Transforming this year’s Health Insurance Premium Rate Rise into a positive for your family

Health insurance has been on a lot of peoples minds lately due to the recent premium rate rise announcement, which impacts all of us. As you've probably heard by now, on 1 April 2017 health insurance premiums across the industry will go up by just under 5%.

 

Everyone’s different, of course, and you might be on the receiving end of a lower or higher increase this year. The 4.84% figure is a weighted average across the whole industry, so not everyone will receive it.

The reality for most families in dollar terms is that the increase will be about $4 a week, which seems like a small figure, but we know that every dollar counts and it all adds up over the year.
Related: Family Health Insurance – Everything You Need To Know

So how can you use the rate rise time of year to your advantage?

Here at Members Own we’re a little biased because we represent a large group of not-for-profit/mutual health funds, but our advice is that instead of getting mad about the increase, you can use it to your advantage. Here’s what we recommend you do:

  • Find out what type of fund you’re currently with, and their potential motivations for the rate increase.
  • Get advice about whether the policy that you’re on is still right for you in terms of benefits and price.
  • If you don’t like the answers to either of those, switch to something better.

Members Own can help you with each of those steps.

Does your fund act in your best interests?

Love the one you’re with” – Crosby, Stills & Nash

Love the one you’re with might have been true in 1971, but it doesn’t apply to health insurance if your health fund doesn’t always act in your best interests. If you’re not their number 1 priority, why would you stay with them?

How a fund is run (or more accurately what it is run to do) plays a big part in how you’re treated as a member:

Not-for-profit or mutual funds are run to support the health of their members. All the Members Own health funds are not-for-profit or mutual funds.
For-profit funds are run to turn your premiums into profits for investors or overseas owners. Medibank/ahm, Bupa and NIB are all for-profit funds.

All health funds are run according to the same strict solvency, capital adequacy and governance standards set out by the Australian Government, so the not-for-profit funds are just as safe, likely to pay your claim, and able to protect your family as the well-known funds.

If you’re already with a Members Own fund, you can rest assured that your fund’s mission is to make decisions that are in your best interests. You’re already with one of the good guys.

Does your policy still suit your needs?

You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em” – Kenny Rogers

Sage advice Kenny, sage advice. Like a hand in poker, knowing whether or not your health insurance policy is a winner is the most important part of the game. (Sidenote: unlike poker, there’s no bluffing in health insurance. You’re either on a policy that suits you or you’re not.)

Even if your policy was right for you when you first bought it, how long ago was that? When did you last review what you’re covered for? How can you be sure that it’s still good value? Circumstances change, and like any other household expense, it’s good to check you’re getting the best health insurance for you and your family’s needs.

You could do this research yourself, but there’s no need to.

If you’re already with a Members Own fund, we recommend you talk to us (or your fund) about reviewing your cover and deciding whether it’s still the best choice.

If you’re not with a Members Own fund yet, we can help you switch to one. We’ll look up your current policy, listen to your needs, and match you with a Members Own cover from the hundreds we have on our comparison list. It’s a really easy process.

Take the first step

“Let’s get it on” – Marvin Gaye

Marvin said it best when he referred to health fund research being worthless if you don’t take any action. Okay, so maybe he didn’t say that exactly, but it’s what he meant.

Here’s what to remember:

If you’re with a health fund that doesn’t always act in your best interests, why would you stay with them? Even if your policy was right for you when you first bought it, it might not be now. There are other options.

If there’s one thing you do in response to all the negative media coverage of the rate increase, it should be to get in touch and let us help you. We’ll review your cover and find you better cover from a better fund.

Compare and join online today: Get started