From July 1, Australians will have their health insurance premium rebate means tested. At present, everyone is entitled to a 30 per cent government rebate to help make their health insurance premiums more affordable. However, some people on higher income will now lose this incentive.
The good news is that the means testing – and possible loss of rebate – does not happen until after June 30 – providing the opportunity for individuals to prepay premiums using the current 30 per cent rebate.
This means if you pay your premiums sufficiently in advance you could delay losing your rebate until the 2013-14 financial year, as long as your health fund is willing to accept premiums of 12 months or more in advance.
People in the higher income brackets could save up to 30 cents in every dollar by paying their premiums in advance – resulting in hundreds of dollars back in your pocket.
Health Insurance Consultants Australia (HICA) are developing facilities to assist in funding premiums, so high income clients can lock in their rebates at least until the beginning of the next financial year. Not all health funds will allow their clients to pay so far in advance, so it will be wise for people to contact HICA to see what options are available.
It will also be timely for people to review and compare their health insurance to ensure they maximise the benefits they receive from their provider. Comparing health insurance products and premiums makes sense and HICA's consultancy services can assist in people getting better value.