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NewsWhat the Coming Health Insurance Changes Mean for You

What the Coming Health Insurance Changes Mean for You

The Federal Government has successfully passed a wide ranging package of reforms” to Private Health Insurance that will come into effect by April 1 next year.

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.
 

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What the Coming Health Insurance Changes Mean for You

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Jeanne
Jeanne from QLD commented:

The whole changes noted is quite unfair especially for those on the aged pension. I pay just on $200 a month for the private health insurance with $250 excess. It is unfair also to people who suffer from various illnesses and are in pain. Obviously the government does not care about anyone. Guess a lot more people may die waiting for operations, not that this is going to worry the government. They are covered aren't they. This could also become alarming and may also see people taking their own lives. Pain can be unbearable and cause a lot of stress and anxiety. 

Fiona
Fiona from QLD commented:

Robyn from Victoria Commented. I would like to know if the cost of cover is the same for couples as it is for families? From what I can gather, couples seem to be subsidising families. Also, if you have had the same policy for years and you are covered for everything that you think you may need in later years, they should not be able to "move the goalposts" when it suits them and then charge us extra for the same cover that we have always had. Which sounds exactly like what they are talking about doing. Seems crazy that you pay this insurance all your working life, and then in your later years when you are more likely to need it, you either can`t afford to keep it or they start to remove some of the things that you are covered for and then charge you higher premiums for those same things that you are more likely to need as you age.. I think the government should be looking at some sort of subsidy for pensioners who are trying to maintain their private health cover. 

Bill
Bill from NSW commented:

I have a friend who was struggling financially so cancelled his hospital insurance. Now after 20 years he has got back on his feet but still can't afford hospital cover because of the over 30's tax, and every year it goes up higher. Maybe they should have another look at that and more people may take out hospital cover. 

valery
valery from NSW commented:

People who have paid high cover for a very long time should get a large discount, Private Health cover should be available to residents of Aged Care homes especially if you have been a member for many years. Ellen NSW 

robert
robert from NSW commented:

My health cover with HCF I do not pay an excess if it is for day surgery, will I lose this in April with the new health insurance changes? 

John
John from NSW commented:

It all comes back to the Doctors Greed. See their houses and the boats plus cars they drive around in. Doctors also own private hospitals so their is a double wammy for them.I have a problem with public hospital as you are in a mixed ward which I firmly detest.The hospital reply to this is we do not have the nurses needed to care for all the patients. What! still the same number of patients. 

Ann
Ann from QLD commented:

My Doctor advised me to cancel extras cover. I get referred to specialists quite often, the medicare refund is still the same with still the same gap charges. consequently without extras cover I will be in front financially . Seems logical to cancel them. Ann Q'ld 

Barbara
Barbara from NSW commented:

I recently had minor surgery in a Private Hospital. I had an overnight stay only. This exercise cost me almost $2,000, even though I have been privately covered for 50 years. A friend of mine who is privately covered, recently had back surgery, which cost her about $8000 in out-of-pocket expenses. Instead of changing the system to suit the Government and the doctors, perhaps there needs to be an inquiry into why the out-of-pocket expenses are so high. Why are doctors so expensive in Australia, is it their liability insurance which pushes the prices up? 

Anonymous
Anonymous from QLD commented:

It’s hitting the aged again. Hip and knee replacements. I am disgusted with this governments decision. All they want is more money for these services but the elderly don’t have that sort of money. The public system is sick and not up to date with the means of new techniques 

Reginald
Reginald from NSW commented:

We are pensioners finding payments for health insurance very difficult with cover Our hospital excess is $100, does this change mean we will be disadvantaged? It seems we will have no choice but to cease cover. It looks like the funds will benefit at the consumers expense again. 

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