Didn’t pay for your health insurance annually? Don’t worry

health insurance annually

Didn't pay your health insurance annually? Don't worry.

Now we’re into April you’ll start to notice a few things beginning to change: the temperature gets a little cooler, your health insurance starts costing a little bit more, and the amount of health insurance ads that have dominated your TV screens for past month have disappeared. You’d be forgiven for thinking that March is the only time people switch their health insurance, but I’m here to tell you this is definitely not the case.

The Myth

Switch on your TV in March, log into Facebook or read one of those suggested articles at the bottom of a news article and you’ll be inundated with advertisements telling you to beat the rate rise by paying health insurance annually in March.

There is so much health insurance related marketing that you'd think that people only switch in March, when they can afford to pay health insurance annually.

The Facts

The truth is only a small amount of people choose to pay their health insurance annually. Looking at our own customer base historically, only 3% decided to pay for their health insurance annually. Even in March this number only spikes to 15% based on the previous two years.

The main reason for this, is that health insurance can be expensive! It’s really not uncommon for a family on top cover to be paying well over $6,000 a year on their health insurance annually. Most people just don’t have that sort of money just sitting in their bank accounts to pay it off in one fell swoop.

What does it all mean?

March has been and gone – your health insurance premium has unfortunately increased and it leaves you with two options:

  1. The first option is to remain on your current plan and keep paying a higher premium for the same benefits you had last year, which your current health fund is banking on.
  2. The second, and more advisable option is to compare your private health insurance and see what else is out there. Just because you compare your cover, doesn’t mean you necessarily have to switch. The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman suggests to review your cover at least once a year as your circumstances can change.
health insurance annually

Who should you review with?

Health Deal is an excellent choice, as we quality check 100% of sales calls unlike some other comparators, which provides you confidence that you were given the correct advice if you decided to switch.  If you’ve never compared your health insurance before, here are some of the benefits:

  1. Lower your monthly premium as well as find higher benefits/rebates
  2. No waiting periods on hospital when you switch, as long you have served them already
  3. Transfer paperwork is handled on your behalf
  4. Choose from multiple health funds
  5. Be more informed about your current policy (as well as about health insurance in general)
  6. Tailor a policy to your individual needs by removing the excess waste you don’t use

Compare Health Cover Now

Health Deal’s goal is to give you a superior policy for around the same price, or an equivalent policy at a lower cost.
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Health Insurance Rate Rise: Beat it, before it beats you

Beat the health insurance rate rise before it beats you.

Why do health insurance prices keep rising?
By Chris Quinn

There are now officially three things in life which are certain: death, taxes and health insurance premiums rising every April 1. In January, Minister for Health, Greg Hunt announced that 2018’s health insurance rate rise was to be the lowest rise in two decades with an average premium increase of 3.95%. He outlined that on average, a single person would only see their policy premium rise by $1.40 per week, and families by around $2.75 per week.

Health Insurance Prices always seem to be going up!

But the problem with this announcement is that for millions of Australian families, their health cover isn’t going to increase by $2.75 per week, it’s going to be much more.

The biggest reasons for this are:

  1. Firstly, just because the industry has increased its prices by 3.95%, that does not mean that your specific policy will increase by that amount. Your policy may increase by 8% or 10% or more, but the health fund might have only increased some of their other policies by 2%, leaving you to pay more
  2. The second problem is that if you’re on a top level of cover, then that 3.95% (of a higher dollar amount) is going to hit your pocket a lot more.
Save on health insurance by paying smarter

There are a few ways you can keep your premium down. One is by paying using a different method. nib, for instance, offer you a 4 percent discount for paying directly from your bank account (as opposed to paying by credit card).

Or why not keep your premium down by paying your premium on a yearly basis before April 1, this way you’ll lock in your old rate for another 12 months. There are some health funds, like HIF for example who will even give you an additional 4% discount on top, just for paying yearly.

For many people though, paying yearly is not an option, so you may have to shop around to get a better deal.

Find a better health deal

When comparing policies with your fund or a comparator like Health Deal, you should be mindful of the price, but more importantly you should confirm you’re getting as much value for money as possible.

Most people in the health insurance industry can save you money by switching your plan and slashing your current benefits, but can they keep your benefits and slash your price?

Health Deal will assess your current policy, see how you’re using your plan and compare it against a range of other health funds to find you a better deal.

If you’d like to compare your current health insurance policy with Health Deal, please click here.

Health Deal’s goal is to give you a superior policy at the same price point, or an equivalent policy at a lower cost. Health Deal is also running a promotion where everyone who purchases a policy will automatically go into the draw to win 6 months free health cover!

Compare Health Cover Now

We have a range of funds to suit your needs
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Can you trust a broker for your health insurance?

When you think of a health insurance salesperson, what’s the first word that springs to mind? Dishonest? Pushy? Nuisance? How about knowledgeable consultant who abides by a series of rules set out by the Private Health Insurance Intermediaries Association (PHIIA)

Make Sure You Ask These 3 Questions

There are over 36 different health funds and literally thousands of different health insurance policy combinations

Lifetime Health Cover Loading & Medicare Levy Surcharge – what this really means to you

It’s almost June 30 – what do I do?

It’s the End of Financial year and each year you may hear about “Lifetime Health Cover Loading” or “LHC” but what does this really mean to you?

The Lifetime Health Cover Loading initiative penalises any Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents who do not take out Private Hospital cover from July 1st following their 31st birthday as well as people migrating to Australia who are over 30 and don’t take out cover within 12 months of arriving in Australia.

How does the penalty affect you?

Lifetime Health Cover Loading penalises you by adding 2% loading to your hospital cover for each year you fail to join after your cut-off date. For Example: If you take out hospital cover at age 40 you will pay 20% more than if you took it out at age 30.

“I’m over 31 with no health cover, does this mean I can’t afford it?”

Absolutely not, in fact here at Health Deal we pride ourselves on our ability to find an affordable and suitable option for you and your family. The maximum penalty loading is 70% which would apply to those aged 65 years or more – so, the sooner the better!

Keep in mind, once you’re in… You’re in! Your penalty loading is locked at the percentage at the time of joining and once you’ve held cover for 10 consecutive years the loading will be dropped completely. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

But wait, we can’t let LHC get all the attention… let’s discuss the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

The Medicare Levy Surcharge applies to singles who have a taxable income of over $90,000 and couples or families who have a combined income of more than $180,000 and do not have Private Hospital Cover.

If you earn over these thresholds, you will pay a levy at tax time for not having Private Hospital Cover, how much will you pay? That’s worked out as a percentage of your taxable income. Check out the table below which current thresholds:

MLS income thresholds for 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17 and 2017–18

What’s the good news you ask? By taking out any level of Private Hospital Cover you can avoid paying the levy all together and better yet: Health Deal is a free service to you so give us a call today on 1300 369 399 and we will work with you to ensure you and your family are in the best possible position at tax time. If you’re already sorted with your health insurance, call us anyway. The new financial year is a great reminder to review you and your family’s cover – we recommend doing so every twelve months.