No joke, there will be private health price hikes on April 1
YOU better shop around.
That's the word from the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman ahead of the hike in private health insurance premiums which takes effect on April 1.
Premiums are going up to help keep pace with the rising cost of providing health care, we are told.
Though you might be tempted to ditch it altogether, this might not prove to be a saving if you then get hit with the Medicare Levy Surcharge.
This is a charge imposed on those who earn above a certain amount ($88,000 for a single in the next tax year) and don't have hospital cover.
You could also lose the advantage of Lifetime Health Cover, which is a government scheme which provides incentives for taking out cover at a younger age and maintaining it.
So if the decision is made to keep the cover, it's certainly a good time to take a look at your policy to see what savings can be made.
One quick and unbiased way to do this is to go to the government website http://www.privatehealth.gov.au and search for Compare Policies.
After answering a checklist, you will be given a selection of policies, their prices and their level of cover.
There are also sites like iSelect but keep in mind that, despite the savvy marketing, this comparison site does not compare all policies. It only covers their 11 participating funds, rather than the 41 options which will be compared on the government website.
No matter where you search it can be confusing.
Before starting, make a list of the priorities for you:
- Do you need top hospital cover?
- Will you use the extras packages?
- Are the extras you need covered?
- Would you like a nil excess hospital policy?
- Then take a deep breath and take the time to ensure you're getting the best deal possible.