Your simple guide to the changes to private health insurance

In October 2017, the Australian Government announced changes to the Private Health Insurance industry in an effort to make it easier to compare and more affordable.

The details of the changes were recently finalized by the Government. While most of the changes will have taken effect from 1 April 2019, some of the key changes are able to be implemented by private health insurers over a 12 month period leading until 1 April 2020.

Let's take a closer look at some of the key changes and
how they might affect you.

Simplifying levels of cover

In the past, names, tiers and levels of cover and the terminology used to describe covered treatments have been inconsistent from fund to fund, making it hard for members to compare products. The new Government changes are aimed at offering simplicity for all members and creating a consistent tiered level system for hospital cover across every health fund (with the aim of a new standardised way to describe categories of hospital treatment).

What else is changing?

Removal of some natural
therapies

From 1 April 2019, the Government will cease providing the Australian Government rebate for extras policies that offer certain natural therapies. It is the opinion of the Government that these therapies don’t have the supporting evidence as to their therapeutic benefits.

As such, in order to offer complying health insurance products, these excluded natural therapies must be removed from all health insurance policies effective from 1 April 2019.

What else is changing?

Increase to maximum excess levels

From 1 April 2019 health insurance funds will have the option to offer members the ability to pay a higher excess when going to hospital in exchange for a lower monthly premium, similar to the way car insurance currently works.

What else is changing?

Changes to tax statements

Currently, insurers are required to send out tax statements to policy holders prior to 15 July each year. However, this will no longer be a requirement after 1 April 2019.

Instead, members can request a tax statement for previous financial year from their fund at any given point throughout the year.

What else is changing?

We have been a trusted partner for Australians for over 175 years and we are committed to guiding you through the coming changes.

Australian Unity will be in contact with our members before 1 April 2019 to notify them of how the changes will specifically affect them and their policy.

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Darcy the virtual assistant