Private health insurance reforms

The Private Health Insurance industry in Australia underwent large reforms that started in April 2019.

Here’s a bit of background to what changed and why.

 

Gold, Silver, Bronze & Basic tiers

No more messing around with complicated names, features, and descriptions. All hospital cover will be categorised into one of four brackets, so you can quickly tell what sort of cover you’ve got, and make it easier to compare with others.


Clinical Definitions

You’ve probably noticed that there’s some serious jargon in private health insurance. There are literally thousands of technical terms floating around and it's not completely obvious what they all mean. The terminology has been rewritten into ‘standard clinical definitions’ which will be much more customer-friendly. Now you can actually understand what you’re covered for, and it’s much easier to compare and understand different health insurance policies.


Some Natural Therapies lost coverage

The government conducted a thorough review of natural therapies and decided Health Funds in Australia could no longer pay benefits towards certain services.

As a result, Alexander technique, aromatherapy, Bowen therapy, Buteyko, Feldenkrais, herbalism, homeopathy, iridology, kinesiology, naturopathy, Pilates, reflexology, Rolfing, shiatsu, tai chi, and yoga are no longer able to be covered. 


Age-based discounts

Health insurers were given the option to offer a discount on hospital cover to customers aged between 18 and 29. The discount is based on the customer’s age. However the longer you wait the less of a discount you get.


Increased Excess

Health insurers can now offer a $750 excess for a Single cover and $1,500 for a Couple, Family or Single Parent cover. This allows people to choose cover with a higher excess in return for lower premiums, while also meeting the requirements for Medicare Levy Surcharge exemptions.


Prostheses Reform

14% of all annual private health insurance hospital benefits is spent on prostheses. They’re simply too expensive, so the government has made these more affordable.

 

 

Have you heard the word?

On 1 July 2021, health.com.au will join forces with Frank Health Insurance.

Learn more about the upcoming cover changes here.