Date published: 
7 December 2019
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The Morrison Government’s reforms to make private health insurance simpler and more affordable have delivered the lowest annual premium change in 19 years.

The average industry premium change for 2020, which will take effect on 1 April, will be 2.92 per cent, down approximately 50 per cent since Labor’s last year in office.

This is the smallest change since 2001 and significantly lower than the 3.8 per cent inflation rate for medical and hospital services this year.

The Morrison Government is delivering the most significant reforms to private health insurance in over a decade, which is making private health insurance simpler to understand and more affordable for Australians.

Our reforms to private health insurance include discounts for young people, better access for people in the regional areas, easier to understand classification system for policies, better access to mental health and price reductions for medical devices.

Insurers are now required by law to explain to consumers exactly what is covered in a policy, and what is not, through the Gold, Silver, Bronze and Basic classification system.

This approach will – for the first time – provide clearer information to consumers.

In addition, our reforms have enabled more than 380,000 young people aged between 18 and 29 to receive discounts on their premiums of up to 10 per cent since 1 April 2019.

A young person on a $1,500 annual policy could save $150 a year. A young family on a $3,000 policy may save up to $300 a year.

Our Government’s reforms also continue to provide record coverage for mental health services.

More than 6,300 Australians have been able to upgrade their existing insurance policies to access psychiatric services without serving a waiting period, claiming more than $73 million in benefits since 1 April 2018.

These results show the Morrison Government’s reforms have made private health insurance easier to understand and more affordable. 

From 1 April 2020, a single person will pay an average of $0.68 extra per week and a family on average will pay $1.99 more a week.

However, every dollar matters for families and we will continue to improve the affordability and transparency of private health insurance.

There are 37 private health insurance funds operating in Australia and I encourage consumers to shop around to get the best deal for themselves and their families.

Work has already commenced on the next wave of improvements for private healthcare to continue to improve the affordability and value for consumers.

Australia has one of the best health systems in the world which is underpinned by private and public healthcare.

Over 13 million Australian have private health insurance and 50% of people with private health insurance earn under $50,000.

The Morrison Government supports Australians with private health insurance and we invest around $6.3 billion every year in the private health insurance rebate to keep cover affordable.

In 2018-19, Australians have received a record $21.1 billion in benefits — 3 per cent more than the previous year.

Labor hates private health insurance and when last in Government they cut over $4 billion from the patient rebate for private health insurance.

Labor also took a policy to the 2019 election to cut a further $115 million from the patient rebate for private health insurance for hard working Australian families, students and pensioners. 

Independent, commission-free advice on current health insurance products offered in Australia is available online on the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman website www.privatehealth.gov.au

For more information on the premium change, visit the Department of Health website

Ministers: