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Aussies bracing for price hike shock

AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos - General view editorial generic stock photo of Australian cash money currency. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicholas Eagar
Health insurance premiums about to rise putting increasing pressure on household budgets. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Nicholas Eagar

Australians with private health insurance are set for a shock next month as insurers hike their premiums.

It is the latest pressure on households as interest rates remain startling high and soaring cost of living shrinks the family budget.

Health Minister Mark Butler revealed earlier this year the average premium would be able to increase by 2.9 per cent in April, after most insurers froze price hikes during the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, Mr Butler anticipated most insurers might choose to delay the hikes to help ease the sting for customers.

Premiums will lift by more than 5 per cent for CBHS Corporate customers on April 1, with HBF announcing a rise of 4.49 per cent at the same time.

QUESTION TIME
Health Minister Mark Butler said he expected some health insurers would delay increasing premiums until later in the year. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

Medibank will raise its premium by 2.96 per cent in June, while Bupa will delay its rise of 3.39 per cent until October.

As the price hikes begin to filter through, some insurers have offered large short-term discounts in a bid to lure in new customers.

With the end of financial year fast approaching, Canstar has prepared a list of deals and discounts being offered by the insurers to lighten the hit of rising premiums.

AAMI

Customers can get up to $500 off their bill if they choose to add on hospital and extras cover before July 4.

BUPA

Six weeks of free insurance are on offer to new BUPA members who choose to join under selected products.

NIB

New customers who sign up for hospital and extras cover before June 25 can get up to $600 off their bill.

HCF

Families and couples that switch to HCF’s combined and extras policy can get a $450 “switchers bonus”.

Aussies looking for the best deal are warned to check the fine print of any new policy to ensure they are getting the cover they need.

Here’s when the premium hikes are coming in at some of the major insurers.