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Health Insurance Premium FAQs

Find out what you need to know about the 2022 premium increase.

Last updated: 23rd

When will my premium increase come into effect?

HBF will be increasing premiums on 1 April 2022.

When will I find out my new premium?

Every policy owner will be sent a communication in February 2022 to advise them of their new premium. This will come into effect on 1 April 2022. You can view your current premium in myHBF; this will be updated with your new premium on 1 April 2022.

Why are my premiums changing?

All Australian private health insurance funds review their premiums every year, taking into account the rising cost of healthcare services. Things that contribute to the rising cost of healthcare include our ageing population, a rise in chronic illnesses, a rise in the cost of medical procedures due to advancing technologies, and more people using the healthcare system.

How is my premium calculated?

To calculate a premium, we use claims and service cost data from previous years to estimate the amount we’ll need to spend in the coming year. Premiums are then adjusted for each type of cover in each state, so we can safely cover those predicted costs.

Premium increases aren’t calculated at an individual member level. Your premium change just depends on the kind of cover you have and the state you live in. Community rating applies to private health insurance, it means everyone with the same cover will have the same premium change.

Your final premium amount each year will be a combination of the cover's premium change, any discounts that you have (like a direct debit or corporate discount), your Lifetime Health Cover loading, and, if applicable your Australian Government Rebate on Private Health Insurance.

Calculation of premium increases is subject to external scrutiny. To obtain a premium increase an application must be submitted to the Australian Government Minister for Health. The Department of Health and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), the independent health insurance financial regulator, assess all applications to increase premiums before these are passed to the Minister of Health to consider. A health fund needs to provide sufficient information to demonstrate to the Minister of Health that the increase is necessary. If an increase is regarded as contrary to the public interest it will not be approved.

What is HBF doing to keep premiums down?

To keep premium increases down we have taken a proactive approach, looking for opportunities to reduce costs both internally and externally.

We’ve contained administration costs through contract negotiations with healthcare providers and we’ve focused on reducing claims fraud and overcharging.

Our priority is to remain a sustainable, member-focused organisation that continues to provide affordable and valuable health insurance products for all of our members.

Can I pay at last year's rate if I pay before 1 April?

Yes. We can accept a manual payment of up to 18 months' premium (from the date you make the payment) at the 2021 rate, provided the payment is made before 1 April 2022. If you have already paid past 1 April 2022, we can still take a manual payment at the old rate, where this is made before 1 April 2022.

Please be aware if you currently have a direct debit or corporate discount applied to your premium payment, these will not be applicable to a non-automatic payment process such as manual payment and these discounts will be removed from that manual payment. Payment frequency discounts will still apply.

How can my premium go up when I never used my health insurance due to COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic saw hospital and ancillary services postponed for only a short period of time in 2020 in Western Australia and some other parts of Australia. HBF introduced temporary benefits for certain Extras services delivered by telehealth, and the majority of these benefits have been extended on an ongoing basis. Allied health services have returned to normal and all the government's temporary restrictions on elective surgery have been lifted.

It is also important to remember that the cost of health insurance doesn’t go up because a member makes a claim. The premiums are reviewed every year to cover the rising cost of healthcare services. Health insurance works differently to other types of insurance, such as car or home insurance, where premiums typically go up depending on how likely the insured individual is to make a claim.

What else are you doing to help members at this time?

HBF continues to support our members through this uncertain time. For a full list of initiatives, which have been extended until 1 April 2023 or beyond, please visit our COVID-19 member hub and Telehealth benefits page.

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