NewsThe Most important Letter You’ll Receive this Month
The Most important Letter You’ll Receive this Month

The Most important Letter You’ll Receive this Month

Like hundreds of thousands of Australians will do over the coming weeks, I just received a letter from my health fund bearing bad news.

For yet another year in a row, my health premium is going up.

And while normally I would have skim-read this annual correspondence I’ve come to expect, this year I paid close attention.


Because not only did the letter tell me I would need to fork out an extra $54.60 annually for my particular singles policy, but it also outlined how the government’s new reforms will impact my cover.

The major one - a new classification system, categorising hospital cover into Gold, Silver, Bronze or Basic cover.

But why, you may ask, is this the most important letter you receive all month?

Because you might be like me and find some things you were covered for will no longer be included in your revised policy come April 1.

The re-arrangement of all policies into those categories is going to make for mass changes to the new policies that funds sell, and also the current policies their customers are on.

Equally, you may find you’re now paying for things you don’t need, adding more to the price of your annual premium, which have risen across the board by about 66 percent in the past decade, according to Health Department data.

Other changes to look for - your health fund may mention the exclusion of some natural therapies such as naturopathy and kinesiology, which can no longer be claimed for.

They might let you know of some changes to excesses, allowing families or couples to increase their excess to $1500, and singles to $750 - which could cut your premium by hundreds each year.

These changes are all part of what the government is calling the biggest shakeup to the health industry in two decades, and it could get confusing, so do me a favour and read your letter closely!

And if you feel your current cover is no longer meeting your need, get a free quote today.

It’s a simple start towards better value health care that suits you and your family’s needs.


Any advice contained in this article is general in nature and does not take account of your particular objectives, personal circumstances or needs. If in doubt about your own situation you should seek appropriate advice.

Originally posted on .

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Robert from NSW commented:

Just done a bit of research. We need to pressure our politicians to change the Australian Constitution. Why ? Because, in our constitution, in essence it states that......... (1) Australian doctors can charge whatever they like - if doctors perceive government payments to be insufficient, they can simply charge patients directly. and (2) Private health insurers cannot control doctors' fees - it is impossible to insure something that is uninsurable. So the doctors have free reign, the private health insurers can't keep up. and our pollies won't do anything to fix it. We need a referendum - NOW !!! 

Carole from NSW commented:

I phoned my provider, asking why my premium was increasing by 5%, above the national average again. The answer I got was that it depends on the State I live in and the actual policy. So, I asked if it was more expensive in NSW. They didn't confirm, just repeated what they had said. Wonder if us oldies are paying more for our singles policies than younger people? Although we might need joint replacements, which my policy does not include, we don't need help with any any maternity costs. 

martin from QLD commented:

One may have been a member of a health fund since Howard introduced the Lifetime Health Cover in 2000. With no claims, that is a lot of funds that have been wasted on this feature by myself. Do you think there would be some sort of "Frequent Non-Users rebate?" Nah, all we get is huge increases for premiums AND reductions in what is covered. (When one particular health fund is charged $1,100 for a procedure in day surgery, and another health fund -for the SAME procedure in the SAME hospital is only charged $650, there is something off in the system!) When one can no longer obtain an excess of $1,000 (and willing to take that gamble) it makes the premium of around $2,000 for a healthy single person way over the top at $5.50 per day! So, I for one am pulling the plug out of this scheme. Permanently. 

Robert from NSW commented:

I went on line with my fund, and discovered what my new premium will be from 1 April. Now get this. They've simply changed the names of both my hospital and extras cover, but I'm still covered for exactly the same things as before 1 April, and the extras limits for each category are exactly the same. And the price for this piece of administrative jiggery-pokery ? A premium increase of 6%. For what ? I rang my provider and asked why this is so and got the usual BS. They did tell me that the "industry average" was a 3.5% increase, so who exactly am I subsidising ? I posted previously that this new scheme would be a rip-off. There needs to be a Royal Commission into these rorts. 

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