Changing your excess: How to reduce the cost of your health insurance premium
Maximum excess limits have increased, giving you more choice
Your health is one of the most valuable assets you’ll ever have. Getting private health insurance is a great way to ensure you’ll have the right financial support when you need it most, but your cover shouldn’t be set and forget.
If you’re looking for ways to reduce the price of your health insurance premium, a few small changes can make a big difference. At nib, we want to make sure that we’re providing health covers that give our members the best value for money. We aim to offer 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.
With that in mind, here are a few ways you can save money on your private health insurance cover today.
Your hobbies, interests and taste in music can change as you get older, and your health needs are no different. If you want to ensure you’re getting the best value on your private health insurance, it’s important to review your cover regularly. If your family is complete, now might be a good time to change to a policy that doesn’t include pregnancy cover. Or, if you’ve recently given up marathon running for good, you might not need as high a level of Extras cover for the physio (unless you’ve taken up rugby instead).
As we experience each new stage of life, our health needs can change, so save yourself some cash and make sure you're not paying for cover you don't need.
Just like your car or home insurance, excess is an amount of money you agree to pay for a hospital stay, before health insurer benefits are payable. Generally speaking, choosing a higher excess means you’ll pay less for your health cover.
Premiums may also differ depending on the excess option you choose. nib members can choose an excess limit of $250, $500 or $750 for singles, and $1,000 or $1,500 for couples or families. So, if you’re with nib, you can now opt for a higher level of excess in return for a lower premium. If you’re with another health fund, this might not apply as it was an optional part of the reforms. To find out more, visit our private health insurance reforms FAQs.
If you’re under 30, you’re in luck. As part of the reforms, nib members aged 18-29 automatically receive discounts of up to 10% on their private hospital insurance premiums.
This reform is called an age-based discount and it’s also an optional reform, which means other health funds might not have implemented it, or could have applied it to some (but not all) products. If you’re an eligible nib member, you won’t have to miss out, because we’ve added this discount to almost every hospital insurance product.
Our eligible members1 receive a 2% discount for every year that they’re aged less than 30, up to a maximum of 10% for those aged 18-25. And, the best part is if they remain on an age-based discount policy, they’ll retain that discounted rate until they turn 41, where it will then be gradually phased out at a rate of 2% per year.
If you don’t currently have private health insurance, and you’re under the age of 31, then there’s no better time to take out cover. Why? Because if you don’t have private hospital cover by 1 July following your 31st birthday, you might have to pay a Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading in addition to your premium.
The LHC is a Government initiative put in place to encourage people to take out private hospital cover earlier on in life. For every year you delay after turning 31, you’ll be charged a 2% loading on top of your premium when you take out a policy. With the LHC loading lasting for 10 years and at a maximum of 70%, it’s definitely worth avoiding if you can.
Our Lifetime Health Cover article has more information on the topic if you’re preparing to blow out 31 candles.
If you want to get the best value from your private health insurance, review your cover regularly
If you set up automatic direct debit payments from your bank, building society or credit union cheque or savings account, you might be eligible for a discount of up to 4% on your nib premium2. Simply login to Online Services to add or update your direct debit details.
To keep your out of pocket expenses low when visiting a dentist or optometrist, our nib First Choice network should be your first port of call. It’s our community of specially-selected health providers who have agreed to provide nib members with quality healthcare at an affordable price.
You can choose to see the dentist or optical provider of your choice, but by choosing an nib First Choice provider, it simply means you could pay less. Search the nib First Choice network now to find a provider.
nib has a range of great health covers meaning our members have options when it comes to protecting their health. 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.
1To be an eligible member you must be aged between 18 and 29 (inclusive) and not a dependent child under the age-based discount policy.
2Discount not available on Ambulance Only cover