Revealed: Cost-cutting tips as private health insurance prices jump


Where did the year go? One minute you’re making New Year’s resolutions, the next, you’re searching for that extra jumper!

Easter has come and gone in the blink of an eye, and winter 2024 is fast approaching. Between work, socialising, exercising, travelling or whatever else you’re into, finding the time to take stock of your finances and plan for the rest of the year may be a tough ask. 

While the increased cost of living is still front of mind for many Aussies, it’s easy to put off actually taking the time to sit down and check where you could save, right? Well, stick with me for a few minutes and read on, because it really doesn’t have to be such a chore. 

It’s check-up time. 

No, I don’t mean a check-up at the dentist or the doctor. (Although either of those options could be a good idea if it’s been a while!) I’m talking about private health insurance. 

Many of us continue to make spending cutbacks in other ways. Perhaps you’ve got an eagle eye for supermarket specials, or you’ve recently cut ties with your rarely used gym membership? While those steps can help ease budget strain, they’re unlikely to make a major impact, so it’s worth thinking outside the box. If you, like millions of other Aussies, have some form of private cover, now’s the time to check what you’re currently paying for it and whether you could save. 

Recent research from comparison service iSelect has found that only a third of Aussies can easily afford private health insurance, and that those surveyed aged between 30 and 39 are much more likely to struggle to afford it than other age groups. Navigating the world of private health insurance can be tricky, but securing a policy that suits your needs doesn’t have to break the bank. 

Many health funds recently increased the price of their policies. The average price increase across all funds was 3.03 per cent, but if you missed the memo from your provider, it’s important to check whether yours went up and by how much, because some funds increased their costs by more than the average. The price hikes kicked in from 1 April this year, coinciding with the Easter Monday public holiday, so it’s understandable if this change slipped your mind. The good news is that there’s always time to review your cover and see if you could switch and save! 

Comparing your policy and provider against others and switching for a better deal can be a simple and effective way to save money. In fact, the study from iSelect also revealed that 75 per cent of policyholders surveyed who switched their health plan and/or provider within the last two years saved money. Most (70 per cent) who switched within the last two years say they’re saving at least $100 a year, while 46 per cent are saving at least $200 and 23 per cent are saving at least $500.1

Get to know your policy. 

OK, so with significant savings potentially up for grabs, how can you make comparing and switching as quick and painless as possible? First, find your latest policy documents and check what your policy covers to make sure you’re not forking out your hard-earned cash for things you don’t need. For example, an extras policy if you don’t need glasses or visits to the physio. You might consider removing extras and sticking with hospital cover only for your peace of mind. 

What’s next? Time to jump on the phone, or head online to a comparison service such as iSelect for help. Health Comparison Experts can help you navigate the complexities of health insurance and compare your deal against their range of policies and providers. If switching would get you a better deal, they can take care of all the admin. 

iSelect Disclaimer

*iSelect does not compare all products in the market. The availability of products iSelect compare may change from time to time. Not all products made available from iSelect’s providers are compared by iSelect and due to commercial arrangements, area or availability, not all products compared by iSelect will be available to all customers. Some products and special offers may only be available from iSelect’s call centre or website. Click here to view iSelect’s range of providers.

By Sophie Ryan, iSelect Comparison Expert