As if the last couple of years haven’t been tough enough on Aussies, 2022 has provided another blow to many struggling families in the form of soaring cost-of-living. It’s hard to escape. The extra hit to the bank account is evident at the supermarket check-out and at the petrol bowser – just to name a few!
But as the end of the financial year draws closer, now is a great time to review your household bills and expenses.
You may be able to find some ongoing savings or better value around this time of year, helping you start FY23 off with some extra peace-of-mind. Something I’m sure many families could do with right about now.
Check your private health insurance
Let’s start things off with private health insurance.
Before we get stuck into the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) and Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading, it’s a good idea for those already covered by a private health insurance policy to think about the timing of their premium increase in 2022.
Private health insurance premiums increased for some policyholders on April 1, while other health funds deferred their premium rises until later in the year. But whether your health insurance premium has just gone up or isn’t set to until later this year, you could already be paying more than you need to. The EOFY is a good time to compare and see if you could save.
Now for those of you without appropriate private hospital cover, it’s a great time to think about whether you should take it out, particularly if you are a higher income earner or about to turn 31. And this brings us to the MLS and LHC.
For higher income earners (generally those of us with a taxable income above $90,000 for singles or above $180,000 for families) taking out hospital cover before June 30 means you could avoid paying the MLS next financial year. You could find private hospital cover for a similar price to the additional tax that you may be required to pay via the MLS.
LHC is important to consider around this time of year too because if you don’t take out eligible hospital cover by July 1 following your 31st birthday, you may pay more if you do decide to take out private hospital cover down the track. So, if you celebrated your 31st birthday during the past year and don’t have eligible private hospital cover, now is a great time to think about taking it out to avoid paying higher premiums later in life.
Review your energy plan
While there are few practical things you and your family can do around the home now that could help lessen that winter bill shock (such as turning off appliances at the power socket when you’re not using them or putting on a jumper instead of turning on the heater) now is also a good time to compare your energy plan and provider to see if you’re still getting a good deal, especially as wholesale energy prices skyrocket.
Consider your internet usage this winter
Have a think about your internet plan. Do you spend more time indoors during the winter months? Streaming more movies and shows while wrapped up in that warm blanket with a hot cuppa? It sounds enticing doesn’t it… but this could also mean more data usage for your household, so review your internet plan to see if it’s still suitable for you and your kids.
The list could go on, but there you have it – three important things for parents to think about this EOFY. It only takes a few minutes to sit down and take stock of your finances and look for ways to save money in the year ahead.
And we know private health insurance can be a confusing one.
A comparison service such as iSelect* has trained consultants who can try to help you understand how private hospital cover relates to MLS and LHC and compare your current policy against other options from iSelect’s range of policies and providers, to see if you could save money on your health insurance or see if there may be another policy better suited to your needs and budget.
*iSelect does not compare all products in the market. The availability of products iSelect compare may change from time to time. Not all products made available from iSelect’s providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, area or availability, not all products compared by iSelect will be available to all customers. Some products and special offers may only be available from iSelect’s call centre or website.