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Why is my health insurance premium increasing in April?

13 February 2013 - 3:46pm

Families and individuals across Australia can expect their health insurance premiums to rise by an average of 5.6 per cent, with changes being made by the federal government to take effect from April.

Health minister Tanya Plibersek said that the government worked hard to keep these premium rises to a minimum for families while also making sure that the cost increases could be covered by insurance companies.

The number of Australians covered by private health insurance hospital cover is at its highest in 37 years, with over ten million having a private health cover.

In a press release from February 8, nib health funds stated that growing hospital and medical costs were a motivator for a rise in their premiums, as well as the "increasing contribution to the industry's risk equalisation scheme".

nib's chief financial officer Michelle McPherson said that every effort has been made to keep premium increases as low as possible.

"The reality is that as demand for health care services escalates so do customer utilisation rates and medical costs," Mrs McPherson said.

"To keep pace with these increased expenses we need to adjust our premiums in order to maintain the level of health cover and benefits our customers have come to expect."

Minister Plibersek said that families can find the best health cover deal by shopping around, as more than half of private health insurers were looking to increase their premiums by an average of less than five per cent.

It's recommended that those with private health cover review their policies at least once every year, so that they can ensure their plans are providing the appropriate care for their medical needs.

Now is the perfect time to perform a review of your health insurance plan so you can make sure that it meets your needs, come April.

Your health consultant can assist you with a private health insurance comparison to set you up with a suitable plan.