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Aussies who have private health insurance don’t need to rush to pre-pay to lock in their premium this year, with many major health funds delaying premium increases.
Consumer advocacy group CHOICE has urged Australians to check in with their health funds before pre-paying their insurance.
"Over 80 per cent of funds are delaying their premium increases due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which means that most people don't need to pre-pay their premium now," CHOICE insurance expert Jodi Bird said.
"Health funds and comparison sites will push you to pre-pay your premium now, but that only helps if your fund is increasing its premiums on 1 April.
“Don't fall for the health insurance advertising blitz … and keep your money in your own pocket," Bird said.
More than two dozen private health funds have announced they will be delaying their 2022 premium increase due to the pandemic. This includes some of the big health insurance funds:
NIB - September 1
Bupa, Medibank - October 1
HCF - November 1
Some funds will also allow you to lock in your premium for up to 18 months by pre-paying your cover.
How to delay your increase
1. Check if your fund is delaying your premium increase this year.
2. Find out how long you can pre-pay for, and what discounts for pre-paying and paying by direct debit are on offer, if any. Contact your fund directly for this information.
3. Make sure you pre-pay before prices increase. Check if a pre-payment date applies with your fund and that your payment is received before the cut-off date.
"Now is also a great time to review your cover and make sure your health insurance actually fits your needs,” Bird said.
“You might be able to save money by downgrading your cover if your situation has changed or even by switching to a new fund.”