Once a year, health insurers review their rates and submit a change of pricing proposal to the government for approval. Approval is usually provided in February, with most health funds announcing an adjustment to premiums that will be effective from 1 April. The price changes that apply to each member are communicated along with any other product/policy changes.
Changes to the cost of your health insurance premium take place once per year
The health insurance industry in Australia is regulated and health funds aren’t able to simply change their prices whenever they wish. Health insurance premiums can only change once per year. In order to change premiums, health insurers go through a pricing review process and the proposal is subject to government approval.
The health insurance premium review process
Health funds submit a proposal to the government that details the changes they understand to be required to their current premiums. This proposal must be accompanied by detailed financial information to justify that the changes are necessary to meet the ongoing payment of benefits to their members. If the health fund cannot supply sufficient information to demonstrate this, then the requested changes may not be approved.
The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman has more information about how the government regulates health insurers.
The impact of the rising cost of healthcare
One of the main reasons that health insurance premiums change is because of the increasing cost of medical technology, healthcare delivery and Australia’s ageing population. All these factors contribute to a change in premiums. As an example, the average hospital and medical benefit for a heart bypass in 2014 was $42,679 in 2014.
For more information go to Information on Premium Changes.
Review your cover regularly
Health insurance needs may change from time to time. Reviewing your cover regularly can ensure that you and your family have the most suitable cover.
You can review your cover in myBupa, by calling us on 134 135 or by dropping by your local Bupa centre.
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