For the sixth consecutive year, Health Insurance Fund of Australia (HIF) has kept its annual average premium increase affordable for its members.
For HIF members in WA, the average premium increase will be just 4.99% in comparison to the industry average increase of 5.06%. Nationally, HIF’s average premium increase will be 5.35%, due to the introduction of state/territory-based premiums on 1 April 2012.
Yet again, HIF’s average premium increase of 5.35% is lower than that of HBF at 5.85%, NIB at 5.50% and HCF at 5.94%.
Minister for Health, the Hon. Ms Tanya Plibersek MP said the average 5.06% industry average premium increase was only achieved after 24 of 34 health insurers were asked to resubmit their applications or to provide further evidence to justify the increases requested.
HIF members can be assured that HIF was not one of those 24 funds.
As a proud not-for-profit, and Australia’s first and only carbon neutral health fund, HIF is committed to keeping its members health insurance premiums affordable. Graeme Gibson, Managing Director of HIF today commented:
“Minister Plibersek wanted us to only request (from her) the minimum average premium increase necessary to meet our health fund obligations, remain financially stable and to stay compliant with private health insurance legislation, and that is exactly what we have done. We’ve been keeping health cover premiums affordable for years.”
Graeme said that health funds increase premiums to cover the growing cost of hospitalisation, medical treatment, pharmaceutical costs, ambulance services and improved medical technology. Unlike HIF, some health funds also take more from their members to pay dividends to shareholders, potentially mask ‘big fund’ inefficiencies or fund to pay for other financial charges only associated with ‘for profit’ status.
“Cost increases are ultimately passed on by health funds to their members, but not all health funds increase premiums by the same amount,” he said.
“As a not-for-profit health fund, HIF aims to keep premium increases to an absolute minimum and because HIF doesn’t have shareholders, or have to pay charges associated with being a ‘for profit’ health fund, any surpluses are returned to our HIF members through lower premiums, increased rebates and benefits and superior customer service. For instance, HIF members with ancillary cover will soon enjoy significantly improved rebates on dental services”.
As a result of keeping our average premium increases low year after year, HIF has experienced record membership growth of 13.3% in the 12 months to 31 December 2011. HIF is now one of Australia’s ‘top 5’ fastest growing health funds.
“Australians are fast realising that HIF is the smart choice for health cover, with many switching health funds in the past 12 months - we believe this membership surge is a result of people leaving the big health funds because at HIF we give our members more choices, affordable health insurance and superior customer service” Graeme said.
If you would like to join or switch to HIF, you can get an instant quote online now.
For more information about HIF health cover options, please visit the Health Insurance section.