Time to check your health cover

With the annual increase in health insurance premiums scheduled for 1 April, now is a good time of year to be reviewing your cover.

This year’s increase of 3.25% approved by the federal government, while less than previous years, will still amount to about $135 extra a year on the average family policy.

But this year it’s not just the prices changing – government reforms to assist consumers to better understand and compare health insurance products also come into effect from 1 April.

A tier system of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic will be introduced for hospital cover and cover for some natural therapies will be removed.

These changes are expected to translate into more competitive pricing.

Consumers also will have the option to increase their maximum excess in exchange for a lower monthly premium.

So, what do you need to do? All policyholders will be advised in writing by their insurer about how their existing cover has been categorised i.e., is it Gold, Silver, Bronze or Basic; whether any changes have been made to the policy to align it with a tier; and any change to price.

It’s important you read any notifications you receive from your health insurer to make sure you are happy with the policy, the tier and cost. If you are, you don’t need to take any action.

But if you want more or less hospital cover – or to change your excess or extras – contact your insurer to discuss your needs.

You might also want to check out the government website for more information. Or contact National Seniors on 1300 76 50 50 and speak to our health insurance team.

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