Australians will have to adjust to impending changes in private insurance, according to the Australian. To be implemented on April 1, insurance holders are advised to hold off any changes in their coverages until the reforms are in effect. In the past, holders are informed to make 12-month advance prepayments in order to avoid getting a variable price, especially with the annual increases ever April 1. For 2019, the rise will have an average of 3.25%.

However, with the imminent changes, Australians with health insurance are urged to wait before making any judgements regarding their policies or any policy offers. According to the Australian, government reforms will affect the sector. The expected effects on the industry are predicted to be significant. In fact, an offer that seems to be agreeable before April 1 might turn out to be a risky deal once the reforms are implemented.

What exactly are the changes?

The Australian Government’s Department of Health published a comprehensive list of the changes. According to their website, coverage for private hospitals will be categorised in 4 tiers namely Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic.

Meanwhile, Insurers are given the liberty to offer discounts for an individual with 18 to 29 years of age, increased excesses for lower premiums, benefits for travel and accommodations for holders who travel far for the treatments and enhanced mental health support and access. Insurance providers are also not allowed to include benefits for ‘some natural therapies’ in their extras.

In terms of implementation, the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman will have new powers for investigating complaints and similar problems.

The government has enacted such reforms in order to help Australians understand their private health policies better. This was done in an effort to make decision-making regarding insurances simpler and more accessible for individuals and their families.