Following the lowest health insurance premium rise in two decades in 2022, health insurance premiums are set to lift by an average of 2.90% from 1 April 2023.
Despite this average figure, some funds will exercise more significant premium price increases with the likes of CBHS Corporate Health to increase premiums 5.38%, following a 5.33% hit to members’ back pockets in 2022.
At the opposite end of the ladder, the Tasmanian based not-for-profit Health Care Insurance Limited (HCI) will cut premiums by 0.09%.
HCI CEO Michelle Wade noted this is part of keeping a promise to members to not profit from the COVID-19 pandemic and return ‘savings’ made as a result of lower than expected healthcare claims.
Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler said private health insurers must ensure their members are getting value for their money and when costs rise they want to know higher premiums are contributing to system-wide improvements, like higher wages for nurses and other health workers.
“All Australians deserve access to affordable treatments and the devices they need to stay healthy and live full and productive lives,” Mr Butler said.
Australian Unity will delay premium increases of 3.76% for seven months until 1 November 2023, with Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Windsor acknowledging the ongoing impact of COVID-19 in accessing health services.
“Delaying premium increases means we’re able to pass on an additional $19 million in COVID-related support measures to our customers,” Ms Windsor said.
“This takes the total value delivered to members to around $85 million since the start of the pandemic.”
Bupa will delay premium increases of 3.39% until the start of the new financial year on 1 July 2023.
Bupa Health Insurance Managing Director Chris Carroll said with many of our customers feeling the impacts of the rising cost of living, delaying premiums for three months offers our members an immediate reprieve.
“By keeping premiums lower than inflation, our priority continues to be keeping health insurance affordable and relevant to meet the changing health and wellbeing needs of Australians.”
GMHBA and Frank will freeze premium increases of 2.33% for six months until 1 October 2023.
GMHBA CEO David Greig noted this marks the third premium increase freeze since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, in addition to returning over $40 million in surplus premiums in December 2022.
“As a purpose driven organisation, our members are at the forefront of everything we do, that’s why we will have provided over $80 million in support throughout the pandemic,” Mr Greig said.
Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund will defer premium increases of 3.33% from 1 April until at least 1 September 2023.
HCF CEO Sheena Jack said there are multiple factors that contribute to increased premiums, including growing demand for inpatient mental health services and increased demand for elective surgery due to public hospital wait times.
“The largest factor increasing premiums for Australian families is the inflated price of medical devices,” Ms Jack said.
“We understand that members are feeling financial stress when it comes to cost of living expenses which is why we have kept premium increases as low as we can, and deferred the rise until later in the year.”
Australia’s largest private health insurer which includes ahm, will defer premium increases of 2.96% by two months until 1 June 2023.
This premium increase marks the lowest in 22 years for Medibank customers, with Medibank Group Executive Customer Portfolios Milosh Milisavljevic detailing Medibank’s COVID-19 support package and give back program has now reached $1 billion.
“With inflation and interest rates continuing to rise, we know that many Australian household budgets are under pressure, which is why we have worked hard to deliver our lowest premium increase in 22 years,” Mr Milisavljevic said.
“While public health measures implemented during COVID-19 have eased, claims still remain below expected levels which is why we’re continuing to return savings to our customers.”
nib will delay its lowest annual premium increase in 20 years of 2.72% for five months to 1 September 2023.
nib Chief Executive and Managing Director Mark Fitzgibbon said nib’s decision to defer the premium rise reflects the continued slow pace of claims, which remain below pre-COVID levels for hospital treatment.
“We're meeting the needs of members and remain aware that if the external environment changes, we need to be in a position where we continue to meet those needs and deliver value,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
Teachers Health Group comprising of Teachers Health, UniHealth and Nurses and Midwives Health will delay premium increases of 2.50% for three months to the start of the new financial year on 1 July 2023.
Teachers Health Group CEO Brad Joyce said an increase of 2.50% puts the Teachers Health Group well below the industry average, reflecting our ongoing commitment to keeping premiums low while providing the best care and experience for members.
“As the fund for educators, nurses & midwives, and their families, we know how much good they do for their communities and how vital those efforts are. Deferring this increase reflects our values as a fund and our promise to members to put their needs first,” Mr Joyce said.
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