As part of Australian private health insurance reforms, in 2020, all old private health policies were due to be automatically replaced on April 1. Instead, insured Australians were allocated new policies to fit in with the new tiered system, either basic, bronze, silver, or gold.

In many cases, this policy change also included a price increase, although some insurance companies are now delaying their price increase until October 1 due to the unfolding COVID19 situation.

Because the policies were automatically rolled over to a new system, many Australians were allocated to a cover or policy that’s different to what they signed up for. In other words, the decision was made for them – and it may not necessarily have been the right one.

What’s changed?

The reforms introduced by April 1 are designed to simplify private health insurance and make it easier for people to understand what they’re covered for (and what they’re not). Changes include:

    • Classifying hospital cover under the 4 tiers (basic, bronze, silver, and gold)
    • The ability to offer discounts for 18-29 year olds
    • Options to offer higher excesses in exchange for lower premiums
    • Travel and accommodation benefits if you need to travel a long way to get treatment
    • Mental health treatment without re-serving waiting periods if you upgrade your cover
    • Excluding some natural therapies from extras policies

And of course, in many cases, there’ll also be a yearly price increase – although, as we mentioned, this may be deferred until October.

While health funds had until April 1, 2020, to implement these changes, yours may have introduced them sooner.

It’s time to check your current health policy

If you haven’t looked at your health policy recently, put it at the top of your to-do list.

Check to see if your policy and coverage has changed, along with the price. You should do this as soon as possible to make sure you’re still paying for the kind of cover you want and need.

You could have been switched to a tiered policy that’s a higher level of cover than you need (which means you’re paying too much) or that misses some essentials you actually need (so you could end up unexpectedly out of pocket for your next claim). It’s important to review your policy and make sure your tier matches your needs.

And even if you already reviewed your policy not long ago, it’s a good idea to shop around because you could save hundreds per year by simply switching to another provider. Just because you’re on the appropriate tier, doesn’t mean you’re getting the product for the best possible price. Not all policies have increased in price at the same time or by the same amount. So it’s important to check prices and make sure you’re still getting a good deal.

How do I compare policies to know I’m getting the best value?

Comparing insurance products is tricky. There are a lot of factors to consider, even with the new reforms and tiers. There are still variations between insurance policies, like different tiers, rebates, and excess.

That’s why comparing providers is best done via, where you can see the best health insurance options tailored to your situation, compared side-by-side. It’s the best way to make an informed decision about what’s best for you.

Find out how much you can save is here to help with our free comparison service.

Simply answer a few questions, view health insurance policies personalised to your situation, and switch your cover online. It’s quick, easy, and totally transparent so you know you’re getting the best value. And if you switch to cover that’s the same level (or lower) as your current insurance policy, you’ll get a refund on any premiums you’ve paid in advance and you can skip the waiting periods.

Get started with us today and find out how much you can save. In just a few minutes, you’ll have all the information you need to finally make an informed decision about your health cover!