Two of Western Australia's private health insurance providers have announced premium rises at almost double the rate of inflation.
HBF – the state's largest health fund – revealed yesterday that it will be increasing its premiums by 5.8 per cent from April 1.
Accord to the health insurer's spokeswoman Melanie Claessen, the increase in costs to policyholders is essential.
"HBF is a not-for-profit and so the sole reason that we increase our premiums is to allow us to pay back as much as we can," she told the ABC yesterday (February 29).
"Next year we're predicting that we'll pay out a billion dollars in benefits to our members."
Meanwhile, fellow WA not-for-profit fund HIF will also be charging policy holder's an extra 5.35 per cent.
"Minister Plibersek wanted us to only request (from her) the minimum average premium increase necessary to meet our health fund obligations, remain financially stable and to stay compliant with private health insurance legislation, and that is exactly what we have done," HIF managing director Graeme Gibson stated.
The annual rise in premiums will also be met with a further rise in cost when the federal government's health insurance rebate is means-tested from July 1.