Healthy cover: a consumers' guide to the private health insurance changes

Health insurance Consumers Private health insurance Australia

There are seven main areas of change with most taking effect from 1 April 2019.

The changes are designed to make private health insurance choices easier to make, to help people choose cover that best suits their needs, and to improve the value of private health insurance for people in particular circumstances such as those living in rural and remote Australia.

The central change is the fixing of hospital insurance into four tiers, or categories, each classifying varying levels of cover. The aim is to bring more certainty and comparability into choosing the level of cover that best suits you and your family. Health funds have until April 2020 to make the changes, although many are expected to introduce them next Monday.

CHF will be providing members with further information over the coming weeks. This will include questions to ask yourself or your insurer about the changes and an interactive webinar with expert speakers.

The shift to the new tiers has required health funds to make changes to individual policies.

For many people the classification of their policy comes at the same time as their annual premiums rise. It is more important than ever for consumers to assess their insurance needs and to be assured that their policy still works for them. For many years CHF, several of our members and others such as CHOICE have been concerned that the value of health insurance is among the top household worries. We have also been concerned that the private health insurance market is very complex and difficult for many to understand. These changes are a response to those concerns.

The aim of this guide is to provide an easy-to-understand overview of the changes and point consumers to more detailed information that will help them work through the changes to assess what best suits them. We have included consumer-friendly links for what you need to know in making your health insurance choice.

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