Doctors in surgery

Families to pay almost $150 more for private health insurance

The Federal Government has ticked off on an increase to private health insurance premiums of an average of 3.95 per cent.

The increase will come into effect from April 1, with families forced to pay on average $143 a year more, while singles will be around $73 a year out of pocket.

Some health insurers will increase premiums by less than the average, with Medibank announcing a 3.88 per cent hike.


Others like Bupa will increase premiums by an average 3.99 per cent, which will cost families around $4 more a week.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says the increase is the lowest since 2001 thanks to reforms to the sector.

“We know that every dollar matters to Australian families and although this is the lowest increase in 17 years, there is more work to be done,” Mr Hunt said.

But Labor has attacked the latest increase, describing it as a “massive fail.”

Health insurance premiums have now risen by more than 50 per cent since 2010, leading to fears that more Australians will dump their private cover.

“Every individual has to determine whether it’s the right thing for them, but well over half the Australian population has private health insurance and that’s because they value it,” Mr Hunt said.

“Our goal is to make it a more valuable more usable and simpler product.”

Mr Hunt says people should shop around and seek more advice about Australia’s health funds.