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Bupa announces an average premium increase in 2014 of 6.35%

“We work extremely hard to keep our members’ costs as affordable as possible. Our products and pricing are designed to help improve members’ long-term health, as well as to reduce out-of-pockets they need to pay.

“Our premium increase is a direct result of the ever-increasing costs of medical technology, healthcare delivery, and Australia’s ageing population.”

– Dwayne Crombie, Bupa Australia’s Health Insurance Managing Director

To make sure you’re getting value out of your health insurance and to help ensure that your cover is right for you, call us on 134 135 or visit your local Bupa centre.

Is the cost of my health insurance increasing?

Yes. The Australian Government has agreed to an average premium increase for Bupa members of 6.35% from 1 April 2014.

All health insurers increase their prices at this time of year.

We know that members don’t like premium increases – even though they only occur once a year – and we work extremely hard to keep costs as affordable as possible.

How much are premiums increasing by?

On average, health insurance will increase by $2.49 per week for a single Bupa member and $5.73 per week for a family (before any rebate or discount.)

When/how will I know what my premium increase is?

We will begin emailing and sending letters to all members from 1 March to advise you of any premium or significant product changes.

The cost of your premium will not change until 1 April 2014.

Why is my premium increase different to the average?

We carefully review each product individually and adjust its premium – either above or below the average – based on the previous year’s claims activity. This helps ensure that the product is sustainable, so that we can continue to pay members’ claims at the current level.

Why do premiums go up each year?

The main reason premiums increase is because the cost of medical technology and healthcare delivery keep going up.

Advances in healthcare are fantastic because they help Australians live longer, healthier lives – but the reality is new technologies and treating an aging population cost more.

We believe everyone deserves the best possible care through access to the latest treatments, but to make this happen each year the amount we need to pay out in claims goes up.

Do healthcare costs increase by more than premiums?

Yes. In 2013 we paid $4.5 billion in benefits for claims members made – an increase of more than 9.6% on the previous year.

What do I need to do/pay now?

You don’t need to do anything at the moment as the changes don’t take effect until 1 April.

We’re about to start sending emails and letters to all members so that you understand exactly what these changes mean for you.

If your premium is paid by direct debit, the amount will change automatically on 1 April. If you prefer to pay your membership another way, please refer to our communication so that you’re aware of the new pricing.

What can I do to make my cover cheaper?

Much like your health, your health insurance needs change as you progress through life. One of the best ways to save money is to make sure you cover suits your current lifestyle and budget needs.

You also need to understand the trade-offs you can make when considering which package is right for you. For instance, you can generally reduce your premium by selecting less comprehensive cover, or by selecting a higher excess. However, it’s important to balance affordability with cover that meets your requirements.

To make sure you are getting value out of your health insurance and to help ensure that your health cover is right for you, call us on 134 135 or visit your local Bupa centre.

Can I prepay my premium to lock in the current price?

Yes, you can lock in the current rate up to 14 months in advance if you pre-pay your premium in advance before 1 April 2014.

Are Living Well benefits changing?

No. We understand that it’s really important to continue to provide a range of ‘healthy’ benefits that help you achieve your health goals – by covering some of the costs for health related programs such as gym memberships, yoga and swimming courses for kids.

Top tips to help keep your cover affordable:

Make sure your cover suits your needs:

  1. Know your cover: The cheapest policy isn’t always the most cost effective – understand what is and isn’t covered.
  2. Get value out of your policy: Most extras cover subsidises checkups at the dentist, helps get back you back your feet through physiotherapy, and contributes to healthy activities such as yoga. Understand your benefits and make sure you use them.
  3. Use our Members First network: Bupa has a range of network providers that can reduce or eliminate out-of-pocket expenses.
  4. Consider your excess: For hospital cover, look at what excess you’re willing to pay. Increasing the excess can reduce your premiums. Bupa’s mid and top end hospital products all come with no excess for kids.
  5. It pays to join earlier in life. After you turn 31, the Federal Government’s Lifetime Health cover loading means your premium could increase by 2% a year, to a maximum of 70%. (This applies for 10 continuous years.)

For all media inquiries, please contact:

Matt Allison
Media and Corporate Communications Manager
Mobile: +61 (407 440 212)

About Bupa Australia and New Zealand
Bupa Australia and New Zealand’s purpose is to help people live longer, healthier, happier lives. It provides health insurance, aged care and related services and complementary healthcare services through Bupa Care Services, Bupa Health Dialog, Bupa Wellness, Blink Optical and Dental Corporation. Bupa focuses on providing sustainable healthcare solutions that represent real value, and on leading the industry in the promotion of preventive health and wellness. Bupa’s Australian and New Zealand businesses are part of the international Bupa Group, which cares for more than 13 million people in over 190 countries.