Private health insurance reforms
In 2019, the Australian Government introduced a range of reforms for the private health insurance industry with the aim of making health insurance simpler and more affordable.
We were excited for the positive change the reforms would bring and were one of the first health funds to introduce them to our members in April 2019 to improve the overall experience and affordability of our health insurance products.
Over the last 12 months, you may have noticed:
- Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic product tiers were introduced, making it easier for you to compare, choose and use your health cover
- Premium discounts of up to 10% may be available if you’re aged 18-29 years old and have or are planning to take out Hospital cover
- A standardised list of hospital services now exists across the industry to help members easily understand what products do and do not cover
- Some Natural Therapies were removed from policies across all health insurers (a review by the Government found there was no clear evidence that the removed natural therapies had any clinical effectiveness)
- You now have the option to choose a higher level of excess, making your premium more affordable. You can choose an increased excess of $750 for singles and $1,500 for couples or families
Unlike some private health insurers we quickly passed on to our members the ability to choose a higher hospital excess level as well as the age-based discount to over 50,000 members under the age of 30. Both measures resulted in lower premiums and have brought about more choice, certainty and simplicity to the industry.
Like all health funds in Australia, every year we review our range of health covers to ensure that we continue to provide the benefits our members expect at prices that offer value for money. For more information about why your price is changing, read our Premium and health cover changes article.
Frequently asked questions
Q: How do I get the age-based discount?
A: If you choose a Hospital cover when you join nib and you’re between the age of 18-29, the discount will be applied as you join (just make sure you give us your date of birth!). Existing members who have Hospital cover will have received the discount automatically.
Q: How can I increase my excess?
Q: Have these changes actually made it easier to buy and understand health insurance?
A: We believe these reforms have made it easier by increasing transparency about what you’re covered for, as well as making sure our members have choice when selecting a cover that’s right for them. We also implemented each of the reforms in April 2019, which means we’ve been able to keep our premium increase to a record low compared to other health funds who are still implementing the reforms.
Q: Have many nib members embraced these changes?
A: Yes! Since we implemented the changes on 1 April 2019:
- 15,500 hospital policies are now covered with a $750 excess.
- Almost 54,500 members are receiving an age-based discount of up to 10% off their premium.
- Almost 91,400 policies are on a Gold product tier.
- Around 1,300 member admissions have also made use of the mental health waiver in the past 12 months where we paid out an estimate of $9.3 million in claims.
Q: What other ways can I save on my health cover?
A: We want to help you make the most of your health cover, which is why you can access a range of discounts, savings and rewards. Head to our member benefits page to learn more.
Q: Why can’t I claim on some Natural Therapies anymore?
A: Following a review of Natural Therapies by the Department of Health, they found there is no clear evidence of clinical effectiveness across several Natural Therapy services. It’s why all health funds in Australia, including nib, are no longer able to cover services, such as, Naturopathy, Yoga, Pilates and more as part of a health insurance policy that complies with Government regulations. To find out more about what you’re covered for, login to Online Services or contact us.