19
December
2018
|
01:16
Australia/Melbourne

FAQs about health insurance premiums 2019

Bupa answers some frequently asked questions to help you understand the private health insurance premium changes announced today.

Are Bupa health insurance premiums increasing? 

The Australian Government has agreed to an average premium increase for Bupa members from 1 April 2019. Health insurers review their premiums at this time of year to reflect things, such as the ongoing rise in healthcare costs.

Bupa customers will see an average premium increase of 2.99 per cent. This is the lowest of the four largest insurers and compares to an industry average of 3.25 per cent.

Bupa has also made moves to quickly adopt the government reforms, allowing for age-based discounting delivering a discount of up to 10 per cent for adults aged under 30 which brings the actual average increase to 2.78 per cent for all Bupa customers.

All customers will be notified in February to let you know what this means for you.

Why are health insurance premiums increasing? 

Premium increases are driven by such things as an ageing population which needs more medical and surgical care, new and expensive medical technology and treatment options and the increasing costs of healthcare providers.

The increase in healthcare costs hasn’t gone away, but we know customers alone can’t keep absorbing these costs. So we will share some of the costs with our members, but we also continue the push for broader reform of the health system as every component has a role to play in keeping healthcare as affordable as it can be for Australians.

What do you mean healthcare costs are rising?

There are three key components that can drive up healthcare costs:

  • Operating costs for hospitals regularly increase, and typically by more than inflation.
  • We have a 'community rated' health system, which means your premium overall does not go up based on your health or claims history. This means costs are spread equally across all members and with an ageing population, the number of claims each year are increasing, as are the costs.
  • Ongoing advances in technology, which can make medical procedures far less invasive and therefore more popular, are very expensive to implement, again pushing up the costs of health care

This is Bupa’s lowest premium increase in 17 years, what has driven a lower increase for Bupa customers in 2019?

We know household budgets are tight, and health insurance is a significant cost. We know it’s hard and so we are making a real effort to keep premiums as low as possible.

The increase in healthcare costs hasn’t gone away, but we know it’s not good enough to expect customers to keep absorbing these costs.

We also need to continue the push for broader reform of the health system as every component has a role to play in keeping healthcare affordable for Australians.

How will customers know about their premium changes? 

Bupa will be contacting all members through February and March to advise of any premium or product changes.

When will customer premium changes take effect? 

The changes will come in to effect on 1 April 2019

Why can’t you tell me how much my increase is now?

We want to make sure that we can communicate to you the correct premium for your cover, including any rebates or incentives you may be entitled to. We will let you know of any changes from February next year.

 

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