Australians looking at their private health insurance bills will be wishing it’s all an April Fool’s Day joke – with some Australians – including families and older couples – set to pay almost $400 a year more for their private health insurance as the annual premium increases take effect.
The Department of Health confirms that the Minister has signed off premium increases of as much as 8.53%.
Older Australians and families looking to have a baby will be the hardest hit. Older Australians currently pay an average of $4184 a year for private health insurance, and will pay as much as $357 more from today, raising the monthly cost to $378. A family with obstetrics cover currently pays an average of $4418 for private health insurance – and will pay as much as $377 a year extra due to this year’s price rises. This will take their monthly premiums to $400 a month.
Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare, Catherine King, said it was disappointing the Government hadn’t done more to help Australians access value for money private health insurance.
“The Government went to the election with a promise to help Australians navigate private health insurance, but they haven’t done a thing to help boost understanding or increase transparency,” Ms King said.
“This year’s increase comes on top of some of the highest premium increases on record, spiralling complaints against private health insurers and Australians increasingly discovering they are simply not covered for basic inclusions in their policies.
“Australians simply don’t feel they are getting value for their private health insurance under this Government. Despite the ever increasing cost of their private health insurance, people are finding they are not covered for things like pregnancy, cataract surgery, hip and knee replacements and heart surgery.
“Australians are paying more than ever for their private health insurance but they are getting less and less, and the Liberals have done absolutely nothing to help families with the costs of health.”
SATURDAY, 1 APRIL 2017