Private health insurance premiums are on the rise so how do you make sure you’re not paying too much?


They say bad luck comes in threes. But when it comes to your health, a single event can be devastating.

I’ve seen incredibly fit people get knocked for six health wise, including Gen Xers fit enough to run marathons, collapse with heart attacks.

Good luck if you want to rely on the public health system. We’ve got a pretty reasonable public system in Australia.

However, for many Xers, not having health insurance is actually financially stupid. Higher income earners get penalised with higher taxes.

Individuals earning more than $90,000 ($180,000 as a couple) who don’t have private cover, pay an extra 1 per cent tax as the Medicare Levy Surcharge. For couples, that’s a minimum of $1800 a year.

Cheap basic private cover will cost less than that. And you might get some benefit from it.

Salary earners above $140,000 ($280,000 for a couple) pay an extra 1.5 per cent tax. For couples, that is $4200 a year. That will pay for pretty good private cover.

And then there are the 2-per-cent-a-year penalties around getting after the age of 31.

For those earning less than $90,000, private health cover has got to be a justifiable expense. And with annual increases of multiples of the rate of inflation, insurers make it hard.

Put your provider to the test regularly. Every few years, as you should with all your personal service providers.

Is there a more suitable cover available? Do you need to increase, or add benefits that you might need? Start with some of the comparison websites, which will help with researching on price and benefits.

Bruce Brammall is the principal adviser with Bruce Brammall Financial ( and author of Mortgages Made Easy.


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