Premium Increase and Benefit Changes 2022
We recognise the enormous impact COVID-19 has made on the livelihoods of our members and their ability to access quality healthcare services. That’s why we’ve decided to defer a change to premiums until 1 August 2022.
We deferred premium increases at the start of the pandemic saving members over $6 million. Our latest premium deferral will provide $2.95 million in premium relief to members, and our COVID-19 Community Support Package to assist members financially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will increase to almost 15 million.
Why do premiums change?
We get it – no one likes paying more. However, as health care costs and usage continue to rise, it’s our job to balance premiums with our ability to deliver the same quality cover and outstanding service that you’ve come to expect from us.
As a member-owned fund, increasing premiums is never our first choice but we need to ensure we’re maintaining our commitments to our members and their access to quality and timely healthcare.
We’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions about the changes to the cost of your premiums. We want you to be happy with your cover and to understand any changes and how they apply to you.
If you want to discuss your cover with us, get in touch and we'll be happy to help.
I rarely claim but my premium is increasing. Why?
All private health insurers in Australia operate under the ‘Community Rating’ system – it’s a government requirement.
Community Rating means all consumers are entitled to buy the same product, at the same price and are guaranteed the right to renew their policy. There are some exceptions to this, for example Lifetime Health Cover and Age-Based Discounts.
A health fund cannot refuse to insure you or refuse to sell you any policy you want to buy on the basis of your health or how likely you are to claim.
Basically, regardless of how you use (or don’t use) your cover, we don’t charge you differently based on your health status or age.
Why do premiums need to increase during the COVID-19 pandemic?
We have continued to provide support and to pay claims for our members throughout COVID-19.
Our support has included:
- COVID-19 Community Support Package payments
- paused premium increases,
- access to financial hardship support,
- access to Telehealth services,
- an expanded suite of Health and Wellbeing programs.
As a not-for-profit health insurer, our focus is on providing higher than average benefits back to our members, ensuring we deliver the best value for money we can.
When does the premium change take effect?
Premium changes are effective as of 1 August 2022. Payments made on or after this date will be calculated at the new rate.
When will I know my new premium?
We notified members in February of their new premium from 1 August 2022 by direct correspondence. How you received this information depends on your correspondence preference – if you opted in for email, keep an eye on your inbox. Otherwise, your notification would have been sent via post.
Why don’t extras benefits go up when the premiums go up?
As we are not-for-profit and invested in the satisfaction of our members, we’re always looking for ways to improve benefits and services.
We review our benefits regularly to make sure we are offering good value, especially on the services our members want most. Don’t just take our word for it - you can see how our benefits compare to other health funds on the Federal Government’s comparison tool.
This is an independent Australian Government comparison site which also provides more information about private health insurance, including premium costs.
What is rate protection? How far ahead can I pre-pay?
Our members can lock in their current rate by paying their premiums up to 18 months in advance.
If you want to do this, you just need to make a payment before 31 July 2022.
Is my direct debit/payroll payment automatically adjusted?
Yes – we’ll take care of your payroll or direct debit payments for you. Just a reminder, if you pay via BPAY, you'll need to adjust your payment from 1 August 2022 to ensure your policy remains up to date.
I can’t afford this increase. What are my options?
We don’t want members who are experiencing financial distress right now to be burdened with additional concerns about premium payments.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’re here to discuss any possible impacts of this premium increase and any options available, including:
- Changing how often you make your payments. By making payments more often, each payment can be more manageable.
- Choosing a cover with an excess. Our excess options on selected covers include Nil, 250, 500 and 750.
- Choosing a Hospital only cover
- Choosing an Extras only cover
Benefit Changes 2022
There will be changes to certain benefits from 1 April 2022. For an outline of these changes, please follow the button below.