Date published: 
21 December 2020
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Australian Government’s ongoing reforms to private health insurance have resulted in the lowest annual average premium change for consumers since 2001 – 2.74 per cent. 

The 2.74 per cent average industry change from 1 April 2021 – the lowest change in 20 years – is over 50 per cent lower than premium rises under the previous Labor Government.

Australian Government reforms designed to make private health insurance more affordable, simpler to understand and attractive for all Australians are working, and this record low change continues the current trend of low premium changes.

The 2.74 per cent average industry change from 1 April 2021 will be the lowest average change since 2001, and considerably lower than the average change of 3.25 per cent in 2019, and 2.92 per cent in 2020.

More than 13.7 million Australians now have private health insurance. In 2019–20, Australians received a record $21.9 billion in benefits for medical services through the private health system.

The Government’s recent reforms to private health insurance are improving access to medical services for young people, including mental health services. Recent reforms announced for implementation in 2021 are also aimed at improving access to medical services for families and people with a disability.

Recent reforms have resulted in more than 452,000 young people aged between 18 and 29 receiving discounts on their premiums of up to 10 per cent, since 1 April 2019.

More than 12,100 Australians struggling with their mental health have been able to upgrade existing insurance policies to access psychiatric services without serving a waiting period, claiming more than $146 million in benefits since 1 April 2018.

The Government is committed to improving private health insurance for the benefit of all Australians. The 2020­–21 Budget outlined the second wave of significant reform to:

  • Increase flexibility for families and people with disabilities by increasing the age of dependents on family policies, to encourage people up to 31, and people with a disability (no age limit) to maintain private health insurance.
  • Expand funding for at home and community based care, beginning with mental health and general orthopaedic rehabilitation services.

The pandemic has shown us all the importance of a world-class health system. The Australian Government’s partnership with the private health sector ensured full resources were available in our response. We are rightly proud of Australia’s record, which places us at the forefront when it comes to protecting our citizens.

Private health insurance is an important part of that system. Australian Government reforms mean private health insurance will continue to offer Australian families affordable choice and flexibility in their health care.

Each year the Australian Government invests around $6.3 billion through the private health insurance rebate.

On average, from 1 April 2021, a single person will pay an extra $1.14 per week, and a family will pay $2.44 more a week.