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8 Feb 2013
4.2 million1 Australian say they'll reassess their private health cover with today's premium rise
A national Galaxy Research poll commissioned by iSelect has found Australians are already struggling with the cost of private health insurance (PHI), and today's premium increase will place further pressure on household budgets. The report found that 44% of Aussies with private health cover say it is too expensive, with 36% unable to justify keeping their premium at the current level.
Today's announcement of a premium increase by the Federal Government will see many Australians rethink their level of health cover. The poll found half (50%) of Australians with PHI said they would now reassess their policy and one in five (22%) Australians will decrease or drop their cover with a rise greater than 5%.
The national poll also found that one in three Australians (34%) were not aware that their personal premium could in fact increase over and above the increase announced by the Federal Government, as the announced figure is only an average.
"Australians are very confused when it comes to health cover. Over half don't know whether or incorrectly believe that switching to a different hospital cover policy with the same or lower level of benefits means they have to re-serve their waiting periods," said Head of Corporate Affairs at iSelect, Matt Cuming. "This isn't the case, your private health insurance is actually very portable, and once a hospital benefit waiting period is served with one insurer it must be honoured by others."
Mr Cuming said private health insurance is one rising cost that Australians can actually do something about. He actively encourages Australians to now consider their options carefully. "People need to be aware the price range between similar policies can be substantial, often hundreds of dollars a year, making it all the more important that people shop around and understand their options."
"Australians are concerned about the rising cost of living and are really feeling the pinch. Now is the time to review your health insurance, and make sure you have a policy that suits your actual needs and budget," Mr Cuming concluded.
Other key findings of the poll include:
- 44% of Australians say PHI is too expensive, with approximately one in four (24%) saying that PHI is important but they can't afford it
- 32% of Australians with PHI say they have PHI cover to avoid using the public health system
- Among Australians with PHI the majority (61%) will continue 'as is' if PHI premiums increase by 2-5% in April, however, for every 5% increase above this half of the existing people with PHI will change their policy in some way
- Approximately one in five Aussies (19%) say they are considering downgrading their level of cover and 9% say that the PHI premium has a major impact on their household budget and they are considering cancelling their policy.
For further information please call Matthew Cuming, iSelect Head of Corporate Affairs on
0421 566 787 or Anne-Marie Sparrow on 0417 421 560
1The poll showed 60% of Australians aged 18-64 have private health insurance = 8.45million. 50% of those with private health insurance will reassess their family's need for cover as a result of a price increase.
2This poll was conducted by Galaxy Research between 25 January and 29 January 2013. The study was conducted among 1483 Australians, aged 18-64 years. All results quoted are based on the responses of those Australians surveyed.
iSelect is the leading provider of better solutions for Australian consumers in the market for household products and services. We bring competing products with complex features together in one location in a way that makes it easier for consumers to decide right.
iSelect is at the forefront of a fundamental change in the way consumers buy products and services. Consumers use the iSelect service to save time and get a product that better suits their needs.
As an organisation, our shared commitment to simplifying the purchase of complex household products has been the cornerstone of our success since our launch in 2000. We focus on people, our partner providers, clients and staff, as we continue to grow and evolve into Australia’s home of comparison and choice.
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