Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Health insurance to rise:

With health insurance to rise on 1st April, now is the time to shop around starting with a very helpful website.
By Motherpedia
Date: February 08 2013
Editor Rating:
doctors-st_vinnies

Health insurance premiums will increase by an average 5.6% from 1st April, the highest increase in the past three years.

Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek, said the average increase for a family would amount to about $3.70 extra a week, which is "around the cost of a cup of coffee" - or maybe a cupcake.

Ms Plibersek said the average increase in health insurance premiums under Labor is "much lower" than it was under the Howard Government. She said this latest increase is necessary because "insurers are paying out a great deal more".

The average payment has increased by around 9.3%. Ms Plibersek also said health insurance companies are paying back a lot more money money to a lot more people with 10.7 million Australians holding private health insurance (around 45% of the population). Insurers paid out almost $14 billion in benefits to members in 2011-12.

Ms Plibersek recommended that families shop around for the best deal.

One of the best places to start is privatehealth.gov.au, developed by the government-backed Private Health Insurance Ombudsman. It provides reliable, current information about all insurers and their products.

It is easy to use and allows users to search for the type of policy cover they want and presents products offering the same cover with variations in pricing. 

As an example, for a family of two adults and dependant children living in South Australia requiring top hospital cover and medium ancillary cover, the website shows 13 separate policies available with monthly premiums ranging from $267 to $582.

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