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What you need to know about private health insurance changes

The Australian Government is making a range of changes to private health insurance to make it simpler and more affordable for all Australians, many of which start on 1 April 2019. Our General Manager of Health Funding, Strategy and Performance Cathy Ryan explains everything you need to know.

Your health is important. Private health insurance gives you choice and control over your healthcare including minimal waiting times for care, your doctor of choice and care at your hospital of choice.

St John of God Health Care private health insurance changes

What changes are being made?

The Australian Government is making a range of changes to private health insurance to make it simpler and more affordable for all Australians, many of which start on 1 April 2019.

The main changes that will affect you, as a patient coming to our hospitals, are the introduction of health insurance product tiers, and increased voluntary maximum excess payments.

What are the new product tiers?

The introduction of product tiers into Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic are designed to give greater certainty about the services covered by each type of hospital treatment product as well make it easier to compare different products to find one that meets your individual needs.

Health funds have one year from 1 April 2019 to align their products to the tiers.

What does this mean for you?

This change means for some people they may no longer be covered for some hospital treatments as health funds align their products to the relevant tiers.

We recommend you speak to your private health insurer to confirm your level of cover, eligibility and liability for any excesses, co-payments or other out of pocket expenses before coming to hospital.

What are the changes to excesses?

Also on 1 April 2019, health funds will be able to increase excesses from $500 to $750 for singles and from $1,000 to $1,500 for couples/families.

This change is designed to give greater choice of health insurance coverage and it is expected to place downward pressure on premium price increases.

However, it also means you may have higher than expected out-of-pocket costs when you use your health insurance.

What does this mean for you?

As always, we recommend you speak to your private health insurer to confirm your level of cover, eligibility and liability for any excesses, co-payments or other out of pocket expenses before coming to hospital.

Find out more

You can find out more about health insurance and these changes at www.privatehealth.gov.au

Cathy Ryan Group General Manager Health Funding, Strategy & Performance

About the Author

Cathy Ryan is the Group General Manager Health Funding, Strategy and Performance at St John of God Health Care and has more than 10 years' experience in this role.