuring that you’re covered for all the things you and your family need. Start comparing health insurance now.

1. 2014 Private Health Insurance Premium Round Outcome and Outline of process, The Department of Health.

These articles are provided as reference material to allow more informed decision making, but are not intended as being a complete source of information on any topic. All readers should make their own independent analysis on the topic to make sure they have considered the aspects that are important to them.