A small giveaway such as a movie ticket is sufficient incentive to entice young people to buy health insurance, new research by comparative website finder.com has found. However, 71% of baby boomers without cover could not be tempted to sign up no matter what the perk, compared to just 24% of Gen Y.
About 1.5 million Australians aged 20 and over would sign up for private health insurance for a A$100 (US$80) gift card, while more than 1.4 million people would take up health insurance if waiting periods were waived, reported The Australian.
The research was conducted to discover what perks could convince some 9.1 million uninsured people to take out cover.
The data from finder.com show that one in 10 adults would take out cover for one month’s free premium, while giveaways including frequent flyer points, movie tickets, a Fitbit and free toys would encourage a further one in 10 people to take up private hospital cover.
Ms Bessie Hassan, a money expert at finder.com.au, said: “It’s a good business move for the health insurance companies to offer these incentives.”
“It is a low-cost strategy in the long run because we know Australians are a loyal bunch and tend to stick to the one insurer for 12 years on average before switching, so it’s worth the investment.”
“Health cover is one of a household’s biggest expenses behind accommodation and grocery costs, but people are prepared to sign up for ongoing monthly health insurance premiums worth thousands of dollars for something as insignificant as a A$15 ticket to the movies,” Ms Hassan said.
A previous survey of 2,019 Australians, also by finder.com.au, found that 60% of Gen Ys said they would take out health cover earlier if they were offered a discount for signing up before they turned 30.
Analysis of Australian Prudential Regulation Authority data by finder.com.au showed that, since 2013, there had been a decrease in the number of Australians age 25-29 with private hospital cover, and this age group is the least likely to be insured.
In March, there were overall 11.3 million Australians, or 46.5%, with private health insurance. The research also highlighted that 48% of the uninsured — 4.4 million people — were reluctant to sign up for health insurance no matter what perk was on offer.