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Why private health insurance will be easier to understand

3 minute read
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Thanks to the upcoming Government-initiated private health insurance reforms, there are a lot of positive changes about to be rolled out from 1 April 2019.

The reforms are in line with nib’s intent of delivering greater value for our members, simplifying health insurance through increased transparency about what you’re covered for, as well as making sure our members have choice when selecting a cover that’s the right fit.

So, let’s explore what’s changing and why private health insurance will be easier to understand than ever before.

Standardised clinical categories

If it sometimes feels like different health insurers are speaking different languages, that’s about to change.

To ensure industry-wide consistency of covered services, and to simplify private health insurance, the Department of Health has developed a series of standardised clinical categories. These categories are easy to understand and designed to cover all hospital services, so you’ll know exactly what you’re covered for.

This means it will be easier for you to know what different insurance products do and don’t cover. For example, if you’re covered for ‘Ear, nose and throat’ under one health fund’s product, you’ll also be covered for the same Medicare Benefits Schedule item numbers if you select a product with cover for ‘Ear, nose and throat’ with another health fund.

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Easier to understand product tiers

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.

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.

So, will these changes make it easier to buy and understand health insurance?

We support the reforms and believe they’ll make health insurance even better and easier to understand for our members. The industry as a whole will become a lot more standardised, which means you can focus on finding the health cover that suits your needs, your values and your lifestyle.

We’ve worked hard to minimise any impact on our members as a result of the changes by ensuring we put you at the heart of our decisions when redesigning nib’s existing health covers to align with the reform requirements.

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.

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