Approximately one third of Australians are lacking some knowledge about the use of private health insurance and more than a quarter are completely unaware of the Medicare rebate, according to a recent survey commissioned by comparison organisation Comparethemarket.
Comparethemarket asked 622 Australians who have private health insurance about the government rebate. Of those surveyed, 26 per cent admitted they had no knowledge of the rebate, while 45 per cent explained they were unsure how the rebate worked.
Additionally, 16 per cent of the participants revealed they did not know about the Medicare levy surcharge.
These troubling results have revealed a need for increased education on the Australian health insurance system to ensure individuals are making the most of their health cover.
"A lack of knowledge suggests a good proportion of Australians do not know how to maximise value from their insurance nor minimise costs," Comparethemarket.com.au spokesperson Grant Waldeck said in a February 7 media release.
The survey also found 60 per cent of respondents have never considered switching cover, which is a concern with the impending health insurance premium increases taking affect on April 1.
If Australians are unaware of their ability to change policies and funds, many individuals could find themselves paying for redundant benefits or inappropriate cover.
"It would be naive to think that more than half of Australians have never switched provider because they're satisfied with their current premium. The reality is that health insurance is only at the forefront of a consumer's mind when it's time to claim," said Mr Waldeck.
Australians who do not regularly review their policy risk discovering gaps in cover when they need to make a claim.
"At this point it's either too late, as the policy doesn't match the claim, or the consumer realises that they're not receiving the best value. A more proactive approach is needed when it comes to health insurance in order to secure the most affordable and valuable service," Mr Waldeck said.
In order to make the most of your private health insurance policy, it is important to ensure you understand the benefits and rebates attached to your cover.
If you're unsure about the Medicare rebate, or would like more information on the Medicare levy surcharge, you can contact the team at HICA today.
HICA is a specialist health insurance broker who can offer advice and guidance to help you choose the best policy to meet your needs and requirements.