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How to avoid a loyalty tax

By Cameron Micallef · March 24 2020
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egg

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How to avoid a loyalty tax

By Cameron Micallef
March 24 2020
Reading:
egg
How to avoid a loyalty tax

How to avoid a loyalty tax

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By Cameron Micallef · March 24 2020
Reading:
egg
How to avoid a loyalty tax

Australians have a week left to beat the health insurance price increase on 1 April, a comparison site has warned.

According to Finder’s Loyalty Tax Report, Australians have been with the same health insurer for 10.6 years on average. Premiums have increased by 81 per cent – or around $920 annually per person based on the average gold-level policy – in that time.

Health insurance premiums are set to rise by another 2.93 per cent on average next Wednesday, 1 April, with some policies increasing by as much as 5.63 per cent.

Sophie Walsh, health insurance specialist at Finder, said the figures indicate that many Aussies do not realise the potential savings to be had from switching providers.

“Health insurance can feel like a total rip-off. Households adjust to a price rise, only to come back a year later and see they’ve gone up again.

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“That said, there is a range of things you can do to save on cost without ditching your health insurance altogether,” she said.

Six tips to get a better deal:

Sophie Walsh shares Finder’s top tips for saving on your health insurance: 

1. Compare health funds. Finder research revealed there was a $58 gap per month between the most expensive and the cheapest “gold” policy – a potential saving of $635 a year between the highest and lowest-priced policies on the same coverage tier. 

2. Ditch the couple’s policy. A recent Finder survey of over 1,000 respondents showed that 64 per cent of Australians wrongly think a couple’s policy is cheaper than two single policies.

“A couple’s policy may help you save on paperwork, but it still costs the same as two single policies. Couples may even end up paying more for their insurance than they need to if one person needs a higher level of cover,” Ms Walsh stated.

3. Mix and match your hospital and extras cover. One in two Australians wrongly think you can’t split your cover, according to Finder’s survey.

“While combined cover may be more convenient, customers may receive better value or more tailored cover if they split their policy depending on their health requirements.

“For example, when it comes to extras cover, you might want to take advantage of ‘no gap dental’ with one health fund, but for hospital cover another provider might have a better partner network. You also have the option to split your policy with the same provider,” Ms Walsh said.

4. Regularly review your hospital tier. “You may have opted for gold cover during pregnancy but no longer need the same level of cover now that your baby is born. Opting for lower tier cover can see your premium drop significantly. Just be aware of what treatments you’ll be ditching before you make the call. Also keep in mind the waiting periods you’ll have to reserve if you do want to increase your cover again at a later date,” advised Ms Walsh.

5. Prepay your annual premium upfront before the April 1 deadline. One in 5 Aussies already do this, according to Finder’s survey. “This will enable you to lock in your rate for the next 12 months at the old price. Some health providers also offer an extra annual discount of around 1 per cent for paying upfront,” Ms Walsh noted.

6. Make the most of sign-up deals when switching: “Some providers may offer four to six weeks free and no waiting periods if you choose to sign up,” Ms Walsh concluded.

How to avoid a loyalty tax
How to avoid a loyalty tax
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About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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About the author

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

Join The Nest Egg community

We Translate Complicated Financial Jargon Into Easy-To-Understand Information For Australians

Your email address will be shared with nestegg and subject to our Privacy Policy

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