Know your numbers when reviewing premiums

Know your numbers when reviewing premiums

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With the announcement of private health insurance premium increases by Health Minister Greg Hunt today, UniHealth is encouraging members and Australians alike to understand the numbers that matter.

The industry average premium increase was announced as 3.25%, and UniHealth came in at 3.94%.

Mr Brad Joyce, Chief Executive Officer of UniHealth, has welcomed today’s announcement of the lowest private health insurance premium increase in 18 years but questions whether the average premium increase percentage figures reflect an accurate comparison between insurers of the actual dollar increase and the true value of a health fund and/or their health insurance products.

“What these figures don’t take into account is the current individual premiums that health fund members may be paying and the benefits available under a specific product. Rather, it’s the weighted average premium increase across the entire product range which doesn’t provide much insight or an accurate comparison,” Mr Joyce said.

The discrepancy between the average increase and individual increases is clear when looking at UniHealth’s most popular product combination – Top Hospital and Top Extras.

“UniHealth’s premiums remain low within the industry as they are coming off such a low base, despite not having the lowest average premium increase for 2019,” Mr Joyce said.

“For example, the premium for UniHealth’s Top Hospital combined with top Extras, our most populous product combination choice, remains below the major insurers, a result that would have occurred even if they were to have a zero increase at 1 April 2019 [1].”

UniHealth last year announced one of the lowest premium increases across the industry, and Mr Joyce says the commitment to supporting members is as strong as ever.

“As a not-for-profit health fund, UniHealth is committed to keeping premiums as low as financially sustainable, while continuing to provide value for money, quality cover our members have come to expect,” Mr Joyce said.