A consumer can save some money each year--without compromising the quality of protection--by avoiding combined cover and instead taking out hospital and extras policies with different insurers, according to new analysis by the consumer group Choice.
A person looking for top hospital insurance and mid-level extras who dropped their bundled A$199 (US$157) a month policy with Bupa and switched their hospital cover to Mildura Health Fund and their extras to Australian Unity would get a comparable level of cover for A$150 per month,
“When you consider that the average price increase is likely to be around 4% next year, splitting your policies between insurers can give you a healthy saving of around A$588 and you’ll effectively beat the price hike,” said Choice spokesman Mr Tom Godfrey.
“When it comes to shopping for health insurance, it always pays to shop around. Don’t just look at the health fund’s bundles because they usually aren’t the best deals on the market,” he said.
“Health insurance premiums are set to increase again next year, with the cumulative increase since 2008 likely to be in excess of 70%, anything you can do to ease your premium pain is a good thing.”
Choice’s new independent health insurance comparison tool automatically checks whether there are savings on offer via split coverage.
However, it has been found for most customers any benefit is quickly outweighed by the inconvenience and hassle of having two memberships with two different funds, with two separate payments and membership numbers.
Last year, only 1.6% of all its private health customers opted to purchase separate hospital and extras products form different funds.