Nearly five million Australians will be slugged with another cost-of-living increase within weeks when major health insurers raise premiums.
Bupa, NIB and GMHBA will increase prices on their policies from October 1, with the industry average increase pegged at 2.9 per cent.
The specific increases will vary between policies, but price comparison company Compare the Market said some Australians would fork out an extra $170 a year after the increase.
About 4.1 million Australians receive private health insurance through Bupa, 651,000 through NIB and 370,000 under the GMHBA umbrella.
Other major funds like AHM, Medibank, AIA and HCF have already increased premiums.
Compare the Market head of health insurance Lana Hambilton said the price jump flowed from the rising cost of providing health care.
“Just as you’ve experienced higher prices in your day-to-day life, the reality is that it’s costing more to treat patients and provide a high level of health care,” she said.
“Australia’s health funds have no choice but to pass these costs on to customers.”
Ms Hambilton said insurance premiums were determined by a range of factors, including the health fund, level of cover and place of residence.
“We also know that the average increase varies between funds, so now could be a good time to ensure you’re getting the most value from your policy,” she said.
“If your circumstances and health needs have changed, also ensure you’re on the right policy to suit your needs.
“You may be able to save money by switching providers for similar coverage or by changing from a more comprehensive policy to a reduced level of cover that still caters to your health needs and requirements.
“We also know that there’s still pressure on the public system, so maintaining a private hospital policy is a key way to ensure you receive inpatient hospital treatment when you need it.”