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Articles Private Health Insurance Reforms: your quick guide
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Private Health Insurance Reforms: your quick guide

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Australians will be seeing changes in private health insurance from 1 April 2019. Below is a quick reference guide for the government reforms.

We’ll contact all policyholders directly by mid-March to tell you what, if any, changes affect you.

If you’d like to speak with us now, please contact our Member Care team on 1300 113 113. To read what the Federal Government has published about the reforms, please visit www.health.gov.au

Can I keep my existing product?

The Australian Government Private Health Insurance Reforms do not mean your existing product will be closed.  Your product will merely receive a Gold, Silver, Bronze or Basic classification.

Hospital cover will be categorised as Gold, Silver, Bronze or Basic

Compulsory from 1 April 2019

Health funds will have to categorise their hospital policies as Gold, Silver, Bronze or Basic, according to the level of cover they provide.

The Government has announced the minimum requirements for each category and all health funds, including Health Partners will use this as the guide to categorise their hospital policies.

Where policy coverage exceeds the minimum requirements, a ‘Plus’ will be added to the category to indicate this.

This should give all consumers greater certainty about what’s covered by different levels of hospital cover, and make it easier to compare.
We’re assessing our hospital policies and the names of these policies against the new requirements so that we can apply the correct category label of: Gold, Silver, Bronze or Basic. If we make any changes – even just a name change to your policy – we’ll notify you.

Coverage for naturopathy, Pilates and other natural therapies

Compulsory from 1 April 2019

The Australian Government has announced that cover for the following natural therapies will be removed from all private health insurance products:

Alexander technique, aromatherapy, Bowen therapy, Buteyko,
Feldenkrais, Western herbalism, homeopathy, iridology, kinesiology, naturopathy,
Pilates, reflexology, Rolfing, shiatsu, tai chi, and yoga.

Therapies backed by medical evidence will remain in place. For example, massage and acupuncture.
As per the Government changes, we’ll be removing the listed therapies from all of our policies by the date set by the Government. We’ll get in touch in advance if this affects your policy. 

Cheaper cover for younger people

Voluntary for all health funds from 1 April 2019

Changes in legislation means all health funds, including Health Partners can offer a discount of up to 10% on hospital cover for people aged 18 to 29.

We support changes that encourage health insurance participation across all age groups.
We’re looking to introduce discounted hospital cover to consumers (which will include our existing members) who are aged 18 to 29. We’ll let you know in advance if this reform affects your premiums from 1 April 2019.

Standardised clinical definitions

Compulsory from 1 April 2019

All private health funds will have to use standardised definitions when listing what’s covered by their hospital policies. For example, ‘Dental Surgery’ will be the only acceptable term to describe services which may otherwise have been listed as ‘wisdom teeth’ or ‘surgical removal of wisdom teeth’.

Standardised wording across health funds should make it easier for consumers to understand what’s covered and not covered by a policy, particularly when comparing products.
We’ll update the wording on our policies to make sure they comply.

New excess levels

Voluntary for all health funds from 1 April 2019

Health funds, including Health Partners will have the option to offer hospital policies with higher excess levels. (Until now, we’ve been restricted to offering a maximum excess of $500 for singles and $1000 for families).

Affordable access to private health insurance is a growing concern for many Australians. This change is designed to lower premiums for individuals who prefer a policy that has a higher excess.
We’re still assessing the impact of a change like this on the policies we offer. 

We'll notify you directly

We’ll contact you via post or email by mid-March to tell you what, if any, changes affect you.

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