Why do premiums change each year and how does it affect me?
As much as we like to do things our own way at ahm, sometimes we need to follow someone else's lead to make big decisions.
That's especially true when it comes to annual premium reviews that can affect your premium. While this can be a surprise and make some people want to review their private health insurance, premium changes take place around the same time each year for all private health insurers.
Why does my premium have to change?
To put it simply, premiums are reviewed each year to help cover the cost of providing the best possible health care to all Australians. Following government announcement and approval, all private health insurers update their premiums.
At ahm our goal is to find the right balance of keeping our premium increases to a minimum to ensure we can provide affordable health cover options for our members.
There are lots of other reasons that influence why premiums change from year to year:
- With the growing use and cost of medical technology, Australia’s ageing population and an increase in chronic health conditions, we need to keep up with these increasing healthcare costs to ensure that benefits can continue to be paid to our members.
- As a private health insurer in Australia, we have to meet the government's community rating requirements and ensure everyone has access to the same health insurance product at the same price, regardless of their health or claiming behaviour. This means, even if you rarely make a claim, your premium will change along with everyone else who holds the same product as you.
We hope this starts to paint a picture of the science behind premium changes.
When does this happen?
Premium changes usually take effect on 1 April. But we don't spring it on you as soon as you tear off the March page on your calendar. Around February or March, you'll get a letter or email – based on the contact method you've told us you prefer – with all the info you need to know about changes to your premium. If you’d like to change how we communicate with you, log in to your account where you can manage your preferences.
Have your circumstances changed, do you need to make some changes? Get in touch on 134 246.
What do I need to do to pay my new premium?
Nothing at all. Your new premium will be updated on your first payment scheduled on or after 1 April. If you pay your premium from payroll deductions, we'll chat to your pay office so they can update the amount deducted. If you'd like to lock in your existing premium, you have the option to prepay your health insurance for up to 12 months. Learn more about that here.
I just joined ahm and wasn't expecting a change so fast!
We get it. But we're not pulling your leg when we say every health insurer in the country makes adjustments to premiums following the government's premium review announcement. So even if you were to switch insurers, it’s likely that you’ll still experience a change to your premium on 1 April each year.
If you'd like to review your cover, get in touch with us on 134 246. We’ll undertake a review to ensure you’re on the right cover for you and discuss your options like switching to a higher excess or a lower level of cover if your needs have changed, which may reduce your premium.
We understand that COVID-19 has meant that some of our members are doing it tough, see our financial hardship options or give us a call to see if you’re eligible for a bit of extra support.
For more info, message us or call 134 246 weekdays, 8am – 7pm.