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health as it happens

Delivering Australia's lowest private health insurance premium change in 21 years - Australian Government Department of Health

Date published: 

23 December 2021

Media type: 

Media release

Audience: 

General public

The Morrison Government’s ongoing reforms to private health insurance have contributed to the lowest annual average premium change for consumers since 2001, which will be 2.70 percent in 2022.

The 2022 premium change is not only the lowest over two decades, but approximately half that of those when Labor was last in government.

Our Government has delivered on its commitment to improve the value and affordability of private health insurance, delivering the eighth successive decline in premiums changes since the Coalition was elected in 2013.

The Morrison Government understands the importance of the cost of living for Australian families and this record low premium change is less than the annual average premium change of 2.74% in 2021.

Importantly, under proposed arrangements, many consumers will not receive a premium change until later in 2022, as private health insurers work through the impacts of the pandemic by offering COVID related refunds, deferring their premium rate rise and other measures to support better care and to improve affordability.

We continue to implement significant reforms and investments to improve the value and affordability for the 14 million Australians who have private health insurance, and to support the private healthcare sector to deliver quality care.

The most recent private health insurance statistics released by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority show that these reforms are working with five consecutive quarters of hospital treatment coverage growth, which has not occurred in a decade, demonstrating the value many Australians have in holding private health insurance cover.

The most recent reform supports young Australians, by increasing the age that children can stay on their family policy up to the age of 31. In addition, we have removed the age limits for people with a disability to be included in a family policy, which will allow them more flexibility in choosing their private health insurance policy.

Further important reforms, including those that will lower the prices of medical devices and modernise and improve the Prosthesis List, are under way and we continue to work closely with the sector to implement these changes from the first half of 2022.

Under new arrangements announced in the 2021-22 Budget, the Government is investing $22 million over four years to reduce the cost of medical devices used in the private health sector by better aligning prices in the private system to prices in the public system and to streamline access to new medical devices, which will ensure access to new technology and treatments and improve the affordability and value of private health insurance for Australians.

In 2020–21, Australians received a record $22 billion in benefits for medical services through the private health insurance sector.

Each year the Australian Government continues to invest around $6.7 billion through the private health insurance rebate.

Under the lowest premium changes in 21 year, from 1 April 2022, on average a single person will pay an extra $1.12 per week, and a family $2.42 extra a week.

For information on each private health insurer’s average premium price change – see Average annual increases in private health insurance premiums page.