Almost five million Australians will be hit with another cost of living blow when some of the nation’s largest health insurers raise their prices.
Bupa, NIB, GMHBA, Qantas and Frank have confirmed they will raise their premiums by an industry average of 2.9 per cent on October 1 following a temporary pause.
While the exact figure will differ between policies, the average customer is looking to pay up to $170 more a year.
About 4.1 million Bupa customers could see the largest average increase of 3.39 per cent.
About 651,000 NIB and Qantas customers may see their premiums rise by an average of 2.72 per cent and about 370,000 customers with GMHBA and Frank could have a rise of 2.33 per cent.
Compare the Market Head of Health Insurance Lana Hambilton said the price hike comes after six months of delay to help ease the cost of living pressures on Australians.
“Other funds like AHM, Medibank, AIA and HCF who delayed their rates have now passed the increases onto customers, but the time has now come for other major health insurers to do the same,” she said in a statement.
“Just as you’ve experienced higher prices in your day-to-day life, the reality is that it’s costing more to treat patients and provide a high level of healthcare. Australia’s health funds have no choice but to pass these costs on to customers.”
One customer told Compare the Market their Qantas Gold Complete Hospital Plan with $750 excess will increase by only $2.75 a month – or $33 a year.
However, another customer with Bupa Silver Plus Prime $500 excess plan will see a rise by $14.44 a month – or $173.28.
“This just shows us that your health insurance premiums are determined by many different factors, such as your health fund, which policy you hold, where you live, your level of cover and whether you hold a couples, family or single policy,” Ms Hambilton said.
“If your circumstances and health needs have changed, also ensure you’re on the right policy to suit your needs.
“You may be able to save money by switching providers for similar coverage or by changing from a more comprehensive policy to a reduced level of cover that still caters to your health needs and requirements.”
It comes as high inflation and interest rates have worsened the cost of living crisis across the nation.
Australians have been left struggling with their mortgage repayments, groceries, utility bills and petrol.
The Reserve Bank in September left rates at 4.1 per cent but flagged further increases in the future as the price of services and rent continue to rise.