There’s no doubt that many Aussie families are still feeling the financial hangover from the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, when we hear that private health insurance premiums are increasing (yes, again!) on April 1st by an extra $127 a year on average for families, we don’t blame you if you want to stick your head in the sand and pretend it’s not happening.
However, the reality is that sticking your head in the sand could result in paying more than you need to and in recent times, who can afford that?
Or even if you do have extra cash to spare, you would probably much rather it go towards a family holiday rather than to your health fund.
Never fear, there are a few handy hacks you can pull to find yourself better value on your private health insurance ahead of the April 1 rate rise. So, let’s rip this off like a band-aid so you can get back to more exciting things like browsing flights for your family’s next winter escape.
Top 5 hacks to help you save money on your private health insurance
Opt for a higher excess – A great way to decrease the cost of your premiums is to opt for a higher excess on your policy. If you think you or your family is unlikely to be admitted into hospital in the near future, increasing from the hospital excess on a family policy from $1000 to $1500 could save you money off your premium. However, remember that if you or a family member is admitted to hospital, you will need to cough up that higher excess so you need to weigh up what is likely to work best for your situation.
Look for discounts & freebies – This time of year, many funds offer discounts and incentives for new members. For example some offer free airline points, eGift cards, weeks free, discounts off premiums and some even offer free dental check-ups or waive excesses for kids going into hospital. So if you were thinking of switching, then now is a great time to do it but it’s important, to view these freebies as purely an added bonus and don’t let them distract you from choosing a policy suitable for your family in the long-term.
Make the most of preventative health benefits – You’d be surprised at some of the Extras available to you that could help enhance your lifestyle and help prevent future health issues. For example, some funds offer discounts on things like medically necessary swimming lessons, weight loss courses, gym memberships and even money back on things like hats and sunscreen.
Pre-pay & save – If you are in a position to do so, pre-paying your annual premium upfront for the full year before April 1 will lock in your current rate and could help you avoid the 2021 premium increase for another 12 months.
Don’t pay for things you don’t need – Not regularly reviewing your policy means you could be paying for things you don’t need or not be covered for what you actually need. Health insurance comparison website, iSelect, recommends reviewing your policy whenever your life stage, health needs or financial circumstances change. For example, if your baby making days are well behind you, check that you’re not still paying for pregnancy.
If the rising cost of private health insurance has you considering dropping your cover all together, we hear you! It can feel overwhelming in recent times however, there are other options out there and it is possible to switch to a similar level of cover, for a cheaper price with a different fund.
So before you consider jumping off the health insurance boat all together, consider if simply ‘jumping ship’ to another policy or fund is a better alternative to keep your family protected and provide you with that priceless peace of mind. And potentially, a little extra cash toward those holiday flights!
Based on weekly calculations included in Minister’s media release: https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/lowest-private-health-insurance-premium-change-in-two-decades