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2020 health insurance premium changes

6 minute read
A woman sitting at a table calculating figures on her phone with her daughter on her lap

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. This normally happens annually on 1 April; however, like most things in 2020, this year has been a little different.

In 2020, we told our members that their 1 April premium increase would be deferred until 1 October – this was just one of the ways we supported our members through COVID-19.

COVID-19 premium increase postponement

One of the first initiatives we put in place to ensure nib members could continue accessing essential health services throughout the pandemic, without adding to any financial pressure, was the postponement of our annual premium increase. The average premium increase of 2.90% was planned to come into effect from 1 April 2020, but was postponed for six months until 1 October 2020, at a cost of $35 million to the business.

The 2.90% increase is our lowest premium increase in 17 years. On 1 October, premium increases will only be applied to members holding Hospital cover. For those who hold just Extras cover, we honoured our 0% increase on Extras only Cover on 1 April, which means there are no premium increases to Extras only covers this year.

The decision to postpone this year’s Hospital cover increase is just one of the many measures that nib has taken to support our members during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more about the COVID-19 support package.

Additional financial relief for members on JobKeeper or JobSeeker

In recognition of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re providing additional financial relief for members who are currently on JobSeeker or JobKeeper assistance.

For eligible members who apply for the relief by 15 October 2020, we are waiving the premium increase from 1 October 2020 to 1 April 2021. This waiver will be applied as a one-off credit that covers the cost of six months’ worth of premium increases and will be applied to your first scheduled payment after your application has been processed.

To find out if you’re eligible for the extra financial relief, or for instructions on how to apply, please visit our financial support page for further information.

How much will my premium be increasing by?

nib will increase our health insurance premiums by an average of 2.90%, our lowest premium increase in 17 years1. The majority of our members (almost 75%) will pay less than $3 per week more for their health insurance. This amount will vary depending on your chosen product and level of health cover.

We also know how important Extras like preventative dental, physio and optical are to our members. We’ve made every effort to keep this cover affordable, which is why we’re not increasing the cost of nib Extras only covers this year.

Members were notified of these changes in February, however, we will be contacting members from September to remind them the six month deferral of premium changes will come into effect 1 October, along with other important updates.

Email is the fastest and most secure way to receive important updates and account information. Make the switch to email today.

Gen Y-ers comparing and reviewing their private health insurance

When will my premium change?

From September, we will be communicating to members about price and product changes. Premium changes will come into effect 1 October 2020.

What do members need to do?

The premium changes occur automatically from 1 October 2020. There is nothing our members need to do.

Do these premium increases apply to all nib members?

These changes only apply to members holding Hospital cover. There are no premium increases for members with Extras only cover this year.

Why is my premium increasing?

We understand that many of our members may have experienced personal and financial hardship during COVID-19, and that premium changes are never welcomed. However, our priority is to ensure we can continue to pay claims on behalf of all our members when they require treatment or hospitalisation. Now that healthcare treatment is returning, premium changes are required to ensure our members can continue to use their health cover now and in the future.

While the Hospital cover premium changes reflect the cost of keeping our members healthy, we’ve worked hard to keep our price change as low as possible to help address affordability. This includes our decision to not increase the cost of nib Extras only covers this year.

For more, check out our article, Why did my private health insurance premium go up?

Members who are experiencing financial hardship are encouraged to contact us to discuss their specific circumstances.

I paid my premium in advance, what does this mean for me?

nib members can pre-pay for up to 12 months and receive the same premium, prior to any price changes. This means members who pre-paid for 12 months will still be entitled to the previous rate for the duration of the pre-paid period.

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. It’s important to review your health cover regularly to ensure it’s providing you, and your loved ones, with peace of mind by ensuring you’re covered for the things you might need.

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

Health insurance shouldn’t be set and forget, so keep comparing your options as your health needs change. For more information, check out our article When to review and update your health insurance cover.

For more tips on how to get the most out of your cover, head to our guide to saving money on your health insurance.

We’re here to help, so if you need further assistance call 13 14 63 to talk to one of our private health insurance experts or email [email protected].

1Average premiums are not indicative of what every member may experience, and some products may offer either a lower or higher increase. Excludes any adjustment for the Australian Government Rebate.

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