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2018 premium and health cover changes

3 minute read
young people eating fruit at a cafe discussing nib's premium increase 2018

UPDATE: For an update on 2019's changes, please visit our new article - 2019 premium and health cover changes.

Every year in Australia, all private health insurance funds review their range of covers and at nib, we focus on providing Benefits that continue to give our customers quality products and value for money.

We recently applied to the Federal Minister for Health for approval on our premium and product changes – and now that we’ve been given the green light by the Minister, the changes come into place from 1 April 2018.

To help you navigate this year’s changes, we’ve put together some of the most commonly asked questions.

How will I know what my premium increase is?

We'll be sending notification of these changes to you as soon as possible. Notification will be sent by your preferred method of correspondence (email or mail).

Why is my health insurance premium increasing?

In order for us to keep up with the increasing cost and frequency of providing medical treatment for our customers we have increased the cost of some of our policies. This year’s average increase is 3.93%, which is not only our lowest annual premium increase in 15 years, but it’s below the industry’s average increase (3.95%) for the third year in a row.

Last financial year we covered more than 1.1 million customers and paid a record $1.39 billion in claims – equating to about 314,000 hospital episodes and 3.6 million Extras visits.

Are other health funds increasing their premiums?

All health funds have the opportunity to make changes to their premiums at the same time each year. The announcement made by the Federal Minister for Health on 25 January 2018 indicates that all Australian health funds are increasing their premiums – and nib’s average increase of 3.93% is lower than the 3.95% industry average.

Last financial year , we covered more than 1.1 million customers and paid a record $1.39 billion in claims

Are there any other changes to my health cover?

There are some changes happening to your health cover – but it’s all great news.

From 1 April 2018, we will be introducing the mental health waiver. This means that customers with limited mental health cover will be able to use a one-off waiver1 to upgrade their cover and get immediate access to applicable in-hospital mental health services. This means we can help our customers access the mental health treatment they need, when they need it most.

In line with this, we will also be removing any Benefit Limitation Periods from psychiatric treatment across all products. This means that all customers will have a maximum two month wait for in-patient psychiatric services when taking out an appropriate level of cover, regardless of whether or not they are new to private health insurance.

There are no other changes being made to product benefits or annual limits this year.

When will my premium increase take effect?

1 April, 2018

Why should I review my cover each year?

It’s so important to make sure that as your life changes, your health cover continues to meet your needs.

If you’d like to review your level of cover, please call us on 13 14 63 or visit one of our Retail Centres to speak with our health insurance experts.

1 The mental health waiver is only available to customers who have held hospital cover for at least the previous two months and have a valid referral from a consulting psychiatrist.

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