Private Health Insurance premiums increase again – Complete the survey and win a Misfit Rays health tracker!
It seems to be a fact of life in Australia – in April every year our health insurance premiums increase in price and we weigh up whether we really can afford to have private health cover. Particularly for families, the rise in insurance premiums can put a lot of pressure on finances, and it may mean juggling the type of cover, or forgoing something else in the budget to ensure the premiums can be met each month.
Why do private health insurance premiums increase?
The cost of healthcare increases every year, which then requires health funds to negotiate service contracts with both private and public hospitals, as well as individual service providers. As all of these costs increase annually, the calculating of insurance premiums must take this into account. With the increased availability of information (AKA Dr Google), we have all become educated consumers who can now research and request procedures or treatments from our doctors. This increase in demand for services, along with the fact that we expect a higher quality of life to previous generations and we are now living longer, has led to higher costs for health funds which in turn are passed on to policy holders.
How to choose a private health insurer
Choosing who to ensure with can be a frustrating experience, but here are some tips to help weigh up all the options –
- Satisfaction ratings – Do your research. Are others insured with this insurer happy? Check out reviews online and ask the people you know for real life experiences with the insurer.
- Record of previous premium rises – Find out how the insurer compares to other insurers when premiums have risen in previous years. Have they increased premiums dramatically? Have they instead kept within the recommended percentage increases for the industry each year?
- Cover required – Does the insurer provide cover for the services you already know you will require? Will you be paying for cover you don’t require? For example, if you have completed your family, will you need obstetrics cover, or can you remove that cover to save on premiums?
- Cost – Most importantly, can you afford the cost of the cover you are considering? How will this impact your family budget for other regular expenses?
Other factors you may want to consider when choosing a private health insurer are – Accessibility (Can you visit a branch easily if need be?), Recommended Providers (Can you claim more at your family dentist if they are on the list of recommended providers?) and Ease of Claiming (Can you claim easily online? How long do claims take to process?).
Born out of the Mount Isa Mine Health Fund in the mid-1970s, Queensland Country Health Fund now has its headquarters in Townsville, North Queensland. Previously a not-for-profit fund, QCHF transitioned to a for-profit fund in January 2016. This has meant low premium rises over the past 10 years. Providing insurance to more than 40,000 people, QCHF is supported by all of Queensland Country Credit Union’s 21 branches across the state. This means that members can have most queries answered at a branch. Six QCCU branches also have a dedicated QCHF desk to deal only with members. Queensland Country Health Fund has experienced a 95% satisfaction rating, low levels of switching from members, and has kept premium increases below the industry standard for the past 9 years. With the announcement of 2016 premium rises, QCHF will increase this record to 10 years of lower-than-average health insurance premium rises.
Win 1 of 5 Misfit Rays health trackers!
Fill in a quick 30 second survey and you can go in the draw to win one of five Misfit Rays fitness and sleep trackers! If you’ve not seen these stunning trackers, check out the gallery below – they’re not your average wrist band!
Simply let Queensland Country Health Fund know what’s important to you when it comes to private health cover for your family via the survey link below, and you could be the proud owner of an awesome Misfit Ray!
Competition closes 31st March 2016. Good luck!
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