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Changes to Private Health Insurance

Understanding the 2019 private health insurance reforms.

Why is the Australian government introducing changes to private health insurance?

The new changes aim to make health insurance simpler to understand for all Australians, and make it easier to compare hospital products to find the cover that best suits your needs. Depending on your level of cover you may be affected by these changes, so we’re going to make the transition smooth and ensure you understand what they mean.

We’ll keep you up to date on the changes as they come into effect but in the meantime, here’s an overview of what’s set to change this year.


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Discounts for younger Australians

We’ll be able to offer discounts to 18-29 year-olds taking out eligible hospital cover. 

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$750 excess

We’ll also offer hospital products with a $750 excess. Choosing a product with a higher excess can help reduce your health cover premiums.

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Changes to some natural therapy services

From 1 April 2019, as part of the government changes, all private health insurers will no longer be permitted to pay benefits towards some natural therapy services.

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Standard Definitions and changes to product names

We’ll begin to use ‘standard clinical definitions’ across our website and whenever you hear from us. We may also update the name of your product so it can be classified as ‘Basic’, ‘Bronze’, ‘Silver’ or ‘Gold’, to make it easier to compare. 

What else is being introduced or changed?

  • We’ve already begun by giving people with Restricted inpatient psychiatric services under their hospital cover the ability to upgrade and access higher benefits without an additional waiting period. The Mental Health Waiver can only be used once in a member’s lifetime across any private health insurer. 
  • Other changes to come include travel and accommodation benefits on some hospital covers for people in regional and rural areas who need to travel more than 200km for hospital treatment. 

To find out more about the government private health insurance changes, visit the Department of Health website.


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Understanding the changes