If you’re thinking about cancelling your private health insurance, you’re not alone. The latest figures from APRA show that:
Almost 10,000 Australians dropped their private health cover in the final quarter of 2019
- Just 44 per cent of Australians have basic hospital cover
- The largest decline in coverage is for 25-29 year olds
- Out-of-pocket hospital expenses increased by 3.2% in 2019
- The average gap payment was $300 in the final quarter of 2019
So, why are we seeing these trends? There are a few reasons, but to sum them up: rising costs and confusion around what you’re paying for have made it difficult to compare options and find the most suitable health cover.
For young people in particular who often have fewer immediate health needs, health insurance can seem like poor value for money. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get good value or that cancelling your health insurance is the best option.
Before you cancel, it’s important to take a step back and see the bigger picture of the Australian health system and how it impacts you now and how it will likely impact you in the future.
4 reasons to reconsider cancelling
The private health system is counting on you
With more younger Australians dropping their private health cover, there are fewer people left in the system to sustain it. It means there’s more pressure on the older generations to absorb price increases. Once it gets to a certain point, the private health system won’t be sustainable any more. And that’s a very bad thing…
Increasing pressure on public health systems
As more people leave the private system, it means more pressure on the public health system. In 2018-19, 760,000 patients were admitted for public hospital elective surgery, while 980,000 patients were added to waitlists. Public hospitals will struggle to keep up with even more demand if more people leave the private health system. With more public patients, wait times will increase even further, leading to bed shortages and poor health outcomes.
Quality of life matters
Private health is important if your quality of life matters. If you rely on the public health system for all your health care, you’ll be stuck on waiting lists and won’t be able to choose things like where you receive care and who your doctor is. This can mean years waiting for non-critical (but pain-relieving and life-impacting) operations like hernia repair, knee replacements, and cataract surgery.
It affects everyone
When more people are cared for in the private health system, it means people in the public health system have shorter wait times and better quality of life, too. Everyone wins.
What should you do about those high premiums?
So, you don’t want to cancel your private health insurance, but you DO want to make sure you’re not paying too much, especially as wages aren’t keeping up with increases in premiums?
Here’s what you need to do:
Identify your priorities
First thing’s first: know what kinds of cover you need, whether hospital, extras, or both. And check that the inclusions match what you’re most likely to use so you’re not missing anything important or paying for something you’re unlikely to use. The better your health insurance fits your situation, the better value you’ll get from it.
Don’t get complacent
Your health situation and family will change over time – sometimes quite rapidly, as kids are born, grow up, and fly the nest! Or health conditions present themselves or your lifestyle changes. Plus, new health insurance policies are released that may offer better value. So, don’t get complacent – regularly check that your insurance matches your situation and see what other options are available to you. Switching isn’t as complex as you might think – there are also laws that protect you so you don’t have to re-serve waiting periods if you’re moving to a policy with the same or lower coverage.
Do your research
Shop around! That’s the best way to make sure you’re getting the best value from your policy. The challenge with this is comparing all the different health funds and policies, since they all offer different inclusions. Rather than opening up a hundred tabs in your browser and trying to compare each health insurance website one at a time, it’s much easier to compare the best options in one place with CompareHealthInsurance.online.
Simply enter a few details, compare policies personalised to your needs, and apply online – it only takes a few minutes! Oh, and it’s a completely free service.
Get the best value health insurance today
It’s crystal clear that private health insurance is essential for Australians. If you care about getting the best healthcare, maintaining quality of life, and providing better care for your fellow citizens, keep your private health. But do your research and switch providers if necessary to make sure you’re getting the right kind of health cover and the best value for money.
So if our fund sounds like the sort of health insurer you deserve, jump on our our comparison tool today and find a health fund that gives more back.