Budget Pain - Families Urged to Save on Health Insurance

HIF News

HIF Australia

Australian families, desperate to find ways to reduce spending after the Federal Government put a further squeeze on household budgets last night, should take a close look at how much they’re paying for health insurance, according to health fund HIF.

“The changes announced by Treasurer Wayne Swan will put a huge burden on young families,” HIF Managing Director Mr Gibson said.

“The Federal Government has dumped the baby bonus for a much less generous scheme – a one-off increase in Family Tax Benefit Part A.  Under the baby bonus, stay-at-home mothers in families with income up to $150,000 received $5,000 for the birth or adoption of their first child and $3,000 for each subsequent child.  The income threshold has been cut to $101,000 for the first child and $112,000 for the second child whilst a $2,000 payment applies to the first child and $1,000 for each subsequent child, Mr Gibson said.”

Mr Gibson said the Federal Government will phase out the net medical expenses tax offset over the next two years, affecting thousands of families.

“In the 2012-13 tax year 20% the net amount of eligible medical expenses paid that was above the $2,120 threshold could have been deducted from tax payable.  The rate dropped to 10% and the threshold more than doubled - to $5,000 for families with an income above $168,000,” Mr Gibson said.

Mr Gibson said Federal Government changes include delaying the 1 November 2013 indexation of the Medicare benefits schedule fees to 1 July 2014 and increasing the Medicare Levy by a massive 33.3%, from 1.5% to 2% of taxable income to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme.  Treasurer Swan has also back-flipped on a promise to increase Family Tax Benefit Part A that would have amounted to $600 a year for families with children.

“Families will have to tighten their belts once again and look at where they might be able to save money, including everyday necessities.”

Mr Gibson said families would be looking to save money wherever they could, including how much they can afford to pay for health insurance and whether they can still pay for their current level of cover, and said HIF consistently delivers on providing a range of products and choices that meet the health needs of young families at affordable prices.

“Keeping health cover affordable is a priority for HIF and this is demonstrated by the fact that our average premium increase over the last seven years is 20% lower than the industry average increase,” Mr Gibson said.

Choice has this month shortlisted two of HIF’s hospital products for Best Buys in hospital insurance -GoldStarter Hospital cover (HIF’s budget-priced cover) and Gold Hospital cover (HIF’s award winning top shared room hospital cover) further highlighting the appeal of joining the fastest growing WA based health fund.

For an online quote visit hif.com.au

Media contact: Beverly Ligman-Smith, LastSay Communications 6102 7295 or 0427 924 294

Category:HIF News