With April just around the corner, now is the last chance to take out an Australian health insurance product at the pre-premium increase price.
Most of us would prefer to avoid the price hike altogether, but unfortunately the average 6.2 per cent increase is expected to affect all private health insurance policyholders across Australia.
Fortunately, while the premium increase is an inevitable fact, there are a few options available for those budget-conscious Aussies.
Pay the full year's premiums now
The intended price hike is scheduled for April 1 this year. However, if you pay the full year's worth of premiums now, you lock your insurance product in at the lower price. This effectively gives you an additional 12 months to prepare for the higher premiums.
While 6.2 per cent is the average premium increase this year, there are many variations in how much specific providers' premiums will climb.
It is worth taking a look at the market to see whether a different health fund can offer you a similar private health insurance product at a lower price.
However, you need to be cautious about waiting periods that could apply to any new benefits you receive or limitations that could apply. It is important to talk with your broker or provider to ensure the new cover you take out will continue to meet your needs.
Review your existing product
If you're unable to cope with the higher premium on your current health insurance product, you should review your benefits and policy to figure out whether it really is the most suitable cover.
Many Australians are paying for benefits they no longer need, such as older women still holding pregnancy cover. If you believe you are holding a product that no longer suits your situation, talk to your broker or provider about switching to a more suitable product.
For more information on how to cope with the impending premium rises, or to compare health insurance products, get in touch with the team at HICA today.