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Private health insurance reforms

Changes are coming to make private health insurance simpler and more affordable.

The Australian Government has announced a range of reforms for the private health insurance industry, that will be introduced from 1 April 2019.

So what does this mean for you?

There are lots of positive changes on the way which will make private health cover more affordable, easier to understand, and make it easier for you to choose a health cover that best suits your needs.

Key changes

  • The introduction of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic product tiers, making it easier for you to compare, choose and use your health cover
  • Premium discounts of up to 10% if you’re aged 18-29 years old and have or are planning to take out Hospital cover
  • The introduction of a standardised list of hospital services across the industry to help members easily understand what products do and do not cover
  • The removal of cover for some Natural Therapies by all health insurers (a review by the Government found there is no clear evidence that the natural therapies listed for removal have any clinical effectiveness)
  • Option to choose a higher level of excess, making your premium more affordable -you’ll be able to choose an increased excess of $750 for singles and $1,500 for couples or families

From 1 April, we’ll be making a number of changes to health insurance coverage as a consequence of reforms brought about by the Federal Government. We support the reforms and believe they will make health insurance even better and easier to understand for our members. These changes will bring about more choice, certainty and simplicity to the industry. You’ll be hearing more from nib on what these changes mean for you in the coming months.

Mark Fitzgibbon, nib Managing Director

We’ll be in touch

As a result of these industry reforms, you may see some changes to your nib health cover. If you’re an existing nib member, don’t worry, we’ll be in touch in the coming months with all the details on how this affects your existing health cover before the changes are effective. You’ll be able to log in to Online Services to review any changes to your policy closer to 1 April.

Depending on how you’ve told us to contact you, we’ll send you an email or letter in the post. If you haven’t checked recently, it’s a good time to make sure your details are up-to-date and that we have your email address so we can keep you informed in the fastest and most secure way.

You can always chat to us if you have any questions about these changes. We’ll keep updating this page as we have more information for you.

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: Which Natural Therapies are being removed?

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.

As a result, from 1 April 2019, health funds in Australia will no longer be able to cover 16 services, some of which were previously included within our Natural Therapies/Healthier Lifestyle Extras benefit.

We currently cover the following Natural Therapies that will be removed from our coverage on 1 April 2019: Western Herbalism, Naturopathy, Shiatsu, Bowen Therapy, Iridology, Homeopathy, Yoga and Pilates.

We’ll be in touch to let you know exactly how this change will affect you and your health cover.

Q: Will I still get an age-based discount if I already have health insurance?

A: If you’re an existing member (but not as a dependent on a family cover) on 1 April 2019, between the age of 18-29 and have a chosen Hospital cover, yes, you'll receive the discount. We'll be in touch with you closer to the date to let you know what your new price will be.

Q: When can I increase my excess to the new option?

A: The new excess options will come into effect from 1 April 2019 . We’re currently working on building a tool in Online Services so you can log in and change it yourself. We’ll let you know when it’s ready!

Q: Will these changes actually make it easier to buy and understand health insurance?

A: We think so! The whole industry will become a lot more standardised and easier to understand, there’ll be greater choice for excess and there’ll be discounts to encourage people to take out cover when they’re younger. It’ll mean you can focus on finding the insurer that best fits you, your values and your lifestyle, without getting as overwhelmed by all the tricky differences between insurers and their cover options.

Q: How much will my health cover actually change?

A: It depends - but for the most part, we think these changes will be positive. Everyone’s health insurance product needs to be labelled with a certain tier (ie: Basic, Bronze, Silver or Gold) and all insurers will need to align the hospital procedures they’ll cover across the board to make sure you’re comparing an apple for an apple, whether your cover is with a big insurer, a smaller industry fund or a very good looking medium-sized insurer (that’s us!).

You’ll also have the option of choosing a higher excess if you’d like to reduce the price of your premiums (but pay a bit more if you actually need to be admitted to hospital) and, if you’re 29 or under, you may be eligible for a discount.

We’ll be in touch soon to let you know exactly how this change will affect you and your health cover.

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