You may have heard that the Australian population is growing, but do you know by how much?
According to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there is a birth in the country every one minute and 44 seconds, while one death happens every three minutes and 27 seconds – meaning there are almost two births for every death.
On top of this, an international migrant takes residence in Australia every two minutes and 13 seconds. Overall, this has led to the total population increasing by one person every one minute and 21 seconds.
This is not set to slow down either. Some would say we've got plenty of room to grow as the sixth largest country in the world, and we will continue to do so as families continue to expand, IBISWorld recently predicted.
The already exploding birth rate will rise by 6.4 per cent over the next five years to reach 332,901 annual births. Compare this with the previous five years when the growth rate was 2.9 per cent and the nature of this mini baby boom is easy to see.
What this means for Australian health care
A population spike naturally puts a strain on Australian infrastructure – particularly in health care where hospital admission numbers are reaching new heights. Combined with the fact that having a baby is becoming more expensive and the pressure put on families is also evident.
Fortunately, as IBISWorld continued, the health insurance industry is ready for the influx, and is expected to grow alongside families to help provide medical benefits when necessary.
With family policies forming 51.3 per cent of private health insurance revenues, the industry as a whole will grow by 36.2 per cent over the same five-year time period to keep up with the baby boom.
The researchers also noted that "an ageing population and government policy aimed at weaning patients off the public health care system are also expected to drive demand for health insurance".
IBISWorld Senior Industry Analyst Lauren Magner continued to unpack the research by delving into the type of family health policies expected to be taken out.
"Often couples that are planning to have a baby will take out pregnancy health insurance, and health insurance for their child following the birth," she explained.
Rising family health insurance premiums?
However, Ms Magner also added that taking out a policy could become more expensive as a result. "It follows that an increase in the birth rate will lead to a surge in health insurance premiums and revenue," she continued.
If you're planning for your next arrival and would like to discuss a complete yet affordable family health insurance plan, your broker can help. Fortunately, the Australian health insurance industry is competitive enough to allow people to compare policies and shop around for the most attractive deal.
Contact HICA on 1300 44 22 01 for help in this regard. By operating independently from health funds, we're able to provide honest and impartial advice.