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2020 health insurance premium changes

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

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 always take this opportunity to ensure we’re providing health covers that continue to give our members the best value for money. We aim to provide a range of benefits, services and inclusions that make being an nib member worthwhile, ensuring we’re here for you always, but especially when you need us most.

We recently received approval from the Federal Minister for Health for our premium changes, which will come into effect from 1 April 2020.

This year, nib has an average premium increase of 2.90% which is not only our lowest annual premium increase in 17 years, it’s also below the industry average increase of 2.92%. In fact, it’s the lowest average premium increase of the four major health funds in Australia, with the other three funds reporting an average premium increase of over 3.26%.

We’re mindful of the growing concerns around the affordability and value of private health insurance and we work hard to keep our price change as low as possible each year to help address these concerns.

While nib members’ premiums will increase by 2.90% on average, 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 this year.

To help you better understand the changes, we’ve put together 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 for Private Health Insurance. We expect this to be in February 2020.

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, so if you haven’t already, make the switch to email now.

When will my premium change?

1 April 2020.

A couple sitting on a couch looking at a laptop

Why is my health insurance premium increasing?

Healthcare costs continue to increase due to an ageing population, rising chronic disease, increased use of healthcare services and the cost of new medical technology. This year, the inflation rate for medical and hospital services is 3.8%, which is significantly higher than nib’s average premium increase of 2.90%.

Last financial year, nib funded almost 330,000 hospital admissions and more than 3.8 million ancillary and dental visits for our members.

We paid out a total of $1.7 billion in claims on behalf of our 1.2 million members which is an increase of 4.7% on the previous year and amounts to almost $4.5 million paid in claims a day.

While the Hospital cover 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 affordability. This includes our decision to not increase the cost of nib Extras this year.

Are other health funds increasing their premiums?

Yes; the Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, announced on 7 December 2019 that all Australian health funds are increasing their premiums on 1 April 2020. The average industry increase is 2.92%; however, nib’s average premium increase will be 2.90% which is lower than the industry average, our lowest increase in 17 years and the lowest premium increase of the four major health funds in Australia.

Why should I review my cover each year?

There’s never been a better time to review your cover than now. As your life changes, so will your health needs – and we want to make sure you’re covered for the things you need most.

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

nib has a range of great health covers to suit your needs. You’ve got options and we encourage you to take a look around and make sure you find the cover that’s right for you. For more information on cover reviews, check out our article, Everything you need to know about reviewing your cover or call 13 14 63 to speak with one of our health insurance experts.

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

Are there any other changes to my health cover?

The only change nib is making is an adjustment to your premiums. There are no changes to nib products.

In 2019, the Australian Government introduced a number of reforms for the private health insurance industry with the aim of making health insurance easier to understand and more affordable.

At nib, we are supportive of these reforms and introduced them to our members as quickly as possible to improve the overall experience and affordability of our health insurance products.

Over the last 12 months, you may have noticed:

  • 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 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

What else are you doing to keep costs low?

In FY19, out-of-pocket expenses across the industry grew by 1.9% with members paying an average $315 per hospital episode which is why we’re doing more than ever to give you options that will reduce or eliminate these costs.

  • We're offering our MediGap scheme.
    MediGap is designed to eliminate your out-of-pocket expenses if you need specialist medical treatment in hospital. Nine times out of 10 nib members will not pay an out-of-pocket expense for eligible MediGap items when they are treated by a medical specialist. Our MediGap schedule offers a payment that is on average almost 40% above the Medicare benefit and we believe it is reasonable and fair.
  • We've enhanced our Find a Provider tool.
    This tool allows you to quickly and easily determine the likelihood of being charged a gap payment by a medical provider by providing up-to-date data on a provider’s average out-of-pocket expenses. You can also see patient reviews on the provider, so you can rest assured you’re receiving the best quality care.
  • We’re continuing to grow our First Choice Network.
    This network of trusted health professionals provides nib members with lower treatment costs when they visit an ancillary health provider, like a dentist or optometrist.
  • We've launched our Clinical Partners program.
    In Newcastle and the Lake Macquarie region, we’ve partnered with surgeons to provide our members with the guarantee of no out-of-pocket expenses and at-home rehabilitation for knee or hip replacement surgery where appropriate. This program allows us to reduce the uncertainty for our members around surgery costs.

If you’d like more information on how nib can help reduce the cost of your premium, check out our guide to saving money on your health insurance cover or call 13 14 63 to talk to one of our private health insurance experts.

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