News eDaily10 Apr 2017

Australia:Over 24,000 households looking to switch health insurers

| 10 Apr 2017

More than 24,000 Australian households have signed up by yesterday to a people power campaign aiming to get a better deal for private health insurance, a week after the drive was launched.

The Big Health Insurance Switch campaign, initiated by the consumer group One Big Switch, is seeking 40,000 households to register in a bid to unlock a discount worth more than A$400 (US$300) a year for families.

One Big Switch says that millions of Australians are struggling to afford their cover after another bout of increases averaging 4.84% (about A$200 on the average family policy) that took effect on 1 April.

The latest price rise will mean that premiums have risen by 71% in a decade, which is 3 times inflation over the same period.

Private health coverage is declining for the first time in 15 years, dropping to 46.6% in 2016, with 400,000 people downgrading since 2015.

More than 200,000 households have joined collective switching campaigns on health Insurance run by consumer network One Big Switch since 2013.

But switching rates remain too low at about 5% per annum, meaning the industry is not as competitive as it should be, says One Big Switch.

The Big Health Insurance Switch runs for four weeks.



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