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4.6 million Aussies make this expensive health mistake

Bank finance aid. Broken piggybank with a patch on wooden desk background. Injured economy care with bandage, cross shape. 3d illustration
Some Aussies are losing more than $100 a year by failing to save on health insurance. (Source: Getty) (Rawf8 via Getty Images)

Australians are being urged to reassess the cost of their health insurance amid new data finding two in five Aussies have made no moves to save money on their policy.

With 11.3 million Australians who have private health cover, that means 4.6 million people could make a potential saving on their health insurance policy.

The research comes ahead of a planned increase to health insurance premiums, which are scheduled to jump on 1 April by an average of 2.74 per cent.

“Now is the perfect time to reassess your health cover and lock in the best possible price before the April increase,” said Finder personal finance expert Taylor Blackburn.

Australians should shop around for health insurance policies, he urged.

“Not all health funds are equal, particularly when it comes to price increases, so see what’s out there and leave the loyalty behind,” he said.

“Reviewing your level of cover, splitting your hospital and extras, and looking at what other funds have to offer can all offer you potential savings on your premiums.”

Health insurance on some policies are slated to jump up by as much as 5.47 per cent.

For some Aussies with Gold-tier policies, this yearly increase could be as much as $112.18.

(Source: Finder)
(Source: Finder)

The most common way Aussies are saving money on health insurance is by choosing the most basic policy, with 24 per cent of Aussies doing this.

But Blackburn warned that this may end up leaving you underinsured if the policy isn’t the right fit.

“Having health insurance is more than just a formality, it’s there to offer a financial buffer should you fall ill, so choosing the best policy for your needs is really important,” he said.

There are over 30 health insurers in Australia, he added. “So find the best one for your personal situation.”

Other Aussies who are saving money on health insurance are paying upfront for the whole year (17 per cent), regularly reviewing and adjusting their cover (16 per cent) or regularly switching health insurers (12 per cent).

How do I save on my health insurance?

  • Unbundle your hospital and extras cover. It might be convenient, but it’s not always wallet-friendly, said Blackburn. “Looking at hospital and extras cover separately will give you more choice and more opportunities to save.”

  • Increase your excess. This is the amount you have to pay when you make a claim, and will lower the cost of your monthly premiums, which can help you save across the year. “If you choose to do this, make sure you are comfortable paying the higher amount should you need to make a claim.”

  • Scrap the couples policy. While it seemed convenient at the time to share a couples policy with your partner, this could be costing you more as only one person needs a higher level of cover than the other.

  • Compare policies. To ensure you’re getting bang for buck, compare your health insurance policies regularly, and switch when you need to.

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