Private Health Insurance Premiums Rise

Following yesterday's average 5.59% increase in private health insurance premiums, the Queensland Branch of the Australian Dental Association endorses national President and Queensland Orthodontist, Dr Rick Olive’s, statement to encourage people to drop extras cover if they're paying more to their fund than they're receiving in benefits.

Dropping extras cover can result in savings of 30 to 45% off the average premium. This sentiment is also echoed by leading consumer group Choice’s spokesman, Tom Godfrey who said “if you’re not getting value from your extras cover — drop it. And opt for a top cover hospital policy with an excess or co-payment”. Choice also stated hospital cover alone was enough to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge and Lifetime Health Cover loading.

This year’s increase is the ninth in a row of five per cent-plus increases, and Choice notes the latest rise contributes to a cumulative 48.3% increase since 2009, with funds increasingly profiting to the detriment of consumers.
With regards to dentistry specifically, Dr Olive said “it’s about providing a profit for private health insurers”. Health funds have been making between 22 and 25% profit on extras premiums.

Queensland President, Dr Julee Birch encourages people to do their homework on their Private Health Insurance before the 1st April increases, and says: “Take the time to review your policy. Check that you are getting value for your money and decide on the cover that matches your needs and wallet. If you aren’t getting value from your extras cover, don’t waste your money on it”.