Give your health insurance a check-up
DISGRUNTLED private health customers are being urged to review their health insurance to save money.
Latest Australian Prudential and Regulation Authority statistics showed about 45.5 per cent of the population had hospital cover in the March quarter – down from 47.4 per cent three years ago.
Latest figures from health comparison website comparethemarket.com.au found the average cost of hospital and extras cover for a family is $4200 per year, but before ditching, experts suggest you review these four factors:
1 LIFETIME HEALTH COVER
This encourages Australians to take out hospital cover before age 31 and reduce their reliance on the public system.
They need to sign up before July 1 after their 31st birthday, or be slugged an extra 2 per cent on top of hospital cover cost each year up to a maximum of 70 per cent.
CUA’s health insurance CEO Philip Fraser said he sees a spike in young people shopping for insurance before June 30.
2 MEDICARE LEVY SURCHARGE
Having private health cover can help minimise tax costs when filing a tax return.
The MLS is paid on top of the Medicare Levy by those without hospital cover.
Comparethemarket.com.au spokeswoman Abigail Koch said “we all pay a Medicare Levy” but those without cover who earn above the threshold – $90,000 per annum for singles and $180,000 for families – will pay an extra 1 to 1.5 per cent.
As the financial year ends, Comparethemarket.com.au’s data shows 21 insurers offering incentives to new customers, including weeks of free health cover, waiving of waiting periods, cash back, gifts and discounts just for signing up.
4 COMPARE FUNDS
Government website privatehealth.gov.au is an independent site that includes all health insurers and policies, explaining the cover and cost.
Mr Fraser also recommends you “contact your insurer and make sure you’re on the right product for you.
“Your circumstances may change… there’s a number of things that trigger different price points on your premiums,’’ he said.