CHOICE membership

April 1 - and Health Fund Prices Soar


We are with Medibank and our premium rises by 4.5%. At the same time the following natural therapy services will no longer be on our extras cover from 1 April 2019

Alexander Technique, Aromatherapy, Bowen Therapy, Feldenkrais, Western Herbalism, Homeopathy, Shiatsu, Reflexology, Kinesiology and Naturopathy

While we haven’t ever used these services, I expected that we would have paid extra to have these as part of the extra cover suite of services.

I wonder how much the premium increase would have been if these services were not removed. My cynical self suspects that it would have been the same.

This year I plan to again check other providers to see if it is worth changing. I definitely will be using the Choice Health Cover Comparison tool if and when it is updated (as the website indicates that the Choice “tool will be removed on 7 March . We’ll update you soon on how to get the best cover:sign up now for updates.”


We are with Bupa on a now-grandfathered plan, Top Hospital Cover With Co-payment And Classic Extras.

Our monthly premium will increase from $426.35 to $440.90.

Still a rip-off but at least it is only around a 3.4% increase.


That is a $620 p.a. higher than my HCI ‘Gold with extras’ for 2019. Grandfathered or not you might be well served to shop around, not withstanding some ‘grandfather’ policies provide less not more cover than the newer ones which is one reason those funds might be happy to keep customers signed up to them. Sometimes they are also a much of a muchness compared to a newer one, but worth a suspicious look with a cynical eye…


Good old Medibank Private are also trying it on. I pay my premium annually, and have set things up so that the insurance runs from 1 April each year to 31 March, ie the date that health premiums rise. As I pay a few days before expiry, I’m able to beat the annual price rise.
MBP emailed me last month to say that my premium would rise from 1/4/19 from $4618.80 to $4849.80. Not happy, but OK.
Today I received my annual premium demand, which they say is due by 31 March. Do you think the supposed amount due is the lower figure? Of course not! There’s a big red PAY NOW button on the email message. If I’d clicked that without checking I’d have paid at next year’s rate and have been an extra $231 out of pocket.
An administrative error? Definitely not. Exactly the same thing happened to me last year, and I had to phone them to make sure I could pay the pre- price rise amount and get the full 12 months’ cover.
This seems to be MBP’s way of slipping the price rises in to unsuspecting customers ahead of time.


Here’s some advice on how your health insurance is changing:


I have separate hospital cover (Peoplecare) and extras cover (HCI). Today I have asked Peoplecare to explain their 11.7% increase to my premium and HCI to explain their 9.7% increase to my premium, when CHOICE’s article states the average premium increase is 3.25%.

I will let you know their responses when I receive them.


Be careful - grandfathers die … I’ve learned the hard way, a couple of times now, that ‘grandfathering’ means nothing in the business world.

(it means everything to your grandkids - thats another thing altogether :wink: )

Seems amusing to me - changes take place April 1 - like we are all April fools …


Here are the responses I received to`my enquiry.



Households are feeling the pinch due to PHI premium increases.


Some tips on saving money on health insurance: