Health funds will have average weighted premium increases of 3.95 per cent from 1 April 2018.
Health funds will have average weighted premium increases of 3.95 per cent from 1 April 2018.

Private health premiums to hit record low: Government

AUSTRALIAN seniors dreading the yearly hike in private health insurance can breathe a little easier after the Government announced the lowest annual premium changes in almost two decades.

The mid-year hike in premiums often adds a little stress to the wallet but this year, health funds will have average weighted premium increases of 3.95 per cent - their lowest since 2001.

And according to the Turnbull Government, these record low premiums will save Australians in the region of $1.1 billion.

"More than 13 million Australians have private health insurance and it is vital that cover is affordable and provides value for money," Minister for Health Greg Hunt said in a statement.

"Already the significant private health insurance reforms that we announced in October last year have made an impact and they will continue to drive down costs.

"Every single dollar of savings from the $1.1 billion reform of the Prostheses List is being passed onto consumers and this has already resulted in this lower premium change this year."

And in further good news for consumers, the Minister hinted at further cost-saving reforms, claiming: "there is more work to be done".

"We are also investing around $6.4 billion every year in the private health insurance rebate to help keep premiums affordable," he said.

"As part of the reforms announced at the end of last year, we are acting to simplify private health insurance by requiring insurers to categorise products as gold/silver/bronze/basic.

"These changes will also require insurers to use standardised definitions for treatments to make it clear what is and isn't covered in their policies."

Independent advice on health insurance - free of commissions - is available online at www.privatehealth.gov.au


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