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2019 premium and health cover changes

4 minute read
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Every year in Australia, private health funds review their range of health covers including the benefits they provide and the premiums required to cover these costs. At nib, we take this opportunity to focus on providing health covers that continue to give our members the benefits they expect while also ensuring they remain affordable and offer value for money.

We appreciate and are very mindful of the growing concerns around the affordability and value of private health insurance. That’s why we’ve worked hard to keep our price change as low as possible to help address these concerns but also continue to deliver value for members.

We recently received approval from the Federal Minister for Health for our premium and product changes, which will come into effect from 1 April 2019. So, to help you navigate what’s changing, we’ve compiled some of the most commonly asked questions.

How will I know what my premium change is?

We’ll notify our members of their new premium following confirmation of the Australian Government Rebate. We expect this to begin in February.

We'll be sending notification of these changes to you via your preferred method of correspondence (email or mail). Email is the fastest and most secure way to receive important updates and account information. Make the switch to email today.

When will my premium increase take effect?

1 April 2019.

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Why is my health insurance premium increasing?

An ageing population, rising chronic disease, increasing use of healthcare services and the cost of new medical technology are driving the increased cost of healthcare, and consequently the amount of benefits we pay each year.

Last financial year, we paid out a total of $1.4 billion in claims on behalf of our 1.1 million members. This is an increase of 3.7% on the previous year and amounts to almost $4 million paid in claims a day.

While the premium changes reflect the rising cost of keeping our members healthy, we’ve worked hard to keep our price change as low as possible to help address health insurance affordability.

That’s why we’re announcing our lowest annual premium increase in 16 years. The 2019 average increase is 3.38%, which will make it the fifth year running that we’ve been able to deliver a premium change lower than the previous year.

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 19 December 2018 indicates that all Australian health funds are increasing their premiums.

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

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. As such, we believe it’s important that our members review their health cover regularly to ensure it's providing them with peace of mind by covering them for the things they need.

You can take a closer look at what you're covered for, your annual limits and your excess by logging into Online Services.

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.

Are there any other changes to my health cover?

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.

As a result, there are many positive changes about to be rolled out in an effort to:

  • Make private health insurance easier to understand
  • Help you choose a health insurance cover that best suits your needs
  • Make health insurance premiums more affordable

We’re supportive of these reforms and are committed to introducing them as quickly as possible to improve the overall experience and affordability of health insurance.

Some of the key changes include:

  • The introduction of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic product tiers, making it easier for you to compare and choose covers
  • Premium discounts of up to 10% for people aged 18-29 who have, or are planning to take out hospital cover
  • The introduction of a standardised set of clinical categories to help members easily understand what different products do and do not cover
  • The removal of cover for some Natural Therapies
  • Higher level excess options; making your premium more affordable

Between now and 1 April 2019, we’ll be in touch to let you know exactly how this change will affect you and your health cover. For more information, check out our dedicated private health insurance reforms page or contact our member service team on 13 14 63.

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