Health funds can increase their premiums yearly. However, the premiums that are charged are monitored by the Federal Government. All funds are required to submit details of how much they plan to increase their premiums to the government. Applications are scrutinised to ensure they are justifiable in terms of the financial position of each fund. Once rates are approved, they are applied in April.
Rate increases vary
Rate increases will vary from fund to fund and from product to product. Make sure you are happy with your funds rate change and that you are still getting the best value from your health cover.
Can’t afford the increased premium?
If you can’t afford the increased premium it doesn’t mean you have to drop your health cover. There are other funds and policies to consider. Look for a similar policy offering a better premium. It’s also a good time to review your benefits to see what you may no longer need.
Shop for health cover that suits your budget now.
Can I avoid paying the rate rise?
If you can afford it, you can choose to pay a year’s premium in advance before the rate rise in April. This will lock in your premium at the previous year’s rate. So if rates are increased during the period for which you have paid, you will not have to pay extra.
Is the rate rise necessary?
Although the rate rise is unpopular, it is necessary. Hospital, medical and other health related costs continue to rise. Factors that lead to cost increases include:
- Wages for nurses and hospital staff
- Doctors’ charges
- Cost of medical equipment and technology
- More complex and costly procedures being available
Health funds increase their premiums to cover these increased costs, stay financially viable and essentially ensure you have access to quality medical treatment.