Government health insurance reforms: premium savings kick in
For the first time in almost 20 years, Bupa Health Insurance customers can now choose a higher hospital excess in return for a lower premium. Customers under 30 will also automatically start receiving new aged-based discounts.
What are the government health insurance changes that come into effect this week?
Health insurer Bupa has confirmed it has adopted Federal Government reforms to age-based discounts and will offer the option of increased excess levels to help Australians of all ages save money on private health insurance.
As of this week, the changes mean customers under 30 are now entitled to discounts up to 10 per cent for hospital cover premiums, applied automatically.
Customers can also now choose the option of a higher excess, in order to lower their premium. Depending on the product, voluntary excesses may increase from $500 for singles to $750, and from $1000 for families to $1500.
Dr Dwayne Crombie, Bupa Health Insurance Managing Director, said this decision will give customers the chance to make real savings on their health insurance costs.
“We know health insurance is a big expense for households across Australia and we want to do everything we can to keep it affordable,” Dr Crombie said.
“The Australian Federal Government reforms have given us the choice to make our health insurance offering more affordable for many customers. We’re choosing to quickly implement these optional changes in full to help ensure health insurance isn’t out of reach for Australians.
80 per cent of our customers currently choose a policy with an excess and this will be the first time in almost 20 years they can choose a higher excess in return for a lower price.
“We will also offer customers aged 18-29 years annual discounts of up to 10 per cent off their private health insurance hospital cover premiums.
“The more under 30s we have taking up health insurance annually, the better it is for all health insurance customers because it helps to keep premiums lower,” Dr Crombie said.
Also coming into effect this week, rural and regional customers will have access to travel and accommodation benefits being added to hospital cover.
“We are keen to support our rural and regional customers who have to travel long distances for care and need accommodation while seeking treatments and health services,” Dr Crombie said.
All Bupa customers will have their policies re-named to align with the Government’s new Gold, Silver, Bronze classification structure on 1 July. All current members will have been received communication about these changes as part of the rate review.
More information about the Government private health insurance reforms can be found here.
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