5.6% increase in Australian health premiums

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Private health insurance Australia

Private health insurance premiums in Australia are set to rise from April.

The Australian government is urging families to shop around and find the best private health insurance deal as premiums are set to rise by an average 5.6% from April.

“Families can find the best deal by shopping around, as more than half of private health insurers are this year increasing their premiums by an average of less than 5%,” said Tanya Plibersek, Australian Minister for Health.

Families are encouraged to search and use comparison tools in order to find the best insurance deal for them. The PrivateHealth website has a database of providers offering the same products and the variations in their pricing.

The website, established by the government and supported by the insurance industry, is the most up-to-date source of information on all insurers and their products.

On average, a combined single policy costing AU$1,600 annually will increase by around AU$1.72 a week (after the 30% rebate has been deducted). On average, a combined family policy costing AU$3,400 annually will increase by around AU$3.70 a week (after the 30% rebate has been deducted).

If your premium has increased, your health fund in required to inform you in writing and you should receive updated policy information.

This year’s anticipated rise is significantly less than increases seen in previous years. In the 2011-12 financial year private health insurers paid a 9.3% increase in benefits to members.

“This year’s premium increase remains well below rises when Tony Abbott was Minister for Health, which peaked at 7.96% and averaged 6.44%,” Ms Plibersek said.