2.6 million Aussies are canceling or downgrading their health insurance as the cost of living falls

Millions of Aussies have canceled or downgraded their health plans as premiums rise. (Source: Getty)

Millions of Australians have canceled or reduced their health insurance as premiums and the cost of living soar, a new survey has found.

A Finder poll of 1,001 respondents found that 13 per cent of Australians have canceled or downgraded their policies in the last six months. That equates to 2.6 million people across Australia, according to the nationally representative survey.

For hospital policies, 6 percent of respondents canceled their policy, while 7 percent reduced their coverage.

For supplemental policies, 5 percent of customers canceled their policy and 8 percent reduced their coverage.

premiums increase

On October 1, nine health plans are increasing their premiums, including GMHBA and Queensland Teachers’ Union Health.

Other major providers will follow on November 1st, including Medibank, Bupa and nib.

The average price jump this year will be 2.7 percent – the lowest average annual increase in 21 years – but some policies will rise as much as 5.33 percent.

Saving Tips

“As always, the best advice for Aussies looking to save is – shop around and see what deals are available in the market and then choose the policy that best suits your needs,” said Tim Bennett, health insurance expert at Finder.

“There are no downsides to comparing and switching your health plans – you don’t have to give up waiting periods you’ve already completed, as these can be carried over between insurers. There is also the opportunity to save real money.”

If you are a young person, you may be able to save by staying in your parents’ policy.

Last June, new regulations came into force that allow health insurance companies to raise the age of dependents from 25 to 31 years. Beneficiaries must live with their parents to keep their parents’ policy.

Only a handful of funds have adopted the new rules, but big players like Medibank, Bupa, ahm and HCF have made the change.

Finder’s analysis found young Australians could save $6,647 by staying on their parents’ policy after age 24 until age 31.

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