Health insurance price increases

Why the prices just keep going up all the time

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We are told it is because the medical costs are going up and more treatments are available which more people are accessing.

Another “price rise” by stealth - we have kept our Extras with our health insurer as we had an accumulation of several thousand dollars in dental, optical, etc. As we are aging we figured we would be using a chunk of this in the future. Our fund informed us that this year their terms are changing and we would no longer have access to this accumulation, only to the maximum amount each year. In effect, all those years we paid and did not use, are now consigned to history and we have to spread expensive treatments over 2 financial years eg get half done in June and finished in July. Not surprisingly the article disclosing this was headed something like “More Value For Members!”

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A few reasons private health insurance costs always rise.

First is the employment costs of health professionals generally speaking is rising faster than inflation, and secondly new treatments, procedures and technologies are being adopted all the time and they are increasingly more expensive.

Thirdly the population is ageing and needing more health dollars being spent the older we get. I recall reading sometime ago that most of us that make it to our 70-80’s will have more health care dollars spent on us in our last ten years of life that was spent in all our previous decades combined.

No-one likes it but we will have to suck it up that private health insurance costs will keep rising in excess of inflation.

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CHOICE research indicates that health insurance premiums have increased by a whopping 54.6% on average since 2009. One way to save is to review what level of cover is needed using our free ‘health check’ tool. Check it out here: www.doineedhealthinsurance.com.au

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Most difficult thing is determining what type of insurance i need for my needs

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One major gobbling monster is the fact that, where we started with one operation doing all of the work, we now have multiple companies expanding the payable workforce and chopping of their own victims, us, to supply the rent. Every separate company, fighting for our business, gobbles up costs of premises, wages, fees, taxes and company profit for shareholders and the resultant taxation on all of that This requires our contributions to survive. None of that money is usable in the system. Capitalism cannot survive without these financial leeches and their political sponsors, namely, the politicians who need to grab enough to perpetuate their own financial existence. So where the original system was a solo and efficient entity, we now have myriad scavengers, companies, swallowing the fertilizer. The Tory parties will not exist without them and their mates grabbing their share of the crop. Where to from here?

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My Extras policy covers so many things that I will not be using, including Homeopathy and memberships, vitamins, equipment, Yoga, - a large number of services that I would not use (because they don’t work or have limited efficacy), are not available in my area (agreements with dental & optical outlets, gyms etc), I am too old or too young for (age limits) or are already bulk billed or provided through our local hospital.

There’s pressure from consumers to provide a rebate for a wide array of services, that those of us who have simple needs, end up subsidising. Dau-in-law started on vitamins, weight loss, gym, aromatherapy etc because there was a rebate, not to get a physical benefit. No wonder the premiums are going up.

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There have also been media reports in the past week that State governments are getting patients to make a claim against their private health insurer for their time in the public hospital…including those procedures/treatments which currently not offerred by private system.

These governments have also employed special officers to assist patients in making the claims against their health insurer, particularly targeting those patients who has no intention of making such claims. The State governments also take the excess off the monies from the insurer to ensure the patient is not out of pocket and to make the making of a claim more attractive/no impediments to the patient making a claim.

This process will also put upward pressure on private health insurance premiums.

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Have you tallied the annual amounts you have recovered from extras as compared to how much you pay for the extras add-on? If you do not routinely get as much or more back than you pay, why not cancel the extras?

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I cancelled hospital + extras cover for my husband as he is retired and has never used it (apart from dental, once 8 years previous & glasses about 10 years before). I cancelled hospital and only kept extras because of on-going dental, optical and physio. I am presently doing the sums to see if it is worth keeping it as our fund will no longer allow us to use the accumulated amount, only up to annual limits. The annual limit is $250 for optical, we don’t have access to the “Participating” optometrists. We don’t have any of the Chains, so our sole trader is expensive - $25 rebates for frames when the cheapest is $199. Right now we are not getting our money back. If I had a crystal ball, I could work out if my rebates would exceed my premiums in the near future. This is the gamble that is Health Insurance.

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You might do well to look at the annual limits of everything in your extras cover you might ever use vis a vis the limits, and see if the odds look good that you would, on average, at least break even.

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We have been with BUPA (via-HCF) for about 30 years. I recently emailed them to explain to me why our premium has gone up 52% from 2012-2013 to 2017-2018. I understand that medical costs have risen substantially, but this is an average of 10% per year over 5 years and more than double the Australian average. Over that time, we have not changed the cover. All I got in 2 emails was standard corporate speak and no answer to my question. Frustrating and I will now have to look elsewhere.

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The price increase has been given a positive spin by the Federal Government but at an increase of a least 4% it is at least twice the rate of inflation. From the article linked below “Health Minister Greg Hunt has defended the government’s private health insurance policies as premiums rose again over weekend, saying the increase was still the smallest annual price hike in nearly two decades…//…“It’s far lower than every year under the Rudd and Gillard governments,” Mr Hunt said.”

To read the article about the increase see:

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2018/04/01/health-insurance-premiums-jump/

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consumers are getting slugged up to 45% extra for health insurance :rage:

See our advice to minimise the damage:

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Looks like my Defence Health policy went up 5.5% just now …

Not surprisingly, they don’t appear to have increased benefit limits … I guess 5.5% is still a lot lower than some so I don’t feel completely gouged …

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How do they sell that increase to the Minister? 45% is just huge, what really is the justification? I think the increase needs to be publicly explained if it hasn’t been.

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There are a number of reports that these huge increases are with the small Tasmanian funds that did not do state based pricing. Comparative reports are that costs on the mainland are substantially higher than in Tassie so the premiums went from being ‘Tassie’ to ‘Where you live’.

I suspect that because of their generally superior reviews they once had a small handful of us mainlanders on their roles, but since have considerably more and that is breaking their formulas.

My increase was about 13% not 45%, but mine has come from the bottom to low-middling. I am not sure focusing only on the percent increase is honest; comparative pricing would be. Even a 45% increase could still make their prices competitive in your market, or maybe not.

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Even with my policy being the cheapest plan it still went up 50 cents i think.hardly covers me for anything but its all i can afford currently. I wonder whos running things in the country is it the insurers.

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