Health Insurance Premiums Rising 1 April 2020

Anneke van Aswegen Updated: 31 March 2020

April 2020 premium increases postponed

Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, 1 April 2020 health insurance premium increases have been postponed for 6 months, with specific health funds, like HBF, waiving the price rise for 12 months.

Private health insurance premiums will rise by an average of 2.92% on 1 April 2020. Although health insurance rates increase annually, each health fund has a specific price increase. However, 2020 will be the year of the lowest increase in over a decade. 

The company that has the lowest increase in private health insurance premiums is HBF with 1.98%, followed by CBHS (2.37%) and Transport Health (2.59%). The companies with the highest percentage increase are myOwn Health with 5.63%, HIF with 5.58% and the Mildura District Hospital Fund Ltd with 4.68%.

When do health insurance premiums increase?

Health insurance prices increase every year on 1 April 2020. If your percentage increase is higher than the industry average of 2.92%, then your health fund must explain, in writing, why this was necessary. The premium you pay usually depends on your chosen health fund, cover type (Hospital, Extras or Combined) and your level of coverage.

Compare the health insurance premiums rate rise for 2020

Health Fund2020 Price Increase
ACA Health Benefits Fund Limited3.94%
Australian Unity Health Limited2.79%
BUPA HI Pty Ltd 3.26%
CBHS Corporate Health Pty Ltd 2.37%
CBHS Health Fund Limited 3.91%
Cessnock District Health Benefits Fund Limited 3.96%
CUA Health Limited 3.99%
Defence Health Limited 3.49%
Doctors’ Health Fund Pty Ltd 3.29%
GMHBA Limited 3.34%
HBF Health Limited 1.98%
Health Care Insurance Ltd 3.75%
Health Insurance Fund of Australia Limited 5.58%
Health Partners Limited 2.77% Pty Ltd 3.94%
Hospitals Contribution Fund of Australia Ltd 3.39%
Latrobe Health Services Limited 3.49%
Medibank Private Limited 3.27%
Mildura District Hospital Fund Ltd 4.68%
myOwn Health Pty Ltd 5.63%
National Health Benefits Australia Pty Ltd 2.99%
Navy Health Ltd 3.49%
Nurses & Midwives Health Pty Ltd 3.74%
Nurses & Midwives Health Pty Ltd 3.74%
Peoplecare Health Limited 3.48%
Phoenix Health Fund Limited 3.10%
Police Health Limited 3.14%
Queensland Country Health Fund Ltd 3.56%
Queensland Teachers’ Union Health Fund Limited 2.66%
Railway & Transport Health Fund Ltd 2.91%
Reserve Bank Health Society Ltd 3.08%
St Luke’s Medical and Hospital Benefits Association 2.90%
Teachers Federation Health Ltd 3.24%
Transport Health Pty Ltd 2.59%
Westfund Limited 4.32%

Source: The Australian Government Department of Health (December 2019)

Health insurance premium increases: 2010 to 2020

YearAverage increase by year (%)
2010 5.78%
2011 5.56%
2012 5.06%
2013 5.60%
2014 6.20%
2015 6.18%
2016 5.59%
2017 4.84%
2018 3.95%
2019 3.25%
2020 2.92%

Source: Australian Government Department of Health (December 2019)

What causes health insurance premiums to increase?

The three biggest reasons health insurance premiums increase are the growing senior population, young Australians cancelling their coverage and the increasing costs of health care. When insurers have a more significant percentage of seniors, people aged 60 and over, premiums generally increase because the people that have private coverage tend to require more frequent and expensive medical assistance and thus claim more.

An increase in private health insurance premiums are generally needed so companies can continue to cover the costs of benefits, including the salary increases of medical practitioners and the latest expensive innovative technologies.

7 Ways to save money on private health insurance

  1. Pay your premiums annually before 1 April 2020; then you’ll be able to pay the same price for the next 12 months.
  2. Review your policy to determine if you’re still using all the benefits you’re paying for. You might find that you can downgrade your cover and thus pay a lower premium.
  3. Compare the type of policy you want between different health funds. You’re not bound by a contract and can switch any time.
  4. If you have a Hospital policy, consider paying a higher Excess; the amount of money you pay upfront when going to the hospital. A higher excess will usually result in cheaper premiums.
  5. Claim your government rebate at tax time. The amount you can claim generally depends on your taxable income, age and family structure (single, couple or family).
  6. Reduce your out-of-pocket costs by visiting a provider that’s part of your fund’s preferred providers network.
  7. Keep an eye out for discount and promotions. Health insurance companies compete for your business and will offer exclusive savings deals throughout the year.

Frequently asked questions and answers

  • Who approves the health insurance premium increases?

    Health insurance companies must provide their proposal justifying their need to increase premium first to the Department of Health and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), who then carefully reviews it before sending to the Commonwealth Minister of Health for approval.
  • Will my health insurance premiums go up?

    Yes. All health insurance companies in Australia has reported the percentage by which customers premiums will increase on 1 April 2020.
  • Can I claim my health insurance premiums on my taxes?

    Yes, generally you can claim a health insurance rebate from the government during tax time. However, the amount you’re entitled to depends on your taxable income, your age and whether your single, a couple or have a family.

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