What are the Private Health Insurance Reforms?
You might have heard that your private health insurance reforms will be effective from 1 April 2019. The Australian Government is introducing private health insurance reforms to make it easier for all Australians.
Here’s some of the key reforms.
Hospital Cover Tiers
Hospital cover must now be offered in 4 easy to understand tiers. Hence all insurers will now use Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic to describe their levels of cover.
These changes will take effect from 1 April 2019, but each insurer will have a different date of implementation. Insurers must have the new tiers in place by 1 April 2020.
The categories will also be simpler. For example if a policy covers ‘heart or vascular system’, they must cover all treatments in that category. Furthermore, there will be minimum category requirements, meaning all insurers will have the same inclusions for each level of cover. Private health insurers can still offer additional benefits, but no less than the minimum.
Discounts For People Aged 18-29
Insurers will now be able to offer discounts based on people’s age. The discounts will be as follows:
- 18 to 25 years – 10%
- 26 years – 8%
- 27 years – 6%
- 28 years – 4%
- 29 years – 2%
High Excesses for Lower Premiums
Currently, singles can only choose a maximum $500 excess on hospital cover, but this will increase to $750 from April 2019. Likewise, the voluntary excess for families and couples can be increased from $1,000 to $1,500.
Selecting a higher voluntary excess will further reduce a customer’s premiums.
Travel and Accommodation Benefits
Insurers can now offer benefits for people travelling long distances for hospital treatment. This is targeted to assist people living in regional or rural areas.
Better Access to Mental Health Treatment
Customers who already have some cover for mental health treatment can now upgrade their cover without a further waiting period. This applies to upgrading hospital cover to ensure mental health treatment in hospitals is covered.
Want More Than Just the Private Health Insurance Reforms?
Private health insurance reforms like this create a great opportunity to compare and save. If you’ve got private health insurance that no longer meets your needs, Billy Sumo can find you a better deal!