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Why the private health insurance reforms are good for young people

4 minute read
A young couple looking at information on an iPad

Move out of home, find a job, pay off your HECS debt, buy a house, fill your house with indoor plants, eat healthily, get enough sleep, Google why your indoor plants keep dying, lodge your tax return on time, get 30 minutes of exercise a day, maintain a social life… Being an adult can be a complicated balancing act.

But there’s one thing that’s about to get a whole lot simpler and more affordable – your private health insurance.

Thanks to the upcoming Government-initiated reforms being introduced from 1 April 2019, there are a heap of 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 your health insurance premium more affordable

So, let’s explore what’s changing and why we think it’s good news for young people.

Under 30s, listen up!

Put your hand up if you hate paying full price for things. If your hand is in the air and you’ll be under the age of 30 on 1 April 2019, you’re in luck. When the upcoming reforms are introduced, nib members aged 18-29 will receive discounts of up to 10% on their private hospital insurance premiums.

This reform is called an age-based discount and it’s an optional reform, which means other health funds might not be implementing it, or could be applying it to some (but not all) products. If you’re an eligible nib member1, you won’t have to miss out, because we’ll be adding this discount to almost every hospital insurance product.

The age-based discount explained in an infographic

Our eligible members will 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 think you need to be new to nib to benefit, think again. It will also apply to all current eligible members aged 18-29 from 1 April 2019.

Looking to lower your premium?

If you’re healthy and not expecting to go to hospital anytime soon, or just looking for a way to reduce the cost of your health insurance, you can opt for a higher excess in exchange for a lower premium.

From 1 April 2019, nib members will be given the option to increase their maximum excess limit from $500 to $750 for singles, and from $1,000 to $1,500 for couples or families. Once again, this is an optional reform, so if you’re with another health fund, this might not apply. Increasing your maximum excess is completely voluntary, so if you’re satisfied with your current excess amount, you don’t have to do a thing.

A young woman in front of a sewing machine drinking coffee

Compare apples with apples

If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to comparing health insurance policies, this next reform is for you.

Part of the upcoming reforms requires all private health insurers to categorise their hospital cover products into easy to understand Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic tiers that reflect the level of cover they provide.

In addition, the way treatments are defined will be made the same across all insurers to make it easier for you to understand what you are and aren’t covered for. This means that all policies within a certain tier have to meet a minimum standard in terms of the benefits they provide. So you’ll be able to review products more easily across health funds, as you’ll be comparing apples with apples!

While we’re introducing the new product tiers from 1 April 2019, other health funds may choose to transition their products any time from 1 April 2019 until 31 March 2020.

No matter what level of cover you choose, the good news is by simply being an nib member, there are a heap of helpful tools and benefits you can access. Find out more about the things you have access to as an nib member.

Between now and 1 April 2019, we’ll be communicating to our members more about these industry changes and how they affect you. If you have any questions in the meantime, check out our private health insurance reforms FAQs.

If you’re not with nib, but you’d like to find out more about our cover options, get a quote today or contact our award-winning member service team on 13 16 42.

1 To be an eligible member you must be aged between 18 and 29 (inclusive) and not a dependent child under the age-based discount policy.

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