What the Coming Health Insurance Changes Mean for You
Will this mean a drop in your insurance premiums?
The short answer is: It all depends.
HERE’S WHAT SOME OF THE LATEST CHANGES MIGHT MEAN FOR YOU
Change #1: All policies categorised
Every hospital policy will have to be categorised as either Gold, Silver, Bronze or Basic from April 1 next year.
PRO: These new changes will help you understand what is on offer, giving you the opportunity to shop around for the best policy that suits your needs, at the best price.
CON: Some people will be moved to new policies, whether they like it or not. And if you want cover for certain treatments such as hip and knee replacement, you’ll have to pay for a Gold policy or pay to upgrade a lower-class policy - so some people’s costs will rise.
Change #2: $1500 excess now available
It will now be possible to opt for an excess of up to $1500 for couples/families (the maximum was previously $1000).
PRO: Increasing your excess (the one-off amount you pay if admitted to hospital) can shave hundreds of dollars from your annual premium.
CON: If you have to go to hospital, you’ll end up paying the first $1500 of the bill!
Change #3: Travel benefits for rural and regional customers
PRO: Insurers will now able to offer travel and accommodation benefits, as part of insurance policies, for people in regional and rural areas that need to travel for treatment.
Change #4: Discounts for under-30s
PRO: Under-30s will be eligible for premium discounts of up to 10 per cent, to encourage them to take out cover before the tax system’s “sticks and carrots” kick in at age 30.
Don’t wait until next year, take your health insurance into your own hands and start looking at what you need now so you aren’t surprised when the change happens next year.