The Health for Minister has recently announced that industry wide price increases will commence from the 1st April 2017.
Why are prices increasing?
While any price increase is unfortunate, there are many industry reasons why this increase is occurring.
- Increases in health care costs – Medical (Doctors), Prosthesis (artificial medical devices) Hospital and Extras expenses have increased by 12.7% in the previous year.
- Greater use of Private Health Insurance – With Australian’s average life expectancy increasing to its highest age ever, more medical treatment and intervention is being used, meaning more claims are being paid per Member.
- Improved medical technologies – New medical technology is paving the way for greater surgery outcomes for Members with robotic technology now replacing some Doctors in performing complex surgery. While surgery outcomes are better for Members, new technology used by some Doctors can result in increased costs to the fund.
- Decrease in Government Rebate – Each year, the Government rebate that you receive is reducing, which results inyour premiums increasing.
How much will my premiums change?
A communication will be sent to all members (email or post) to update you on specific changes to your premium rates.
We recognise that rising premiums are having a big impact on household budgets, and we understand that this price increase notice is disappointing news for all Members. These changes ensure that we remain a financially strong and stable, Not-for-Profit Health Insurer, while continuing to provide our Members peace of mind that a high level of health insurance cover and services remain in place.
Health Insurance is just as important as ever.
Our Members relied on us more than ever in 2016. Last year we saw a significant increase in benefits paid to our Members. While claims are on the up, we are proud to show that we’ve given more back to our Members in 2016.
Take a look at a breakdown in each claim category…
Getting the most out of your Health Insurance
- Get to know what you’re covered for – Knowing what you’re paying for is a great way to see if you’re covering yourself for the right services to suit your needs. Visit our products page to find your product and become familiar with the contents of your cover.
- Contact us before you claim – Contacting us before you claim is an important step in your process to eliminate or reduce any potential gaps that your Doctor or service provider may be charging you. Phoenix has agreements in place with thousands of Doctors across the country and these agreements mean that Members using these providers have a greater chance of reducing or eliminating Member gap payments for members.
- Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) and the Medicare Levy Surcharge – If you are over the age of 30, purchasing Private Hospital cover is a simple way to avoid government penalties in unnecessarily paying more for Health Insurance through Lifetime Health Cover loadings. If you’re a high income earner, Hospital cover is a great way to avoid paying more in income tax through the Medicare Levy Surcharge too.
- Healthy Lifestyle Benefits – Phoenix offers a number of great proactive health benefits that Members can take advantage of. Benefits include swimming lessons for children under 10, yoga and pilates, gym membership, weight loss programs and more. Refer to your product information on this website or download our brochure for more information.
Comparing Phoenix with the rest
Phoenix out-performs all the big insurers.
How do we do this? Easy – We’re not-for-profit!
This means that we only charge what it costs to pay claims to our Members and keep the Health Fund operating, rather than paying returns to shareholders or overseas owners. This means greater outcomes for our Members.
Industry average increases
The publicised rate notified in the media reflects the Fund average increase applicable across all policies. This will mean that some policy increases will be greater and some will be lower than the publicly stated increase rate..
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why are you increasing prices so much?
A: Factors such as rising health related expenses, increased doctor and hospital charges, advances in medical equipment and technology and increases in claims frequency have been drivers for the increase in premiums. Health Insurance funds unfortunately need to increase prices to ensure that we can then pay for these increased usages.
Q: The industry average increase is just under 5% but my policy is going up much more than that. Why?
A: Industry average is referencing the average across all policies at all levels of cover. So, what this means is that some policy prices may have gone up and some may have gone down. It is an average not an actual percent applied to all policies.
Q: I’ve been a member for a long time. Why do I have to have my premium increased?
A: Health Insurance is provided to every individual on equal terms. All Health insurers are legally required to ensure that everyone is entitled to buy the same product, at the same price.
Q: Does Phoenix Health Fund profit directly from premium increases?
A: No. Unlike some health funds, Phoenix is a member-owned, not-for-profit company. This means that the company has no shareholders to report or distribute profit to. Any earnings as a result of this rate rise will be used to ensure the future payment of claims and support of our Members.
Q: If your prices are increasing like every other Health Fund, how are you any different?
A: On average Phoenix returned to Members 92 cents in the dollar in regards to benefits paid for Hospital, Medical and Extras claims. The current unavoidable increase to Phoenix policies is needed to ensure that we can continue to pay claims to support our Members at the same high level.
Q: Another Fund has a lower premium increase. Why is Phoenix’s price increase more?
A: Each Health Insurer experiences different claiming patterns and experiences from their Members. These have factored into the differences in the price increase across Health Funds.
Q: I’m covered for pregnancy and I don’t and won’t be needing it. Can I remove it?
A: You don’t have to be covered for it if you don’t want to, there are other policy options available. Take a look at all of our policy options by clicking here.
Q: Why is my price increase X% however my policy price has actually increase much more?
A: The Government have decided to also reduce the amount they contribute to your policy in regards to the Government rebate. This has therefore further impacted your policy price. Phoenix has no involvement in the decision about Government rebates.