Australia’s health insurance sector is set for a major overhaul next year that is expected to affect millions of Australians.
Picking the right insurance for the year ahead will mean understanding how these changes have impacted your cover in relation to other insurers on the market.
“At the moment, health insurance is incredibly complex and people are often lost, not knowing what they’re covered for,” News Corp’s personal finance writer Sophie Elsworth said.
To keep it simple, Elsworth told Your Money Live that there are three key things you should be on top of leading into the new year.
Check your new cover
Next year, health insurance products will be relabeled under the new categories ‘Gold’, ‘Silver,’ ‘Bronze’ and ‘Basic’ from April 1.
“What they’ll be doing is pushing different types of cover into each tier and you’ll be soon be finding out whether you’ll be getting bronze cover, gold cover etc,” explained Elsworth.
Elsworth said the new system is supposed to make it easier for customers to understand what they’re covered for, but it’s important to check whether you’re getting the best deal within the new system.
Rising cost of premiums
The average cost of premium insurance cover is expected to increase by around 2.9 per cent on average next year, but that will vary depending on your insurer.
While this is the lowest price hike in 18 years, Elsworth says it’s important to check what the new costs are to determine whether you’re getting the best deal.
“April 1 is the perfect time for people to review their cover. So, check what cover you’re getting next year when it’s classified into the different types,” she said.
Use up your benefits
Many health insurers reset their benefits each year on January 1, which means that you should make sure you’ve used them up before that date.
“We’ve only got a few weeks left until the end of the year, it’s not too late to get a physio check-up or get those new set of glasses and get some money back,” she added.